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Fall 2021 Housing Selection Information - Returning Students

Update: July 27, 2021, 4:30 PM PST

Updated lottery results can be found here by rank and here by last name alphabetically.

For the final lottery, if you are interested in a suite (in Bechtel or Marks/Braun), you will apply as a group. Only the person with the best lottery number should submit an application. Applications are due tomorrow, Tuesday 7/27 at 4pm. Tomorrow evening, I will reach out to groups that applied with their appointment times. If no more suites of the size your group applied for are available, you will have the opportunity to adjust the size of your group. Group appointments will start at 1pm. All members of the group should join the Zoom call at the same time. If one or more members of your group are unavailable, participants may submit a proxy form to designate a member of their group to pick for them.

The configuration of remaining suites in Bechtel are:

  • 4 four person suites
  • 1 six person suite
  • 7 eight person suites

There are also a small number of suites in Marks and Braun. These will be four person suites this upcoming year – two people in each room of the suite. There are 2 suites in Marks and 3 suites in Braun. You should apply for a four person suite and will receive an appointment with the other folks picking suites.

After the suite appointments, the remaining participants will select doubles in Marks and Braun. Please be prepared with a roommate to pull into your room. If you do not have a roommate or do not wish to live in a double, you may pass on your turn and be added to a singles wait list if single rooms become available. The doubles lottery will start at 2:30pm. Participants will join the waiting room of the Zoom call and will be admitted in order of lottery number. Your roommate should join the call with you or designate you as a proxy. Please do your best to be in the call and ready to go – we will not be able to wait more than 3 minutes for anyone who is not in the call when we come to their number.

A note about proxies: if you designated your house leadership as your proxy for your house lottery and you did not secure housing during that round of lotteries, the proxy form does NOT carry over. Please designate a new proxy for this round of lotteries if needed.

Update: July 21, 2021, 3:00 PM PST

Dear Returning Students,

We want to thank everyone for their patience with the housing selection process this year. We are pleased to announce that Marks and Braun will open for undergraduate housing this fall. This normally would add 59 bed spaces, but due to the demand for housing this year, we will offer both Marks and Braun as double rooms. We are in the process of re-furnishing these units to accommodate two residents in each room, and you can find an example of how the rooms will be furnished here.

Students will be able to pick into Marks and Braun during the final unaffiliated lottery on Wednesday, July 28. Similar to other multi-person units, students will need to have a roommate to pull into the room or may be assigned a roommate. Given that there is no longer a need to prioritize sophomores, this final housing lottery will proceed in lottery number order, regardless of your class standing.

During the final unaffiliated lottery, students interested in living in Bechtel suites will be asked to apply in groups. The application will be sent out on Monday morning after the final house lottery occurs on Sunday. Each group's pick will be determined by the individual in the group with the best lottery number. Any students who are not able to pick into a suite in Bechtel will then be invited to pick a double room in Marks. Once Marks fills, we will then allow students to pick rooms in Braun.

Once more, thank you all for your patience. We are excited to be able to house everyone on campus again this fall!

Update: July 9, 2021, 10:30 AM PST

Fall 2021 Housing Lottery Results - by Rank

Fall 2021 Housing Lottery Results - by Last Name


Hello Returning Students,

Thank you for your patience. Our initial communication about the fall housing lottery prompted a number of questions that required further input and actions from outside the Housing Office, and ultimately resulted in a slight delay to our previously communicated timeline. We write today with  answers to many of the questions posed over the past week. Please note, that we have also decided to push back the start date for housing lotteries to provide all returning students with time to review their options and plan accordingly. The early unaffiliated lottery will take place on Friday, July 16, and the house lotteries will occur during the week of July 19.

Class Designation

For the purposes of the housing lottery, students are assigned to their class based on the year they matriculated. Students who matriculated with 2020-21 cohort are designated as second year students and are required to live on campus. Students who matriculated with the 2019-20 cohort are designated as juniors. Students in the 2018-19 cohort are designated seniors. And finally, students who matriculated with the 2017-18 cohort or earlier are designated as super seniors.

