How to Get a Contract
Penn State Housing and Food Services uses eLiving, an online housing system, to manage student Housing Contracts and meal plans.
While all students use eLiving, there are separate processes for incoming first-year students and current Penn State students. Housing is not guaranteed for any student, and not all students who request a Housing Contract will receive an offer.
For more information, visit eLiving or follow these links:
(Incoming freshmen new to Penn State)
When a first-year student accepts the offer of admission by logging on to MyPennState using their Friends of Penn State (FPS account), they will be informed if on-campus housing is available at that time. If housing is available, the student must accept the offer of admission and pay fees ($230 non-refundable general deposit fee and $100 non-refundable housing reservation fee, for a total of $330). The student must then agree to the Terms, Conditions, and Regulations of the Housing Contract and the housing and financial statements. Completing these steps means the student has successfully accepted the offer of admission and the Housing Contract. A confirmation email will be sent to the address on file.
The Campus Meal Plan will automatically be defaulted to a level two. To modify the meal plan level or add housing preferences (building, roommate, etc.), log on to eLiving using your FPS account. You can change your preferences until May 15.
You have until May 1 to accept the offer of admission, but housing can be full before this deadline. The earlier you accept your offer of admission, the higher the chance there will be housing available.
If housing is full when you accept your offer of admission, you'll have other options. These may include adding your name to the Waitlist (although adding your name does not guarantee that an offer will be made), seeking off-campus housing, or changing to another Penn State campus that still has housing available.
(Current Penn State students)
Current Penn State students who are interested in living on campus must follow the established timeline for requesting and accepting Housing Contract offers. Sometimes, not all students who submit a request will receive an offer. Once all contract offers are made and accepted, any students who participated in the process but did not receive an offer will automatically be added to the Waitlist for a Housing Contract. Students who didn't request a contract but are interested in living on campus can add their names to the Waitlist when it opens in February. If you do not want to have your name on the Waitlist, you can remove it by logging on to eLiving.
Contract Request Phases
To receive a regular Housing Contract from any of the Penn State campuses, you must participate in the Contract Request process. You may submit a Contract Request anytime during the Contract Request Phase. Please note that this is not a first-come, first-served process; submitting a Contract Request as early as possible won't increase your chances of receiving an offer.
Once the Contract Request phase ends, students will be selected randomly to receive a Contract Offer. It is your responsibility to log on to eLiving regularly to check for a Contract Offer. You must accept your offer by the expiration date indicated; otherwise it will be forfeited. If, after the Contract Offer has expired, you decide that you still want to live on campus, you will need to add your name to the Waitlist.
Types of contracts: You may be offered either a regular or a supplemental contract. Once you have accepted the Housing Contract, you are legally bound to that contract for the fall and spring semesters. You may not cancel the contract after it has been submitted.
Making modifications: You may make changes to your housing preferences and meal plan selection after you accept your Housing Contract until the modification deadline.
Once all Contract Offers are made and accepted, any students who participated in the process but did not receive an offer will automatically be added to the Waitlist for a Housing Contract. Students who did not participate in the process but are interested in living on campus can add their names to the Waitlist when it opens in early February. If you do not want to have your name on the Waitlist, you can remove it by logging on to eLiving. Adding your name to the Waitlist does not guarantee that you will receive an offer for a Housing Contract.
Students considering a Change of Campus should initiate the request through the Change of Campus contact in the Registrar’s office. If you are interested in living on campus, you must participate in the eLiving Housing Contract System during the established timeline.
If you receive a Housing Contract offer for a campus that is not your current campus of enrollment, this does not imply that your Change of Campus has been or will be approved. Accepting the Housing Contract offer does not guarantee that your Change of Campus will be approved.
It is highly recommended that you submit a request for both campuses – your current campus of enrollment and your expected Change of Campus. If you are offered a Housing Contract for one or both campuses, you should accept both offers, even if your Change of Campus has not yet been approved. Once it is determined which campus you will attend, it is your responsibility to cancel the Housing Contract for the campus you will not be attending by contacting Housing and Food Services.
Additional information about Change of Campus is available from the Student Orientation and Transition Programs office.
Students transferring to Penn State from another university can add their name to the on-campus housing Waitlist by logging on to eLiving when the Waitlist opens in February.