Office of Residence Life

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about housing at Oberlin? We have the answers. 




Residence Life staff reviews housing registration information and matches students based on their housing preferences. We consider habits and patterns (e.g., bedtimes, noise/activities in the room, and room cleanliness) as well as musical taste, academic interests, and other shared personal information. We work to put students together who have similar preferences, interests and habits. We do honor mutually requested roommates regardless of preferences.

We do not take requests for specific buildings or sides of campus. We also do not place athletes from the same team together unless they mutually request each other as roommates. We believe that all of our communities are great places to live and that each student will have an enjoyable experience in the living environment they are assigned to.

Each student will receive an email with instructions on how to find out where they are living and who will be their roommate(s) for the year. Housing assignments are for an entire academic year unless a student requests and is approved for a room change.

After housing assignments have been completed, students will be notified via email about thier assignment and roommate information. Students can also log into the Housing Portal to review their assignment and roommate information. 

  • Fall assignments are typically sent in mid-July. 
  • Winter Term assignments are typically sent at the end of December. 
  • Spring assignments are typically sent in mid-January. 

Academic Year 2023-2024

Students are allowed to arrive up to two days before the set move-in day if they are pre-registered and meet the following conditions:

  1. are registered for classes,
  2. have made the required payments,
  3. are not living in OSCA locations or off-campus, and  
  4. have a special circumstance or are participating in a certain group/opportunity making it important for them to be permitted to arrive earlier than the scheduled move-in dates.

If you are granted permission to arrive early, the daily rate will be $80/per night. Housing and dining are included.

Students who arrive on campus without prior authorization will be charged $250/per night.

If your room isn't ready by your requested early arrival date, you may be given a temporary assignment until the scheduled move-in date.  

To register, visit Arrivals and Departures and select the appropriate semester move-in page. On the semester page, a link will be provided to the corresponding Early Arrival Registration Form. 


Each student is provided with the following:

• A single bed frame and a mattress. Most beds are bunkable or loftable. The mattress is "twin, extra long" (36"x80"). Please note that traditional twin-fitted sheets are too short. You will need extra long twin sheets.

• Desk and desk chair

• Built-in chest of drawers or movable dresser

• Built-in closet or movable wardrobe

• Built-in bookcase or movable bookshelf

• Lighting - rooms have general room lighting, but desk and floor lamps are not provided

• Window coverings, usually blinds

• WiFi

Bedframes can vary by building or room. Most of the beds are wood with square feet. If you are considering putting risers under the feet, check that they can accommodate the large legs - or wait until you get here and know what your bed looks like. Bed risers will elevate the bed frame about five or six inches while still providing a solid and safe footing on the floor (these commerical products are made of plastic and less likely to scratch the floor).

You are responsible for providing your own (extra long) sheets, blankets, pillows, pillowcases, and towels. Bring warm blankets. Between midnight and 6:00 a.m., building temperatures are kept at approximately 62 degrees in the winter. Electric blankets are not allowed because of the danger of fire. Bedspreads are not provided.

Unfortunately, most of the residence halls are in use during the summer by groups who rent the facilities for a variety of conferences, sport camps, theater workshops, etc. The Admissions Office conducts several campus tours every day. You will be shown a typical double room on this tour, but access to all buildings is not possible. An average double room is approximately 220 square feet. Some rooms are larger, others are smaller. Some rooms are square, others are unique in shape.

The Office of Residence Life understands that some students may have medical conditions that require special housing and or dining accommodations. Students with physical or medical conditions or disabilities can usually be accommodated in college housing and dining.

Requests for accommodation in housing and or dining should be made through the Office of Disability and Access.

At least one community refrigerator and microwave is provided in the kitchen/kitchenette areas of each residence hall.

Students can bring a Mini Refrigerator that doesn't exceed (10 amps and 5 cubic feet). 

Due to voltage concerns in the residence halls, students are not permitted to bring microwaves. 

A mini fridge with a microwave combination unit is available to rent from Bedloft. This microfridge is Energy Star-rated with a special switching system that saves energy and eases electrical draw, preventing breakers from tripping. This is the only micro-fridge allowed in the residence halls. For additional information visit Microfridge Rentals.

Students are not permitted to bring or install a personal A/C unit. 

Buildings with A/C: Dascomb, Kahn, Lord/Saunders, Noah, South, Talcott, Firelands, and Union/Goldsmith Townhomes

Disability Accommodation: Students needing air conditioning for a disability accommodation must work with and be approved by the Office of Disability and Access.

Students can have fish or other aquatic animals(can only survive underwater) in a maximum aquarium size of twenty gallons.

