For Parents-Housing Services — Room Selection - Carnegie Mellon University

For Parents

Help us help your student!

Room Selection begins in early March and runs through mid April. Although that seems like a long time and Room Selection can seem like a complicated process, it's actually really quite simple. Eligible residents simply need to chose ONE PHASE of Room Selection to participate in, and then make sure that they meet the dates and deadlines associated with that phase.

As parents, we know that your top priority is making sure that your son or daughter secures a safe and convenient housing accommodation and has access to healthy and convenient meal options for the next academic year. Helping to keep your student informed about Room and Meal Plan Selection is one way that you can help us help your student!

Here's what your student needs to do to successfully participate in Room and Meal Plan Selection:

  1. Verify that they're eligible
  2. Decide which phase of Room Selection they're going to participate in (and make sure they're aware of possibly receiving an Open Assignment)
  3. Inform themselves of the important dates and deadlines associated with that phase
  4. Find a roommate or roommates to live with
  5. Participate in their chosen phase of Room Selection and select a room, suite, or apartment
  6. Sign their 2014–2015 Housing License Agreement (online)
  7. Sign their 2014–2015 Dining Plan Agreement for the meal plan of their choice (optional)

Some topics that you can discuss with your student to help them better prepare for the general room selection process.

  • Buildings — Rank all of the upper-class building options from most preferred to least preferred (including residential halls and apartments)
  • Roommates — Talk to other residents to find the most compatible roommates who have similar living styles or use our the Roommate Browse and Message feature within the Room Selection application
  • Open Assignments - Make sure you're familiar with our practice of issuing Open Assignments, especially for parents of first-year students
  • Visit our Room Selection Timeline page to keep track of all the important deadline.

For Parents of Students Who Are Moving Off-Campus

Although we hate to see them go, we recognize that many upper-class students chose to move off-campus for a variety of reasons. Housing Services is not able to assist students in finding off-campus housing, but we do provide a number of resources through our Community Housing Services page that can provide helpful leads. In addition to the information on the Community Housing page, you as a parent can help by doing some of the following things:

  • Is your son or daughter ready for the independence associated with living off-campus?  Are they thinking of moving off-campus because it's the best option for them, or are they doing it because their friends are?  Have they consider the extra responsibilities associated with living off-campus? Utilities, monthly rent payments, year-long leases, etc.?
  • Make sure the student has a list of questions to ask the landlord. What utilities are included? What is the average cost of the gas bill in the Winter? 
  • Review the lease with your student before they sign it to make sure that they understand all of the clauses included. 
  • Make sure that your student understands that once he/she leaves university housing, there is no guarantee of on-campus housing for any future years, and that it is — in fact — extremely difficult to get back into housing once a student leaves.
  • Know that many rental houses near campus are zoned as “single family residences.” Under Pittsburgh city codes, no more than three (3) unrelated people can typically live in such facilities. If your student is intending to rent one of these houses, make sure that this code is understood and discussed with the landlord during the lease negotiations.

Other Resources for Parents:

The frequently asked questions section lists a lot of common questions from our returning residents. If you have further questions, please contact our room assignment staff by email or call 412-268-2139.