News Archive 2009-2018

A Slice of Bowdoin College Life: The Annual Housing Lottery Archives

Each spring, rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors enter the lottery process to pick their ideal living situation for the following year. Roughly 90 percent of students live on campus, and the options for residential housing are fairly broad.

Groups of twos, threes, fours, fives — and sometimes more (a couple of groups might try to get adjacent suites, for instance) — each receive a lottery number. This indicates in what order they can choose their space. Some favorite locations are Stowe Hall (lots of sophomores, centrally located, big windows) and Coles Tower (as close to the experience of living in an apartment as you can get in the middle of campus, great views). Some students also opt for single rooms.

“The lottery process was carefully designed by students and administrators to allocate housing as fairly as possible,” according to Residential Life, which oversees the process. If students don’t get their top pick, they can regroup and try for a different location or friend configuration.