2024-2025 Housing Selection for Returning Students

We have enjoyed having you on campus this year and encourage you to think about your housing plans for next year. Please read the following information and contact the office of Residence Life and Housing if you have questions.

Housing Selection Process

The terms and conditions of the housing contract change annually. Please carefully review the housing contract before you sign and complete your housing application questions so that you are familiar with the terms and conditions.

In addition to this webpage, we have developed supportive resources that we hope will be helpful to students: 

  • Housing Selection FAQs
  • Housing Selection Application and Process Guide
  • Renters Insurance (optional, but recommended)
  • Housing Selection Roommate Matching & Group Formation Guide
  • Housing Selection Room Selection Guide

Housing Selection Priority

The priority order for housing selection is:

  1. on-campus rising second year students (those required to live on campus)
  2. all other on-campus undergraduate students
  3. off campus students

Students returning from abroad will choose housing with their respective class. All returning students are assigned a randomly generated start date and time for use in the housing selection process.

Housing Selection 2024-2025 Timeline

Step / Process


Step 1. COMPLETE RETURNING STUDENT HOUSING  APPLICATION & HOUSING CONTRACT: Student logs into WU Housing Portal to complete the Returning Student Housing Application and electronically sign the Housing Contract. 

February 1 - 28

Step 2. ROOMMATE MATCHING & GROUP FORMING: Students with matched roommate groups will have the opportunity to log onto WU Housing Portal and search for other students to live with and form roommate groups for next year. Students can choose to go into housing without a chosen roommate(s) and be placed with another student based on their lifestyle and likings information.

February 1-28 

Step 3. Students with matched roommate groups: Students with matched roommate groups will receive their selection time slot indicating when they can log onto WU Housing Portal and select a space online for next year. Selection time slots are generated randomly by class status and number of semesters on campus.

February 28

Step 4. Students without matched roommate groups: 
Students without matched roommate groups will log onto the WU Housing Portal during their selection time slot to select their top three choices of locations for on campus housing next year. Students who do not have matched roommate groups will be placed in on campus housing by Residence Life and Housing staff.  Staff will try to place students in one of their top three choices of locations if at all possible. 

Once a selection is made, no changes will be considered until the end of the second week in the fall semester with the approval of the Area Coordinator.

March 4-18


  • AES Approved Accommodations: Requests for new accommodations and Documentation due to AES by February 1, 2024 (priority placement)

How to Find a Roommate

All students living in multi-occupancy rooms (doubles, triples or apartments) are asked to find a roommate or be assigned into a living space by university professional staff. How do you choose a roommate on your own? Many students have never thought about this question. How do you find the best match for you? 

One of the easiest ways to find a roommate is to start with people you know - classmates or acquaintances in a club or activity. You can also ask your friends if they know anyone else in need of a roommate. This works if you’re already in college. If you’re a first year student, it may be a little more difficult.  Make sure you complete your Lifestyles & Likings questionnaire - and answer the questions truthfully. It’s important to reflect on these questions and be totally honest. The university uses this information throughout your career at Willamette.  

Here are some ideas that will help returning students and first year students alike.

Things to Think About

  • What’s important to you? 
  • What kinds of traits are you looking for in a college roommate?
  • Are there any friend groups/classroom connections you can utilize to find a roommate?
  • What are questions you’d like to ask a potential roommate to make sure you agree on important issues?

Look at Your Needs

Sometimes choosing a roommate can require you to ask yourself some questions.  It's helpful to write down a list of qualities you want in a roommate.

  • Which personalities do you get along with best?
  • Are you looking for a tidy roommate who knows how to stay organized? Or someone who is more laid-back?
  • Do you prefer to wake up early? Or are you more of a night owl?
  • Do you want a quiet environment, or is it ok to have friends over in the room?

Rooming together isn’t just about how you get along, there are other things you need to consider as well. Is it OK for your roommate to borrow your clothes without asking?  Do you need a clean room, or is it ok if there are clothes on the floor? How are you going to divide the room cleaning responsibilities?

