Online Room Selection Frequently Asked Questions

Assignment Change | Unassigned Students | General Room Selection Questions | Appointment Request | Group Formation | Room Selection Tips and Resources | Boston Area Co-Op/Internship Housing

Last updated: 4/23/2021

Newly Admitted Students for Fall 2021

I am a newly admitted student for fall 2021, will I be able to get housing?

The University requires and guarantees housing for newly admitted first year students, and additionally guarantees transfer students housing if they submit their preference application between June 1, 2021 and July 11, 2021. If you are a newly admitted student for Fall 2021, you will receive more information in May as students become fully matriculated. For now, please refer to the New Undergraduate page. 

Assignment Change Options

How do I change my fall assignment?

Students with fall assignments have two options to change their assignment over the summer.

  1. Summer Change Process
    Students can request an appointment to participate in the summer change process. New spaces are added regularly during the process as we take cancellations throughout the summer. 

    Appointment Request: April 26, 2021 - June 2, 2021
    Appointments Post: June 3, 2021 by 3:00PM
    Room Selection: June 4 – June 25, 2021 at 4:00 PM

  2. Summer Swap Process
    Students who are in like assignments (shared to shared, apartment to apartment, single in the same hall to single in the same hall) for the fall can complete a person to person swap. The process runs from May 17, 2021 – May 21, 2021. This form can be found in SPIRE under Main Menu>Residential Life>Room Swap during the process.

Unassigned Students

Can I still live on campus if I did not select a fall assignment?

All available spaces on campus filled after late appointments began. The next opportunity for students to secure an on campus assignment will take place in August after all new students have been assigned.  Any available spaces will come from cancellations and we are not able to guarantee all unassigned students will be able to secure a space.  Based on that we strongly encourage students without an assignment to begin researching off campus options.

General Room Selection Questions

I am a current student who selected a housing assignment as an individual.  How can I find out who my roommate/suitemate/apartment mate's information?

During live selection processes, Assignment Notification is taken down.  Fall Room Selection officially ends on April 23rd at 4:00pm.  Once room selection ends, you can find roommate information in SPIRE under Main Menu>Residential Life>Assignment Notification.

How can I confirm I have selected my housing assignment?

After a student selects an assignment as an individual or a group leader, all students involved with the assignment will receive an email confirmation which included the building and room that was selected.  Assignment information is not currently available in SPIRE, but will be visible after fall room selection ends on April 23rd at 4:00pm.  Assignment Information is located in SPIRE under Main Menu>Residential Life>Assignment Notification.

What processes are available and who is eligible to participate?

All currently active, full- or part-time undergraduate students are eligible to participate in the Fall 2021 Room Selection Process.

All currently active, full- or part-time Members of the Commonwealth Honors College in good standing are eligible for the Fall 2021 CHCRC Room Selection Process.

If you are projected to graduate in spring or summer 2021, but expect to be an active student in the Fall, please update your expected graduation term in SPIRE as soon as possible.  Students who are projected to graduate prior to fall 2021 will not receive an appointment.

If you are a newly admitted student for Fall 2021, your preference application will open on June 1, 2021. More information will come about your housing selection process, please refer to your enrollment check-list for the time being.

I would like to live with a newly admitted student for fall 2021, what are my options?

Since new students are matriculated after fall room selection ends, it is not possible for them to participate in the fall 2021 room selection process.  Current students are encouraged to request an appointment for fall 2021 Online Room Selection before April 9th at 11:59pm and to select the best space available when their appointment begins. 

New transfer students that want to live with a student who already has an assignment for Fall 2021 should contact our office when they are fully matriculated. We will work with these students to make them eligible for the Summer Change process where they can group form with their intended roommate and attempt to select into a space together. Please note, we cannot guarantee an open double space will be available to select. If there is not an open double you will need to dissolve the group and select an on-campus assignment as an individual. 

I have a University hold on my SPIRE account.  How does this affect participation in Fall Room Selection?

Holds do not prevent students from requesting an appointment or selecting a housing assignment.  In some cases, having a hold on your account can result in you being withdrawn from the University.  If you are withdrawn, your housing assignment will be canceled and you will be subject to the Cancellation Fee Schedule.

What spaces will be offered in Fall 2021 Room Selection?

