In October 2012, Housing Services hosted a Town Hall Meeting in order to receive feedback on Room Selection lottery numbers.

Additionally, feedback was received via a web-based form. The comments and conversation in response to the question, "which system is best for CUA," was insightful in many ways. A number of factors that could impact lottery number assignments were considered including GPA, campus involvement, judicial record, and date application received. However, many students described the current system of random assignment as fair in the sense that it gives no preference to a particular student or group of students. Therefore, after reviewing student feedback within the context of the best practices research conducted (see below), Housing Services concluded that the current system of random assignment will be maintained. It is consistent with the mission and vision of Housing Services and partnering offices; it is also effective in creating a campus community in accordance with the University's goals and values. If you have further questions about the research, feedback or outcome of this review, please email Housing Services.

Systems for assigning lottery numbers

Housing Services has researched how peer and competitor institutions assign Room Selection lottery numbers and/or give students priority for housing. The research showed that systems generally fall into four categories (listed in order of most common to least common):

  • Random assignment - no individual* priority; current process at Catholic University
  • GPA and/or credits - academic performance gives priority
  • Custom/points-based - academic and/or co-curricular factors give priority
  • First-come, first-served - date application received gives priority

*in random assignment systems students may be prioritized in groups such as class year or numbers of semesters on campus

The research also showed that the majority of peer and competitor institutions, like Catholic University, assign lottery numbers for housing at random. Those institutions that do give priority to students assigned lottery numbers based on custom criteria such as cumulative GPA, number of credits earned, level of campus involvement, residence hall citizenship, and judicial record. While Housing Services was able to identify advantages and drawbacks to each of these systems, the aim of this research, the October 2012 Town Hall Meeting, and other avenues of gathering information was to determine and provide the best system for The Catholic University of America.

Your input is important!

Thank you to all students, faculty and staff that participated in this broader conversation about housing priority. The feedback received from the Town Hall Meeting and the input submitted online was considered alongside other factors as Room Selection plans were made. A copy of the presentation given by Housing Services at the Town Hall Meeting is available here.