So How Do I Make a Decision?

Consider students with similar living habits as yours. If you value tidiness, for example, then a friend who never folds laundry or who leaves dirty dishes out will probably get on your nerves. Similarly, more laid-back students could quickly become annoyed with a roommate who's constantly cleaning up or who goes to bed by 9 p.m.

Establishing lists of desired qualities and deal-breakers can help you narrow down potential roommates. Just because you get along well with someone, doesn't mean you'll be compatible roommates. Make sure to have conversations about your values, habits, and communication styles before you decide to room together. Don’t be too picky though, you’re not going to find anyone who is just like you. 


Residency Requirement

First year students attending PNCA, Willamette University’s Portland Campus, are required to live in university housing. First and second year students attending Willamette University’s Salem campus are required to live in university housing.  The university grants exceptions to the live-on requirement when appropriate.  

Students with circumstances matching the following criteria prior to the start of the academic year may be exempt from the housing requirement:

  • Students living within 30 miles of the university campus who will commute from a parent or legal guardian’s residence (proof of residency with a parent or legal guardian may be required);
  • Students who are married, in a civil union, or in a domestic partnership (must provide documentation);
  • Students with dependents under their care;
  • Students who have been declared as independent or are over 21 years of age;
  • Veterans of the military;
  • Transfer students who have more than two years of college experience;
  • Students with a disability or medical condition that prevents them from living in on-campus housing must provide documentation and gain approval from the Accessible Education Services Office;
  • Students participating in a study abroad program;

Students seeking an exception to the live-on requirement may submit a request through the WU Housing portal

Students who are required to live on campus and fail to complete the housing registration process during their class housing selection will be assigned to a space after the housing registration process is complete.

Housing Contract Cancellations

A student who desires release from the housing contract, will be charged a cancellation fee

Cancellation charges


$300 Cancellation Fee 

Before June 1st

$900 Cancellation Fee 

After May 31st

the Housing Contract is binding, making the student financially responsible for all costs associated with their housing assignment and respective dining plan for the academic year unless they are approved for release under the Housing Contract.

Important Housing Selection Notes:

  • All students should carefully review and must sign their contract prior to being placed in on campus housing
  • Students who wish to be roommates must mutually request each other - that is, agree to live with one another
  • If you don't know who you want to live with, search for compatible roommates during the roommate matching and group forming phase of the process
  • Triple Kaneko suites are only assigned to three mutually requested roommates during housing selection
  • Students who sign up for a triple suite will be moved to a double room if a roommate cancels during the summer
  • If a student who secured an apartment decides to cancel their housing contract prior to the Fall semester, the new residents who were invited in to fill the unit may not retain it and may be reassigned. The unit will be made available to the next group on the wait list.
  • Once you have selected your space, no changes will be considered until the end of the second week in the fall semester with the approval of the Residence Life Coordinator

2024-2025 Rates

Rates for 2024-2025 are also posted on our website. Students living in a residence hall are required to participate in a meal plan. Meal plans are optional for residents in apartments.

Single rooms cost more than multiple occupancy rooms. See Rates for pricing.

Important Apartment Information

Annual rates include a furnished apartment and utilities. 

Campus apartments are available in Doney 1st floor north, Kaneko B/C wings, Lee House and at University Apartments.

  • Apartment occupancy is for the entire term of the agreement
  • The office of Residence Life and Housing will fill vacant beds in the apartment from the waiting list at their discretion.

Optional Meal Plans for Apartment or Off-Campus Residents

Students living in campus apartments or off-campus may purchase any of the Willamette meal plans by contacting the office of Residence Life and Housing.

Personal Property Insurance

Willamette University is not responsible for the loss or damage of personal property and advises all students to cover their belongings under their own insurance. When completing the returning student housing application, students will be provided the opportunity to sign up for renters insurance through GradGuard.

Willamette University

Residence Life and Housing

Matthews Academic Commons
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
Hours: M-F, 8 AM - 5 PM (PST)

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