For fall 2021, all spaces will be offered at their design capacity.  In traditional residence halls students can select from single, double and triple occupancy spaces across campus.

All apartments in North include 4 single rooms and share 2 bathrooms, a common space and kitchen area.  Kitchen areas include a refrigerator, stovetop and oven.

Suites in the Sylvan Residential Area will offer single and double occupancy rooms.  All suites include a bathroom and shared common room.

Spaces available in multi-year halls are 18% single rooms, 80% double rooms, and 2% triple rooms.

What spaces will be offered in Fall 2021 CHCRC Room Selection?

Students can select from single and double occupancy suite or apartment spaces in the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community.

Also, the 4th and 5th floor of North D will be available as a break housing option for CHC Eligible students.

I am interested in living in a Defined Residential Community, what are the options for fall 2021?

Students who had a space in fall 2020 and expressed interest for fall 2021 will have priority appointments for DRC spaces in the Asian/Asian American Student Community, Harambee: African American Student Community, and El Barrio: Latinx Student Community and Spectrum: LGBTQIA+ Student Community. Any students interested in these communities will be able to search for them during general room selection as well, the communities will be identified with a living option in room search. The hope is to advertise and recruit for all DRCs during fall 2021 for the following academic year.

How do I select a residential community that is mixed gendered, single gender, or gender inclusive?

Mixed gender communities:  Mixed gender housing in a traditional residence hall means students live in a residence hall room with someone of the same sex or gender, but may be next to another room that is occupied by students of a different sex or gender.  In traditional residence halls, community bathrooms are designated as male or female and students use the bathroom that most closely aligns with their sex or gender identity.  The majority of residence halls and residence hall floor on campus are mixed gender.  If the location of the bathroom that aligns with your gender identity in relation to your room is important to you, you can review the floor plans available here

Single gender housing:   Singer gender housing refers to rooms, floors, wings, suites and apartments that are assigned by gender.  Students residing in these assignments share a bedroom and bathroom with students of the same sex or gender.  Community bathrooms are designated as male or female.  Single gender housing is available in all suite and apartment communities as well as portions of Baker, John Adams, Crampton, Patterson and Prince halls.

Where are Gender Inclusive rooms available?

Gender inclusive rooms are intended for students who wish to live with another person who may have a different gender marker.  Gender inclusive rooms are located on the first floor of Baker hall and in suites in Cashin hall.  Students can search for these spaces by searching for Gender Inclusive under 'Step 3' of the room selection search tool.  Bathrooms within these communities are also gender-inclusive.  Information about the availability of gender-inclusive bathroom facilities in all residence halls is here.

If you would like to update you name or gender marker on file with the university, please complete the steps outlined on the Stonewall Center's website.

How much will on campus housing cost for fall 2021?

The Board of Trustees typically finalize housing rates in late June or early July.  The pre-COVID approved rates for fall 2020-spring 2021 are available on the Fall Online Room Selection website.  Rates are currently projected to increase by about 2% for fall 2021.

I am a Continuing and Professional Education or University Without Walls student.  When can I select housing?

Residential Life is required to offer selection opportunities to all current and new undergraduate students before spaces can be offered to Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) or University Without Walls (UWW) students.  Based on this, Residential Life is not able to offer CPE or UWW students housing options until all undergraduate student demand is met and spaces will only be offered if there are vacancies at the time.  Please check with Residential Life Student Services in mid-August in you are interested in living on campus for fall 2021.

I haven't decided if I intend to live on campus for fall 2021.  What do you suggest?

Students who are unsure about their fall housing plans are strongly encouraged to request an appointment.  This allows you to see available spaces and make a decision based on the options you are able to select when your appointment begins.  Please only select an assignment if you are sure you wish to live on campus.  Students who select an assignment and later cancel are subject to the Cancellation Fee Schedule.

I requested an appointment, but no longer plan to live on campus, what should I do?

If you are no longer interested in living on campus, please do not select a housing assignment during this process.  As long as you do not select a space, you will not be subject to the cancellation fee.  Students who select an assignment and later cancel will be subject to the Cancellation Fee Schedule

Is Thatcher available for students in fall 2021?

Thatcher will be used to support students needing to quarantine or isolate in the fall.  Based on this, Thatcher is not available to select in Fall 2021 Online Room Selection.

