Housing Lottery

The links below will guide you through the Pforzheimer House lottery and room selection process. To get a better feeling of the housing options available to you, please browse the Pforzheimer House Floor Plans. For useful information about lottery procedures and deadlines, please read the Room Selection Process below as well as the Pfoho Housing Constitution very carefully. Finally, for information about the room selection process, please browse the link relevant to your class standing (upperclass or rising sophomore).

Additional important housing information and deadlines are available from the Office of Student Life. Housing forms are available online via the Residential Portal, also linked from the OSL website noted above. Students can log into the portal to complete the following forms: Housing Cancellation, Returning Student Application, InterHouse Transfer Request, Dudley Co-Op Relocation Form, and Request for Dudley House Affiliation.

More coming soon!

The Lottery

Room Selection

Pforzheimer Room Selection Process 

The basis of room selection is the Pforzheimer House Housing Lottery, where the actual number generation program produces your individual and blocking group lottery numbers. The numbers generated in this lottery determine priority for all house residents and govern all rooming decisions for the following year. Once run, the results of the lottery will be posted on the website and in the house office (check information menu for dates). There will be six categories from which numbers will be drawn: second-semester seniors, first-semester seniors, second-semester juniors, first-semester juniors, second-semester sophomores, and first-semester sophomores.

Averaging Forms

All students, including rising sophomores, will register their averaging (or blocking) group via the Lottery Tool during the specified dates when the Lottery Tool is live. The largest number of students that may average together is twelve. During that live period, you can make changes to your group at any time. Averaging together enables a group of students to choose rooms or suites at the same room pick time. If you do not plan to average your lottery number with others, you must still register an averaging form. Averaging groups may contain students of both sexes. Pforzheimer House is also part of the Gender Neutral Housing program at Harvard so male and female students have the option to live in the same suite together if they choose. Persons wishing to live near one another on a corridor but not necessarily in the same room may also wish to average (or block) together. This allows you to choose your rooms at the same time. If you do not average with other students, you can choose to average on your own and pick a room at the lottery assigned time, or be assigned a room at a later time.

Rising sophomores should note that although you will submit your Housing Lottery block and be averaged in the Housing Lottery with the Rising Seniors and Juniors, you will NOT choose your own rooms in the Room Selection process. Instead, you will submit one hard copy Sophomore Housing Preference form for your block as well as an individualized Rising Sophomores Housing Questionnaire via StarRez to indicate your general housing preferences. Your block lottery number will determine the order in which your general housing preferences are considered when the rising sophomore housing is done over the summer. Rising Sophomores are free to average with other Pforzheimer House students who were not in your original group during the Freshman Housing Lottery.

You may not make changes to your averaging group once the Lottery Tool is closed except as described in the following special case. At the time of room selection, a group of two or more persons who did not average together may choose a suite or choose rooms at the same time if all persons agree to choose their room(s) the highest (worst) lottery time slot of the two groups/persons involved. The person or persons whose time slot changed will remain with all members of the new rooming group for the entire year. At least ten minutes before the selection period of the person(s) with the lower (best) lottery number all members of the new group must declare in writing their agreement to such a change.

Advanced Standing

Juniors with advanced standing will automatically still be considered as rising juniors unless they inform the House Administrator that they wish to be considered as seniors for the lottery. You may only have your senior standing once, so if you choose to be considered as a senior, but then stay a fourth year, you will have to pick as a junior for your fourth year. While tempting, this generally is not a great move if you plan to stay around for four years. The Lottery Tool notes your class level. Students in their fourth year who used advanced standing (or senior standing) in their third year will be assigned the housing status of ‘rising junior’.

Off-Campus Housing

Any student planning to live off campus must submit a Housing Contract Cancellation Form via the Residential Portal by the appropriate deadline, usually in mid-May. If you definitely plan to live off campus, you should not participate in the lottery. Room Selection

Rising Juniors & Seniors

For each class, we will post schedules before the start of the room picks telling exactly when you are to choose. Single persons have three minutes to pick; averaged groups have two minutes per person in the group with the maximum time for any group being 10 minutes. Only one person need be present representing each averaged group. If you would like the House Administrator to pick a room for you, send an email to swatts@fas.harvard.edu designating specific rooming preferences. If you plan on having a friend pick for you, have them fill out and bring the proxy form to the appropriate lottery night. If you are not there to pick a room and have not designated anyone to pick for you, we will wait until your allotted time has elapsed. When your time is up, we will move on. If you come late, you will not be allowed to pick until the end of your seniority group; if you do not show up we will pick for you at the end of your seniority group. Needless to say, this decreases your chance of getting a room that you want. The Floor plans are available online. It is suggested that you inspect the suites ahead of time. (Once you select a room or suite during room selection, you will not be allowed to make changes). This advice applies more to those living in suites, but it is best to check rooms you expect to live in just in case. If you have any questions, please email swatts@fas.harvard.edu. Good Luck!!

Rising Sophomores

Rising sophomores will be asked to fill out an individual Rising Sophomore Housing Questionnaire via the StarRez portal, as well as a Summer Preference Forms (just ONE per BLOCK) and will be assigned to rooms in late July/early August. Every effort will be made to meet your preferences and to keep roommates together. Room assignments will be emailed in mid-August.