Returning Student FAQs

The Frequently Asked Questions below are answered according to Penn State Behrend options and processes. Other campuses may have different answers due to varying housing options, deadlines, and availability. 

Request Process

Invitations

Waitlist

 

Request Process

Q: When can I request housing?
A: There are two request periods:  October 1 - October 31 and December 1 through May 1.

Q: How do I request housing?
A: Log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu with your Penn State Access ID and password.  Under the HFS Contracts icon, select ‘Request Housing’.  Choose the campus and contract period.  Select the blue ‘Request Now’ button.  The page will refresh with a confirmation stating: ‘Success!  Your housing request for Penn State <campus> has been submitted.’

Q: How do I cancel my housing request?
A: Log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu with your Penn State Access ID and password.  Under the HFS Contracts icon, select ‘Request Housing’.  Your submitted housing requests will appear.  Select the red ‘Cancel Request’ button.  The page will refresh with a confirmation stating: ‘Success!  Your housing request for Penn State <campus> has been cancelled.’

Q: Who is eligible to request housing?
A: Current students at Penn State Behrend are eligible to request housing at any Penn State location.

Q: Are incoming first-year students eligible to request housing through the Lottery?
A: No.  First-year students are required to live on-campus, and the student accepts their Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract when the offer of admission is accepted.

Q: Is the request process first-come, first-served?
A: No.  The request process is a random lottery system.

Q: How do I request a specific roommate?
A: If you receive an invitation, you are able to view available space in on-campus housing and select your desired HFS Contract.  While selecting the HFS Contract that you’d like to be offered, you can indicate a roommate.  Some housing options allow up to 3 roommates, while others do not allow any roommates.

Q: What happens if I forget to request on-campus housing?
A: If the Contract Lottery Process is still accepting requests, you can Log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu to submit a housing request. If on-campus housing is full, you will be redirected to the Waitlist and can add your name to be offered an HFS Contract as space becomes available.

Q: Does my friend have to request housing if we want to live together?
A: Yes. Students must submit a housing request to be eligible to receive an invitation and HFS Contract offer. If you both have the same housing option when online room selection occurs, you can then assign yourselves together.

Q: If I live on campus now, am I guaranteed to return next year?
A: No. The Contract Process is a lottery, to give each student an equal chance at receiving an invitation. However, in recent years, all returning students who have requested housing have received Housing Offers.

Invitations

Q: What is an invitation?
A: An invitation allows the student to view available on-campus housing spaces.  Receiving an invitation does not obligate the student to on-campus housing.

Q: When will I receive an invitation?
A: Invitations are made every Monday and Thursday in November until fall break and then again from December 1 through May 1, or until all space has been filled.

Q: How will I know I received an invitation?
A: Log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu to see if you’ve received an invitation.  Also, an email will be sent to the students’ Penn State email account immediately after the invitation is offered.  Additionally, students’ can opt in to receive a text message notification.

Q: Where do I view my invitation?
A: Log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu with your Penn State Access ID and password.  Under the HFS Contracts icon, select View Invitation.

Q: I received an invitation but changed my mind and no longer want on-campus housing.  Can I decline the invitation?
A: No.  You simply let the invitation expire.

Q: Am I guaranteed to receive an invitation?
A: No.  Housing is not guaranteed for returning students. However, in recent years, all returning students who have requested housing have received Housing Offers.

Q: I received an invitation.  Now what do I do?
A: Select a housing option and accept the HFS Contract before it expires.  Log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu and under the HFS Contracts icon, select View Invitation.  There, select your invitation to view all housing options.  Not all options may be available based on when you are invited into the process.  Select the housing option you desire and click ‘Continue’.  Add a friend’s Penn State Access ID who you want to receive a HFS Contract offer and click ‘Continue’.  Not all housing options allow for a roommate.  Review your selections and click ‘Create Contract’ to be offered the HFS Contract for your selected housing option.  If a roommate was listed, this student will also be offered the HFS Contract.

Q: Does the invitation expire?
A: Yes.  Monday invitations expire at noon on Thursday.  Thursday invitations expire at noon on Monday.

