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Articles / Campus Life / Last-Minute Room in the Dorm?

Last-Minute Room in the Dorm?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Aug. 2, 2014

Question: What are the chances if you signed up for a DORM ROOM TOO LATE? I'm on a waiting list as of last week. Do you think its possible they will call me?

This is a question for the Residence Life department at your college. “The Dean” has no way of knowing where you attend school or what the housing policies are there. But my advice would be to keep in regular contact with the housing office to “remind” them of your interest. You should ask THEM … not me … about the likelihood that you’ll get a room. Ask how high up you are on the waiting list and if it seems to be moving in your favor.

Also, if your college offers “theme” housing (e.g., for environmentalists, movie buffs, Spanish-speakers, vegetarians, …) take a look at the list of options and see if any will suit you. If so, tell the Residence Life official that you’d be happy to join a theme community. While these dorms (or floors/hallways within dorms) often fill up quickly, they are also apt to have last-minute drop-outs (like when a vegetarian chomps on her first-ever cheeseburger in August and decides she better seek alternate accommodations 😉 )

In addition, you should ask the Residence Life coordinator if there is a Facebook page or other Web site where students who didn’t get a spot in the dorms post advertisements for off-campus roommates … and then start looking.


Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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