No other animals are permitted in residential spaces, with the exception of animals approved for disability accommodation through the Office of Disability Resources.

Visiting friends and family are also not permitted to bring animals into the buildings. 


New Student Move-In


On-campus housing, Firelands, and Union/Goldsmith rooms have electric locks that can be unlocked using the assigned student's Oberlin ID card or their Mobile-ID.

Most Village houses have physical keys. Keys are available for pickup in the Residence Life Office. 

The Mobile ObieID Card is available to all enrolled students and current employees. Tap your iPhone, Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy, or other eligible Android phones at readers across campus to conveniently access your ObieID. For more information, visit Mobile ObieID Card.


For your protection, as well as the college's, you must complete the RCR (Room Condition Report) to check the condition of your room when you move in. You must check each item listed on the RCR, as you are responsible for the condition of everything in your room. Review the RCR, which is available online through the housing portal, and note any discrepancies you see. Student and professional staff will check your space when you move out, and any changes in the condition of the space may result in charges to your student account.

Students will receive additional information and instructions about completing the RCR at the beginning of the semester. 


Housing Selection


To register for OSCA, you should fill out the application for housing on the OSCA website and the housing application with ResLife. There is no guarantee that you will get housing in OSCA, seeing as it is based on a lottery.

Please complete the Housing Application, but indicate that you are planning to take a leave. If you are not sure that you will get into the program you want or that your leave might not be approved by the time of housing selection, you should go through the selection process.

Students on Study Away during the Spring semester can participate in the Student Housing Selection Process. The Housing Application and Selection Process is a virtual experience for all students. 

Go ahead and select housing. If you decide not to come in the fall, your roommate can request another person for a roommate (before June 30) or someone else will be assigned to the space. If you wish to live together in the spring, your roommate should place your names on the waitlist in December as a requested roommate. You should enter their T Number on your Return From Leave Registration Form, available the middle of October. We are unable to hold spaces and we will not force a student to relocate in order to accommodate your request for a roommate.

Students interested in LITE Housing should complete the Housing Application. As part of the application, students will have the opportunity to preference specific LITE areas. Once LITE areas have been selected, the corresponding questions will appear in the Housing Application.  

Yes. The village housing orientation takes place through Blackboard and must be completed within the first 3 weeks of the start of the semester.

Students who have not selected a housing assignment by the end of the spring semester will have assignments made for them based on vacancies that occur during the summer. We will try to honor the preferences submitted on your Housing Application. Please be aware that:


All students are assigned housing before the opening of residence halls for the fall semester and most will receive assignment information in late July.

It is possible that students could be assigned as residents in a LITE space they do not identify with or overflow space in lounges. These students will be expected to move to traditional housing as soon as space becomes available.

Students with permanent approval from the Office for Disability and Access for their accommodation do not need to re-register with ODA. However, they must still complete the Housing Application. To verify if you have a multi-year approval, please review your ODA accommodation by going to and searching for AIM. Once in AIM, you will see your accommodation and approved time frame. 

Students interested in applying for LITE and Village housing can do so if they meet the qualifications for that process. Their accommodation placement will be held while they go through the selection process. If housing is obtained through a different selection process, the student can choose between the accommodation placement and the new placement

Students interested in LITE Housing should complete the Housing Application. As part of the application, students will have the opportunity to preference specific LITE areas. Once LITE areas have been selected, the corresponding questions will appear in the Housing Application.  


General Information


Each residence hall has washers and dryers. Laundry is included in the cost of room and comes at no extra charge.

The College and the Office of Residence Life does not insure and is not responsible for loss or damage to personal property for any cause. Students are encouraged to confirm that their property is covered by their family's homeowner's or renter's insurance or to carry personal property insurance.

If you lost your ID card (room accessible with a student's Obie ID card), please visit the following site for information about what to do:

During business hours (8:30am-5:00pm Monday-Friday), a student will need to go to the Office of Residence Life in Stevenson Hall to obtain a temporary access card for the space and return the card within 24 hours. If a student is locked out during RA duty hours (8:00pm-8:00am), the student will contact the RA on duty to let them into their space. If a student is locked out during any other times, the student should contact Campus Safety at 440-775-8444 and an officer will let the student into their space.

All students receive their mail via the mail room in Wilder Hall (Student Union Building). More information can be found here.

Yes! Students are welcome to stay on campus for breaks and our residence halls will remain open. Limited meals and minimal campus services are available. Students will need to fill out the break housing form, which is available online. Please note that a fee is associated with Winter break, Winter Term, and Summer Housing.