An Overview of the Housing Selection Process:

The Different Processes for On-Campus Living

Housing Accommodations

If you feel you qualify for a housing accommodation based on a documented medical need, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services. Accessibility Services is the only designated office at the College for students to voluntarily disclose a disability(ies), submit appropriate documentation for verification, and request accommodations. Accessibility Services coordinates and provides accommodations to students with all types of disabilities.

For additional information about applying for an accommodation, please click this link:

For additional information specific to types of housing accommodations, please click this link:

Theme Communities

The College has a variety of theme and language communities available for students to join. Interested students will apply through the housing portal like all other application processes. If you accept theme community membership, you will be taken out of the general Housing Selection Process. After accepting, if you decide to drop out of a theme community, you will be put at the end of the Wait List. Theme community selections will either take place in person or online, depending on the theme community's preference.

All applications are the same, regardless of the theme community, but some theme communities may request additional information as well. The question regarding class participation most directly relates to the language communities as those are academically-focused communities.

General Housing Selection – What is Special Interest Housing?

Special interest housing is not a theme community, and any student may select into these rooms.  Students who select into a special interest housing will be that they follow the specific qualities of the community. The current special interests are 'quiet community' and 'all-women'.

In quiet communities, residents are expected to prevent loud conversations and music from permeating across rooms, hallways, and gathering spaces. We cannot guarantee these communities will always be silent, but the purpose and intention is to provide an expectation that residents will make increased effort to minimize sound disruption.

The all-women communities welcome any and all women-identified persons.

Placement Order:

For students who wish to form a group, we use a system called a Living Unit Value (LUV) to determine the order in which students will choose. LUVs are an average of the values assigned to each student within a group. Higher LUVs pick before lower LUVs. For example, a group with three seniors, a junior, and two sophomores has a LUV of 3.33 (the average of the values the students hold.

Rising seniors (20s) are assigned a LUV of 5, rising juniors (21s) a LUV of 3, and rising sophomores (22s) a LUV of 1.

A student’s LUV number is determined by either their class year or the year they started at Amherst; whichever is higher. The highest LUV number that can be receive is a 5. See the rubric for the LUV numbering guide:
Current Listing of LUV:

2021 – Senior, Regular Graduation, Spring 2021 – Receives a LUV of 5

2022E – Senior, Early Graduation, Fall 2021 – Receives a of LUV of 5

2022 – Junior, Regular Graduation, Spring 2022 – Receives a of LUV of 3

2023E – Junior, Early Graduation, Fall 2022 – Receives a LUV of 3

2023– Sophomore, Regular Graduation, Spring 2023 – Receives a LUV of 1

2024E – Sophomore, Early Graduation, Fall 2023 – Receives a LUV of 1

Other Criteria:
Students who started at the College earlier than Spring 2018 receive a LUV of 5.
Time Groups that share the same LUV number will be randomized. Whether it’s groups of 5s (a group of all rising seniors) or mixed groups of half numbers, we will randomly determine the selection order.


Any student with a circumstance that prohibits them from being on campus may designate a proxy to participate in selection for them.
Students who choose to select by proxy have the option to ask another student to act as their proxy or to describe their preferences to the Office of Residential Life, who will act as proxy. NOTE: At this time, this option may not be possible. The Office of Residential Life will reach out if you have chosen/choose this option and ask to act as your proxy instead.
The Office of Residential Life will send an email to confirm. 

Portal Screen Name

Your ‘Student Name’ in the portal functions separately from a ‘Web Screen Name’. The Web Screen Name in the portal only serves one function, which is roommate grouping. The Web Screen Name is simply there for students to find one another in the portal in order to form Room Groups. Therefore, the Web Screen Name IS NOT refreshed/updated by Amherst College student records.

In July 2018, our software company (StarRez) set all screen names to match the ‘Student Name’ in order to refresh the system. Going forward, screen names must be changed each year by each individual student. The last update in the Portal was July 2018. This means any official name change since this date will not be reflected in the Web Screen Name section.

Why is this information important?

If you are a student who lived off campus last year, or lived in a Theme Community, or only selected on your own (not in a group) you may have a year-old screen name. Again, the Screen Name is separate from your official name in the Housing Portal. The Screen Name IS NOT refreshed/updated by Amherst College student records.

How do I change a screen name?

One can change their Screen Name on the Roommate Matching page. The Office of Residential Life will also change a Screen Name by request from any student (using their Amherst College email) by contacting For any student who does not wish to encounter their Screen Name, we do not need you to log in before requesting a Screen Name change. Please contact Kelsey Mongeau, Assistant Director of Residential Operations, at directly for immediate support. Persons who choose a name that is different from the name assigned to them do so for any number of reasons.  The Office of Residential Life acknowledges that for some persons, the unexpected confrontation by a ‘birth name ‘or ‘dead name’ can evoke pain. It’s our intention to provide a path through the Housing Portal that identifies students accurately and affirmatively.

Living Off-Campus

If you are interested in applying to live off campus, please find out more information on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

1)   What are the differences between gender-inclusive restrooms and gendered restrooms?

Gender-inclusive restrooms are those that can be used by anyone regardless of their gender identity. Gendered restrooms are set as 'men' and 'women.' When selecting a room, the room description will indicate what type of restrooms are available to you nearby. The restroom designations must be maintained as they were created.

2)  I've been locked out of my Amherst College Log-In, what can I do?

Please contact to request that access be restored. In time sensitive situations, contact OSA Operations at or 413-542-2723.

3)  I have a No-Communication and Restricted Proximity Order (NCRPO) in place with another student? How do I manage my housing selection and the terms of the order?

Please contact Dean Gendron ( for more information. Students who are eligible to participate in the Housing Selection Process are automatically provided with specific information. Students who are considering the request of an Order should make contact with Dean Gendron for an in-person meeting or call.