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First Year Housing Selection: Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in room selection?

Any incoming first time first year student who paid a housing deposit by the priority deadline May 1, 2019, and who signed up for a New Student Orientation session is eligible to participate in room selection.

What about transfers?

Transfers should submit a housing deposit on their Navigator and complete the Transfer Application on their Housing Portal – they will not select their housing but instead, will be placed in upper-class housing. If you have a roommate request, this is a spot on the application to note that.

If you deposit by the deadline and complete your application by June 21, you will be notified with your assignment by July 15 and applications created after that date will be assigned on a rolling basis. 

As a first year, how do I pick where I want to live next year?

  1. Pay your $300 housing deposit by May 1 on your Navigator account.
  2. (Beginning May 1) Complete the Housing Application online at by June 21.
  3. (Optional) Decide who you want to live with and create a roommate group on the Housing Portal.
  4. Check your email on June 25 for your/your group’s selection time. Selection occurs on June 27.
  5. At your/your group’s selection time, log in to your Housing Portal and select from the available spaces.

I missed the deposit deadline. What now?

Make the deposit now in your Navigator account – we will add you to the selection process if there is space. Otherwise, we’ll assign you to housing based on availability!

Where do first year students live?

First year students live in Peabody Hall (a traditional style hall on North Campus consisting of doubles, triples and quads, with common bathrooms on each floor), or Marsh hall (traditional style halls on North Campus consisting of doubles and triples, with common bathrooms on each floor).

All residence halls include laundry facilities in the building (current $1.75 per wash, $1.75 per dry, coins and ClipperCash accepted), large lounges with big screen TVs and space for events and programs and access to a faculty in residence, as well as live in student and professional staff support, wireless internet access throughout, Ethernet ports, cable TV hookups (free HBOGo available to all residents).

Note: In the summer of 2019 and ready for move-in day, the bathrooms in Peabody and Bowditch will be completely renovated! On every floor, there will be a brand-new female identified, a male identified and a gender-inclusive restroom!

Marsh – 5 floors, co-ed by floor (no single-sex floors) doubles and a few triples. Single-sex and gender inclusive restrooms on every floor.

I do not want to live in a triple or quad. How can I guarantee a double?

While you are able to select rooms that are double occupancy, there is a possibility that you’ll be in a triple or a quad. We anticipate that the majority of our first year students will live in double occupancy rooms. Our students still have a positive experience in spaces with 2 or 3 roommates and many students choose to stay in those spaces even if they are offered the chance to move.  

I’ve heard you have a lot of triples or rooms that are really doubles that you put three students in. 

Salem State is proud to be able to guarantee housing to all of our first year students.  In order to do this, we sometimes temporarily extended the occupancy of some of our spaces at the very start of the year, knowing that we will be able to move students to doubles very quickly. All extended occupancy rooms have a bed, desk, and dresser for each student. Students that are assigned to live in extended housing, even temporarily, will know this by July and will be communicated to regarding our plan for moving them to a permanent space.

As stated in the Guide to Living on Campus, if the university increases the designed occupancy of a room for longer than 30 days after the start of the term without offering the students in the space the chance to move to a non-extended space, each the students residing in those rooms will receive a 20% refund of their semester room charge.

I want a single.

There are no single rooms available to first year students. Once you reach your sophomore year, you will have the opportunity to live in a hall that has singles available. 

I NEED a single/I require a private bathroom/I require a kitchen/I have a service/emotional support animal

Students in need of accommodations for their housing or dining experience should contact disability services to schedule a meeting to determine the best living arrangements for them. Documentation is required and must be submitted to that office -

The deadline for new accommodation requests to be considered before selection is June 25, 2019. Requests for accommodations are not a guarantee and questions should be directed to that office.

How do I find out where I’m living? Who will my roommate be?

First year students will select their own housing via an online selection process in June. More information about this process will be sent to all students who deposit for housing. Students will also select their own roommates. Some students meet friends at orientation or have friends from home they’d like to live with. If a student doesn’t have anyone in mind, there is a roommate finding tool as part of the selection process that will allow you to find roommates that match with your living habits and message them to see if you’d be a good fit. Students also find that utilizing social media helps connect them with like-minded roommate matches

Do you have Living Learning Community (LLC) options?

We do! We offer an Honors LLC, for students accepted into the Commonwealth Honors program, a First Year Community Service LLC, for students interested in serving the Salem State and greater community and a First Year Wellness community, for students interested in learning more about physical and emotional wellness.

Sign up for these by completing your Supplemental Living Learning Community Application in the Housing Portal by June 21.

Can I live with an older student?

We find that first year students have higher rates of academic success and satisfaction when they are placed with students of their peer group who are going through the same experience. Our returning students have already selected their housing by the time our first year students are depositing and there usually isn’t space to be placed with an upper-class student. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as a family member that you would like to live with, please email us in the summer and we’ll see what we can do.