Are students required to be vaccinated before returning to campus for Fall 2021?

Yes, the university will require all undergraduate and graduate students who wish to live or learn or conduct research on campus or access campus resources to be fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of the fall semester, on the basis of expected additional state, federal and legal guidance and vaccine availability, and subject to religious and disability accommodations pursuant to state and federal law. Evidence to date concerning the present and expected approval status and effectiveness of the vaccines supports the university’s position.

Appointment Request

How do I request an appointment?

All students who wish to participate in fall 2021 room selection must complete 3 steps in SPIRE:

  1. Sign the most recent version of the contract under Main Menu>Residential Life>Residence Hall Contract
  2. Resubmit your Housing Profile under Main Menu>Residential Life>Housing Profile
  3. Request an appointment under Main Menu>Residential Life>Room Selection Home between March 30 and April 9.

If steps 1 and 2 are not complete, the request a new appointment button will be grayed out. 

You will receive an email confirmation when you successfully request an appointment.  Also, you can see your appointment requests on the Room Selection Home page in SPIRE under 'Requested Appointments.'  If you did not receive an email and you do not see the Fall 2021 Room Selection Process under your 'Requested Appointments,' you have not successfully requested an appointment to live on campus for fall 2021.  Please review the 'Getting Started and Requesting an Appointment' Video Tutorial or contact Residential Life Student Services if you need assistance.

What happens if I missed the appointment request deadline?

If you missed the appointment request deadline and are still interested in securing on-campus housing, you can log in to SPIRE and request a Late Fall 2021 Room Selection Appointment.  More students requested an on-time appointment than there are available spaces on campus for fall 2021.  While we do not expect every student to select a space, all on-time students will have the opportunity to select an assignment before students who requested a late appointment will receive an appointment.  

Late Appointments Post: April 22, 2021 at 10:00 AM
Room Selection: April 22 - April 23 at 4:00 PM

How are appointment times determined?

This fall, many new first-year and transfer students who would have experienced on campus housing for the first time did not get that opportunity.  In an effort to support these students, fall 2020-spring 2021 admitted students and projected sophomores will receive priority consideration to select on campus spaces for fall 2021, followed by projected juniors, then projected seniors.

Within these groups, appointment times are based on Priority Order, which is a random number used as a tie breaker.


John (Sophomore)
Priority Order: 2123

Mary (Junior)
Priority Order: 75

Alicia (Sophomore)
Priority Order: 245

If all three of the students above requested an appointment, Alicia’s appointment would begin first.  They are a sophomore with a priority order closest to one.  Then, John’s appointment would begin.  He is a sophomore.  Finally, Mary’s appointment would start next as she is a Junior.

How is my class year determined?

Your class year is your projected academic level for fall 2021, which can be found in SPIRE.

I have a medical accommodation, which is already on file with Residential Life Student Services.  How does this affect my room selection appointment?

If Residential Life has already received documentation about a medical accommodation and you have requested an appointment, then you will receive a priority appointment based on the type of accommodation on file.  Please refer to the email that you received from Residential Life when your accommodation was approved for more specific details.  Please note: Students with only an approved assistance animal accommodation will not receive priority appointments in Online Room Selection.

Group Formation

What is a roommate group?

A roommate group is a collection of 2-8 students who intend to share a space together.  In traditional halls, this means that there must be enough vacant spaces in a room for all group members to be assigned.  Groups are not able to select into multiple rooms.

In Sylvan, North and CHCRC, group members can be assigned to any vacant space in the same suite or apartment.

In all groups, one student will be the group leader.  The group leader is responsible for inviting students into the group, assigning all group members to a space, or dissolving the group if necessary.  We suggest that your group leader be the person who is most knowledgeable about Online Room Selection and who will be available when your group’s appointment begins.  The group leader does not have to be the person with the earliest appointment time.

While part of a group, the group leader will take on the earliest appointment assigned to group members.

I plan to be a group leader, what do I need to know?

Remind all group members to request an appointment before April 9th at 11:59pm.  If they do not request an appointment, you are not be able to invite them into your group.

