OHARE postpones housing assignment process and reinstates residential requirement for 2021-22 academic year

The 2021-22 housing assignment process will begin in late spring or early summer, and the residential requirement will be back in effect for the next academic year.


Hunter Long

Nicholas S. Zeppos College, located on West End Avenue, is one of several residential colleges on Vanderbilt’s campus. (Hustler Multimedia/Hunter Long)

Sally Johnson, Staff Writer

In a March 8 email, the Office of Housing and Residential Experience (OHARE) announced that it will be postponing the housing assignment process until late spring or early summer as a result of “the evolving state of the pandemic.” They will also be reinstating the residential requirement for the 2021-22 academic year. 

By delaying the assignment process, OHARE hopes to ensure all decisions they do make will be upheld for the Fall 2021 semester. The email emphasized that students should not commit themselves to any form of off-campus housing for next year.

“You should only sign a lease if and when you are granted 2021-2022 off-campus authorization. That process will take place as part of the housing assignment process,” the email said. 

According to OHARE’s website, in typical semesters, “all unmarried undergraduate students must live in residence halls on campus” unless granted permission from OHARE. 

In past years, a lottery system was used to select students for off-campus housing. In the 2021-21 housing assignment process (prior to the outbreak of COVID-19), 839 students were granted permission to live off-campus with most applications from rising juniors denied. 

However, during the 2020-21 academic year, OHARE expanded its off-campus housing requirements after placing all first-year students in single rooms, decreasing on-campus housing availability for upperclassmen. 

These changes allowed non-first-year undergraduate students to apply for and reside in off-campus housing. However, OHARE’s email stated that this pandemic-related change to its off-campus housing policy will not continue into the 2021-22 academic year. 

Last year, all new transfer students were required to live off campus. It is unclear whether this will continue to be the case for the 2021-22 academic year.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we anticipate returning to traditional levels of housing occupancy, with a large majority of students residing on campus,” the email said.