Do you have gender inclusive living options? Bathrooms?

We do, in all of our residential areas! In the fall of 2019, all of our halls will have gender inclusive restrooms with a shower. First year students seeking gender inclusive housing should complete the supplemental Gender Inclusive Housing Application and contact Residence Life if they have a roommate request.

I would like a single in a gender inclusive space

We have a limited number of singles available in gender inclusive spaces that we may be able to offer to first year students. These spaces are in upper-class housing areas, as we have no singles in our first-year areas.  

What if I don’t go through the selection process?  

As long as you have deposited for housing, signed your Housing Application online, and met all deadlines, you will get a space on campus. Students that do not participate in selection will be manually assigned. 

What sort of security is provided in the halls?

In addition to our 24/7 police force on campus, all residence halls are locked 24/7 and accessible by a resident of that hall unlocking the exterior building door with their ClipperCard. All of our residence halls have 24-hour desks that students must also tap their ClipperCard to verify their residency. Guests must be signed in and out and have proper ID.

Residence hall bedroom/apartment doors are lockable and only the residents of that room or apartment can be issued a key or card access.

Student staff members (RAs) are on call in the evenings, weekends and overnight and there is a professional staff member on call 24/7.

Are the rooms air-conditioned?

Peabody and Bowditch are not air-conditioned and students are encouraged to bring fans. We find that, due to the nature of New England weather, students don’t generally need the AC after the first week or so of school! Marsh and our upper-class halls are air-conditioned (students needing air conditioning for medical reasons should seek out the accommodations process).

What about the meal plan?

All residential students are required to have a meal plan, which is automatically added to students’ accounts. 

Can I bring a mini fridge or microwave?

In some buildings, yes!

In Peabody Hall, we limit students to one mini-fridge and one microwave per room, as the buildings are older and susceptible to power overloading.

In Marsh Hall, each student is able to bring one.

In Viking Hall, unless they are medically approved, additional fridges/microwaves are not allowed, as one is provided for you. We also work with MicroFridge for rental units. 

How are selection times determined?

Selection times are randomly assigned.

How do I choose who I want to live with?

After you complete your application (step 2, above), Once you log in, go to SSU Room Selection and click Roommates/Suitemates. The selected term should say Fall 2019. Click Submit. If it states that you are not eligible to pick a roommate/suitemate it is because you have not paid your housing deposit or completed your Housing Application. Once those are completed you can either search for potential roommates that meet criteria you set and message them to see if you’re a good match or just type in your roommate’s name or email address and select them. Your roommate will see your request when they log into the site.

Remember: Your roommate/suitemates must also select you! If they do not, then you will have an incomplete apartment and not be able to select until the end of selection.

Can I live with someone who is a different sex and/or gender identity than me/ I’m interested in gender inclusive housing.

Applying for gender-inclusive housing is simple. Just complete the supplemental Gender Inclusive Housing Application in the Housing Portal and we’ll reach out to determine what the next steps.

What are my odds of getting into Marsh/getting a double?

It’s difficult to say, as it all depends on your selection time and what is available. What we can tell you is that it’s important to have a backup plan! What will happen if there are no spaces left in the hall you’d like to live in? What is your plan B?

I’m in a group – do each of us have to log in to select?

No – only one of you can select. It does not have to be the person with the best lottery number either – any group member can log in at the group selection time and select. Make sure to choose someone who is responsible! Once they click submit, there is NO changing your room until the fall!

When my selection time is activated, how long will I have to select?

You may take as long as you like, but be aware that the next times will also be active at regular intervals

I forgot to pay my deposit but my friend has a selection time. Can my friend pull me in?

No, if you did not pay your deposit by the deadline you are not eligible to participate in room selection. After selection, you are offered available spaces and/or added to a waitlist

I paid a deposit but I will not be returning to housing for next year. Can I give my selection time to a friend?

No, selection times are not transferable.

What if I am not available to select at my selection time?

You may select at any time after your selection time. 

What happens if I select a room but then change my mind?

All selections are final. Once your room is selected, you cannot make any changes until the fall. 

If I paid my room deposit early, will I get a better selection time?

It will not make a difference in your selection time. However, if you did not pay the deposit by the priority deadline of May 1 you may not be able to receive a selection time.

How do I know what the rooms look like?

You can view photos on our website –

I can’t log onto the Housing Portal. What do I do now?

Have you signed up for orientation? If you just did, give it 24 hours and try again. Do you know your password? It is the same password you use to log onto your Navigator account. Your username is your student ID number with the S at the front (i.e. S0123456). If this does not work, please call the IT helpdesk for support. Residence life cannot reset passwords.

When do first year students move in? 

First year students move in on Saturday, August 31, 2019. Move-in times and additional information will be provided later in the summer.

Residence Life
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