You can begin forming a roommate group after appointments have posted on April 13th at 3:00pm.  It is your responsibility to invite all group members and to verify that they respond to your invitation.  Please ensure that you are forming a roommate group in a process that all members have an appointment for.  For example: If you have a Fall 2021 Room Selection appointment and a CHCRC Selection appointment, but the person you intend to live with only has a Fall 2021 Room Selection appointment, you must form your group in the the Fall 2021 Room Selection Process.

The group leader can select an assignment at the earliest appointment time within the group.  Once a group leader selects a space, the group dissolves.  If you and your group members wish to continue searching for spaces, please be sure to reform your group.

I plan to be a group member, what do I need to know?

All students must request their own appointment!  Group formation takes place after appointments post and your group leader will not be able to add you to the group if you have missed this important step.  Also, you will not be eligible to select a fall 2021 housing assignment.

Once you and your group members have requested your appointments, determine who will be the Group Leader.  The group leader is ultimately responsible for assigning all group members to a space.  Once appointments post, the group leader can invite you into a roommate group.  By accepting membership into a roommate group, you are giving up your ability to select an assignment to your group leader.  It is your responsibility to confirm that they have selected an assignment for you.  All group members will receive email confirmation when the group leader selects an assignment.  If you have not received email confirmation, please contact your group leader immediately.

Please note: It is critical that you respond to your group invitation by either accepting or declining membership.  If you or another group member does not respond to the invitation, all group members will remain in a pending state and will not be able to select an assignment.  If you accept membership into a group and later change your mind, please contact the group leader to request that they dissolve the group and reform it without you.

I am trying to form a roommate group, but can't find the person I wish to live with. Why?

There are several reasons this could happen:

  1. You are attempting to form a roommate group before appointments have posted.  You can only form a group with other students with an appointment.  Appointments will post by April 13th at 3:00pm.  Once appointments post, you can form your group.
  2. The person you are attempting to form a group with does not have an appointment for this process.  For example, you are not able to invite someone into a CHCRC Room Selection group if they do not have an appointment for the CHCRC selection process.  If your preference is to live with your friend, please form your group in a process that you both have an appointment for.  If your priority is a specific area (such as CHCRC), you will not be able to form a group with your friend.
  3. You or the person you are attempting to form a group with did not request an appointment before April 9th at 11:59pm.  If this is the case, you will not be able to form a roommate group with this person.

Boston Area Coop/Internship Housing

I am interested in housing on the Mount Ida campus, what are my options?

If you're on an internship, part of a program on campus, or taking online classes, you can sign up to live on the Mount Ida Campus.  At Mount Ida, you'll enjoy everything you love about UMass Amherst living and more - free fitness center, free on-campus parking and free transportation to the MBTA green line, offering easy access to Boston.

Fill out a Fall 2021 Mount Ida Housing Application to secure your space today!

There are also options for internship and summer session students for Summer 2021 as well!  Fill out the Summer 2021 Mount Ida Housing Application to secure a space this summer!

Room Selection Tips and Resources

The select button on the Room Selection tool is grayed out.  Why?

There are several reasons why this button may be grayed out:

  1. Your appointment has not begun.  Please verify this by checking your appointment start date and time on the Room Selection Home page in SPIRE.
  2. You are a member of a roommate group or you have been invited into a roommate group.  Only the leader is able to select assignments on behalf of their group members.  If you were invited into a group and do not wish to be a part of it, decline your invitation.  If you accepted group membership but have changed your mind, please contact the group leader to dissolve and reform the group.
  3. Someone in your roommate group has not responded to their group invitation.  This will leave the group in a pending state and prevent all members from securing a housing assignment.  Please contact this person or the group leader to dissolve and reform the group if necessary.
  4. You or a member of your group have no Selection Opportunities Remaining.  If you have used up all of your selection opportunities, then you are not able to change your assignment for the remainder of the process.

If none of the situations above are true, please contact Residential Life Student Services as soon as possible for assistance.

What does 'Selection Opportunities Remaining' mean?

This is the number of times that you can select or change your housing assignment within a process.  When your appointment posts, you will have 3 selection opportunities for each appointment process that you receive.  When you select an assignment, you release any previously held space for other students to select, your assignment is updated to the new space you selected, and your Selection Opportunities are reduced by 1.  If you have no remaining selection opportunities, you are not able to change your assignment again within that process.