Study Abroad

Students who are studying abroad during fall term are eligible to participate in the fall housing lottery; they are enrolled students. If a study abroad student selects a single, that room will either (a) be occupied by a fall term-only exchange student or (b) be offered as temporary housing for other undergraduate students. If a study abroad student selects a double or triple, the remaining roommate(s) will be given the chance to select a fall term-only roommate or the space may be offered as temporary housing for other undergraduate students.

Opt Out Form

If you have made local housing arrangements for the 2021-2022 academic year, you may opt out of future housing lottery communications, and we will remove you from the list of lottery numbers. Please complete this form to remove yourself from the housing lottery process. Please note that submitting this form is binding, and if you change your mind, you will be added to the bottom of the waitlist, regardless of your currently posted lottery rank. I will update the lottery list by 4 p.m. daily moving forward, removing anyone who opts out so that lottery participants may see if there are changes to their overall rank.

Unaffiliated Lottery

The lottery for unaffiliated students will occur next Friday, July 16. Unaffiliated students who are interested in participating in this lottery must complete this form to receive an appointment during the unaffiliated lottery. The deadline to submit this form is Tuesday, July 13 at 12 p.m. (PT). Individual appointment times will be sent by Wednesday, July 14 for this early lottery.

Only students who did not receive affiliation through Rotation or students who dis-affiliated from their house prior to this summer are eligible to participate and pick a room in the unaffiliated lottery. Unaffiliated students who choose to live in a suite may pull in students with house affiliations as suitemates, but there are a limited number of spaces available during this early lottery to ensure there is sufficient space for second year students who are unable to secure assignments in their house(s). If you pull people into a suite, you must fill the suite to capacity.

During this early lottery, the following number of suites will be available:

  • 5 standalone singles
  • 2 – 4 bed suites
  • 1 – 6 bed suite
  • 4 – 8 bed suites

House Lottery Dates

House lotteries will occur starting the week of July 19. Specific times will be finalized with house leadership and appointment times will be sent out next week, but the lotteries will occur on the following days:

Monday, July 19 – Avery

Tuesday, July 20 – Blacker

Wednesday, July 21 – Ricketts

Thursday, July 22 – Fleming

Friday, July 23 – Ruddock

Saturday, July 24 – Lloyd, Page

Sunday, July 25 – Dabney

Final Unaffiliated Lottery

Following the house lotteries, the lottery number list will be updated to remove anyone who has already received a housing assignment, and lottery appointments will be sent out on Monday, July 26. The final unaffiliated lottery will be held on Wednesday, July 28. Individual appointment times will be included in the re-post of lottery numbers on Monday, July 26, along with the configuration of remaining spaces in the building.

We are still unable to release Marks and Braun for fall housing. If this changes prior to the final unaffiliated lottery, these spaces will be added to the available rooms. If we are unable to open these buildings prior to fall term, but the room then become available after the start of the term, we will send individuals on the waitlist an invitation to fill these spaces.

Designating a Proxy

If you are unable to attend your appointment time for any of the lotteries, you may designate a proxy to choose your housing assignment on your behalf by submitting this form. You may designate the Housing Office, a member of your house leadership, or another student to select your assignment.


Update: July 1, 2021, 7:00 PM

There has been a delay as we address some questions, and housing lottery numbers will be made available at our earliest convenience, along with an updated FAQ and additional clarifications. Thank you for your patience! - Caltech Housing Office


Dear Returning Undergraduate Students:

We hope that your summer is off to a good start and that you are enjoying a SURF, an internship, a class or just relaxing over the next few months.  We are looking forward to welcoming all of you back in the fall!

We write to update you about housing options and planning for fall term. We are pleased to announce that we expect to return to full capacity in the fall. With that in mind, we have provided the information below, as well as an FAQ for your reference:

What is the Housing requirement at Caltech?

Caltech requires that all first- and second-year students live in campus housing.  Students who would like to apply for a waiver for this requirement may find more information here.

What are the Housing options and how likely will I be to get housing?

