Choices for Incoming Students

If you are an incoming student who has just received an offer of admission to the University.  Congratulations!  Given the competition for space in the class, that is a significant achievement.  We are looking forward to your participation in the Orientation program this summer and your arrival on Grounds in August (Saturday, August 21 is Opening Day).

Historically, there had been two choices for first year students – you’ll hear students talk about the “old” and “new” “dorms”.  “Old” refers to the McCormick Road Residence halls which were constructed during the 1950′s.  “New” refers to the Alderman Road Area which was built during the late ’60s and early ’70s.  The McCormick Road buildings are hallway style (with double rooms on corridors with community bathrooms) and the original Alderman buildings were all suite style (5 double rooms with a bathroom and lounge).  The size of the first year class outgrew the space in these 2 areas years ago.  Other living options have been added to first year housing to accommodate the class.  The Alderman Road and McCormick Road Areas are still exclusively dedicated to housing first year students.  In addition to these two options, which house approximately 2700 first year students, 500 first year students will be living in the Gooch/Dillard Complex and 168 first year students will have the option to live in one of the three residential colleges.  The Gooch/Dillard complex is programmatically similar to the Alderman and McCormick Road Areas in that the first year students are only assigned in buildings with other first year students.  The Gooch/Dillard Area however consists of mostly single rooms in 6 person suites.  In that way it may be the best of both worlds.  You can control your own space, but aren’t isolated.  You will be in a small community in a suite, where you will get to know other students well.

The three Residential College programs are social communities (they are not limited to any particular major or degree program) that are designed with an additional layer of support with the program directed by a live-in faculty member, one or more Coordinators of Studies and between 20-40 Faculty members who serve as “Fellows” and participate in the programs and activities offered by the College.  In each College, 20% of the space is reserved for first year students.  First year students live with other first year students as roommates, but are in a community with upperclass students.  Each College has selected a focus for its programs.  We hope that you will look at the description each has on the web and consider the opportunities each presents.

First Year students are assigned to spaces in the Alderman Road, McCormick Road and Gooch/Dillard options using a random selection process. Student are allowed to select a roommate and as long as the request is made by both students and submitted by the June 4th application deadline,  they will be placed together.  Students can also preference whether they would like a double or a single room.  In the McCormick Road Area there are 20 single rooms, located in the stairwells.  Almost all of the available single rooms are in the Gooch/Dillard complex.  Beyond those preferences, you are not able to select which complex you will be assigned to live in.

Since these areas are entirely filled with new students each year, the community becomes whatever the group makes it.  Once students arrive and make friends, no matter where they thought they might want to live, where they were assigned becomes the best place.

Students with allergies or medical needs must contact the Learning Needs and Evaluation Center (LNEC) in Student Health.  That office lets us know who is required to be in what kind of space.  The McCormick Road Area is not air conditioned.  In the Alderman Road Area, the three newest buildings are air conditioned and the Gooch/Dillard Complex is air conditioned.  You cannot specify which air conditioned space you can live in if you have a medical need, your assignment will also be made randomly to those spaces.

Again, we are excited that you will be joining the community in on Grounds Housing.  We look forward to getting to know and serve you and we look forward to the contribution you will make to development of a dynamic learning community where you will be living.


We hope you'll find helpful information on the Housing application and assignment process. Send us questions at and we'll answer them here.

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