Residential Life

Proxy Information

Students not currently enrolled at the University who are planning to attend the following Fall semester may designate a proxy during housing selection. This proxy has the authority to select housing in the housing Lottery. If you're currently not on campus, please email [email protected] ASAP to let us know who your proxy will be.

Brown’s housing selection process offers students the opportunity to choose the exact room in which they will live.

Room selection is the process by which continuing Brown University students select on-campus housing for the following academic year. Students studying abroad in the fall or students who have received off-campus approval will not participate in the room selection process.

The Housing Lottery consists of two phases:

Phase One: Group Formation

March 30 - April 3, 2020 (closes at 12 noon)

You can enter the Lottery in a group of up to 10 students, or you can enter alone as a group of one (1). Being in a group does not tie you to living with the other members of the group, only to picking housing at the same time as them.

Group Leader

Make sure you have spoken with all members of your housing group and have chosen a Group Leader. The Group Leader must have every group member’s Brown ID before logging in.

If you are entering the housing lottery by yourself as a group of one, you will need to elect yourself as Group Leader.

Selection Time

At your group’s assigned Selection Time, your Group Leader must select room combinations that exactly fill the entire space for each room chosen (e.g., a 6 person suite must be filled with 6 people).

It may become the case that not all members of the group will find desired housing at Selection Time, or that the currently available housing is not able to accommodate the number of group members (e.g., if there are no remaining singles, and the group is just 1 person). In this case, the student must go on the waitlist, or they must drop down to combine with another group at a higher lottery number to form a larger group (see “Dropping Down” in Phase Two).

All students in the group must be returning to Brown for the following Fall semester - those planning on taking leave or going abroad should not enter the Lottery. Should a member of a group wish to change their Lottery assignment, withdraw from the University, or move off campus, the remaining group members may forfeit their room or apartment based upon individual review by the Office of Residential Life.

Be careful when forming groups. If a student's name appears in more than one group, all groups in which their name appears may be declared invalid and ineligible for the Lottery.

Once you decide with whom you would like to form a group, you must fill out the Housing Lottery application. The application will be available at resweb.brown.eduThe Group Leader should be the first member to log in and create the group. In order to do this, they will need Brown ID numbers from all group members prior to signing in. Once the Group Leader has formed the group, the remaining members will need to log in and agree to the group setup.

In order to be fair to all students, Residential Life is serious about its deadlines. No forms can be accepted after the date and time listed herein as the deadline.

Priority Numbers

Priority Numbers are first randomly assigned to every participating Junior and Senior student based on their anticipated fall semester level. Lower numbers imply greater priority within the ordering of the selection process. Priority Numbers are based on seniority (higher class standings will have greater priority). Semester levels are calculated as follows, for both current and transfer students alike:

Upcoming Fall Semester Level

Equivalent to


2nd semester first-year


1st semester sophomore


1st semester junior


1st semester junior


2nd semester junior


1st semester senior


2nd semester senior

Lottery Numbers

Next, Lottery Numbers are generated for each group. A group’s Lottery Number will average each Junior and Senior member’s Priority Number and then be ranked against the averages of all other groups.  The groups are completely randomized for the Sophomore process. Lottery Numbers and group selection times will be listed on the Residential Life website prior to the first day of lottery, based upon the last name of the Group Leader. This individual will have to select housing for their entire group at their assigned time.

It is the student's responsibility to confirm that their semester level is accurate prior to Lottery Numbers being generated. Semester levels will be available in Residential Life in Grad Center E, 1st floor. Any student who believes their posted semester level is inaccurate must complete a Semester Level Verification Form in the Office of Residential Life by Super Deadline Day (this year, March 5, 2020 at 5:00pm). Semester levels and Lottery Numbers will not be adjusted after this date.

Phase Two: Room Selection

Your group's Selection Time determines when your group is able to choose housing. The group with the earliest lottery time picks first from the available rooms, with subsequent groups selecting every three minutes. The Lottery will take place over three to four days. You will be sent an email informing you which night you are on and what time you can select.

Before the first day of the Lottery, Residential Life will post a list of all the groups and their Selection Times as well as a list of available rooms and suites and any designation (special Interest, gender specific, etc) that goes along with them.

We recommend researching available housing options prior to Room Selection. Research the different residence halls by talking to students who currently live there, by visiting the halls on your own, and by reading floor plans of different halls available at the Department of Facilities Management.

Once you have found out your Selection Time, you should reexamine your list of housing preferences to make sure it is both comprehensive and realistic. Continue to monitor what has been chosen up until your assigned Selection Time. You should be prepared to walk into the Lottery with a realistic list of housing preferences that everyone in your group agrees upon.

When choosing housing, it is vitally important to do as much preliminary research as possible. Keep a ranked list of preferences, crossing off rooms as they become unavailable, and know what you will select once it is your turn.

After you select your housing, you will receive an auto response from [email protected] informing you of your assignment for the upcoming year.

Dropping Down

It is possible in the Lottery for an individual or group with a better number to "drop down" and pick with a group or individual with a number that will be called later in the Lottery.

Dropping down is a good idea for individuals who decide they want to live near each other after entering the Lottery separately, or for single-seeking individuals if there are no singles available when their number is called.

After choosing a room, everyone in your group must fill out a Housing Contract. Housing Contracts define housing obligations for the student and the university, and must be signed by every student living on campus.

If some of the members of your group are currently on leave or abroad, they will still be able to access the ResWeb website.

Read the contract and the handbook carefully, as you are responsible for knowing the requirements and prohibitions of living in university housing. Although bills are paid on a semester basis, the room contract covers the entire academic year.