Q: My invitation expired.  Can I get it back?
A: No. Expired invitations cannot be reoffered.

Q: My invitation expired, but I still want on-campus housing.  Can I submit another housing request?
A: If your invitation expired in November, you can still request housing. Log on to eLiving and under HFS Contracts, select Request Housing. You will be taken to either the Request Process or to the Waitlist, depending on the timing of the request and the availability of housing.

Q: I’m viewing space to choose from, but my preferred option isn’t listed.  What do I do?
A: Select another housing option if you are still interested in living on-campus.  Not all options may be available based on when you are invited into the process.  Once you accept the HFS Contract, you will have the opportunity to add your name to a Waitlist for another housing option.

Q: I received an invitation and selected a housing option, but I changed my mind before creating the contract and returned to step 1 of the process.  Can I get that housing option back?
A: You will start the housing option selection process from the beginning, and if that space is still available, you can select it.  If the housing option no longer appears, other students must have selected the remaining spaces in that housing option, and it is no longer available.

Q: Can I transfer my invitation to another student?
A: No.

Q: What happens if I don’t get an invitation?
A: Invitations are offered every Monday and Thursday from November until fall break and from December until May 1 or until space is no longer available. Historically, all returning students who have requested housing have received an offer. If the Request period has ended, add your name to our Housing Waitlist. As space is available, we will offer HFS Contracts to students on the Waitlist.

Q: How do I choose a space and accept the HFS Contract?
A: If you receive an invitation, log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu and select “View Invitation” under My Contracts.  There, select your invitation to view all housing options.  Not all options may be available based on when you are invited into the process.  Select the housing option you desire and click ‘Continue’.  Add a friend’s Penn State Access ID who you want to receive a HFS Contract offer and click ‘Continue’.  Not all housing options allow for a roommate.  Review your selections and click ‘Create Contract’ to be offered the HFS Contract for your selected housing option.  If a roommate was listed, this student will also be offered the HFS Contract.  To accept the HFS Contract offer, select the Shopping Cart icon and view the offer.  Click the ‘Begin Acceptance Process’ button to view and read the HFS Contract and Terms, Conditions, and Regulations (TCRs).  Check mark the box to indicate that you have read and agree to abide by the TCRs.  Type your name to electronically sign the HFS Contract.  Click the ‘Accept Contract’ button.  All done!

Q: Can I choose my room when I accept my HFS Contract?
A: A specific room is not assigned when the HFS Contract is accepted. Most returning students who accept an HFS Contract before April will participate in online room selection. Students who accept an HFS Contract afer online room selection has passed will enter their preferences in eLiving when they accept their HFS Contract and will be assigned by staff according to the space that remains.

Waitlists

Q: I accepted an HFS Contract, but I want to live in another housing option.  What can I do?
A: You can add your name to one Waitlist when they open.  Adding your name to a Waitlist does not guarantee that you’ll be reassigned to that housing option. Waitlists may not be available for all housing options.

Q: What is a Waitlist?
A: There are two types of Waitlists: one for students who did not participate in the Request Process and want to live on campus, and another for students who have an HFS Contract but want a different housing option. When you log on to eLiving and choose Waitlist from the menu, you will be taken to the appropriate Waitlist based on your Contract status. For students who have an accepted HFS Contract, the student is eligible to enter only one housing option Waitlist.  As staff processes cancellations and vacancies occur, we will move students from the Waitlist into that specific housing option.  For example: I have an accepted double room, traditional residence hall HFS Contract.  However, I’m interested in a single, so I add my name to the Single Waitlist.

Q: How do I add my name to a waitlist?
A: Log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu and under HFS Contracts, select ‘Waitlist.”  Choose the campus and contract period, then check the box for the one Waitlist you’d like to add your name to.  All done!

Q: Can I remove my name from the Waitlist?
A: Yes.  Log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu and under HFS Contracts, select ‘Waitlist.  Choose the campus and contract period, then uncheck the box for the one Waitlist you selected, which will remove your name from the Waitlist.

Q: Can I add my name to more than one waitlist?
A: No.  Only one Waitlist selection is permitted.