Housing is available in our 8 undergraduate Houses and the Bechtel Residence. At this time, we are being asked to hold Marks and Braun, as they may be needed for isolation and travel quarantine housing in the fall. This year there are approximately 870 beds available with approximately 970 undergraduate students. As a result, there will be juniors and seniors who will need to live off campus.  Students who do not get housing will be offered a place on the waitlist.

How do returning students enter the lottery and select their rooms?

Room in Caltech's Houses and residences are allocated through a series of lotteries run in association to a specific house or unaffiliated community. Every enrolled returning student will be issued a lottery number.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Housing Office, the IHC, and the Office of Residential Experience have worked together to develop a special lottery process for this year that we all hope will support a smooth return and transition back into the 8 undergraduate Houses and the Bechtel Residence. As each individuals' lottery number is selected, they will be allowed to either select to live in one of the houses in which they are affiliated or to choose to live in the Bechtel Residence. The complete details for this process, including the specific dates for the July lottery, are outlined in detail below.

On July 1, the Housing Office will post lottery numbers for the student housing lotteries, along with specific dates for each lottery; each house will have a designated lottery date. Students who are not affiliated with a house may participate in an unaffiliated lottery that will occur before the house lotteries; please note, however, that only students who do not have an affiliation with a house will be able to participate in this lottery in which they may select a room or suite in Bechtel. Unaffiliated students will, however, be able to pull in suitemates for a limited number of suites. Specific numbers and sizes of suites available to select during this lottery will be posted with the lottery numbers on July 1.

Starting the week of July 12, in conjunction with each house ExComm, the Housing Office will host Zoom calls for each house's lottery. If you are a member of more than one house, you may elect to participate in the room picks for one house only.

Each house lottery will use the reverse of the unaffiliated lottery numbers, and to be sure that specific student leaders are able to live in the house to fulfill their roles, the House leadership will designate specific positions as priority or guaranteed picks. After priority positions pick their assignments, seniors will pick in reverse unaffiliated lottery number order. To prevent any one class from taking a majority of the available spaces, there will be a cap for each class during the first round of picks. These caps will be detailed with the information sent on July 1.  After the maximum number of seniors have picked, juniors and sophomores will pick their assignments, again in reverse unaffiliated lottery number order. Juniors and sophomores will pick in the same group. If all remaining spaces are not taken by the juniors and sophomores, any remaining seniors will be able to pick, followed by juniors, sophomores, and super-seniors.

Following the house lotteries, the Housing Office will re-post the lottery numbers removing everyone who received an assignment during the unaffiliated or house lotteries. Anyone remaining will be eligible to participate in the final housing lottery to fill the remaining spaces in Bechtel. Due to the requirement for second-year students to live on campus, second-year students will be prioritized during this final housing lottery, followed by juniors and seniors. More details for this final lottery will be made available as we get closer.

Any students who are not able to secure on-campus housing will be added to the wait list. If we are able to open Marks and/or Braun before or during fall term, we will reach out to the waitlist and depending on interest, potentially hold an additional lottery later in the summer.

Dates for the Housing Contract:

Returning students who have been selected to help with orientations will be eligible to move in on September 18, 2021.  Second-year students participating in Sophomore Orientation will move in on September 21, 2021.  All other returning students are eligible to return September 24, 2021, which is the first day of the Housing Contract.  There will not be additional early arrivals this year. The contract ends on June 11, 2022.  

What about ADA Housing Accommodations:

Students should work with the Caltech Accessibility Student Services Office (CASS) to address all ADA accommodations. CASS can be reached at cass@caltech.edu. Students should confirm accommodations requests by July 12, 2021.

As you can see, there is a lot happening within our community. The most important of which is your return.  More information will come later this week, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

-Caltech Housing Office


Roompicks AY21-22 FAQ - Updated 7/13/21 at 1 PM PST

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Please check here first to see if your questions have been answered before reaching out to the Housing Office. Additionally, Caltech-affiliated housing refers to the Houses/Bechtel/Marks/Braun.


Q: Why are roompicks being announced/conducted so late in the year?

  • The roompicks procedure for residence in Caltech-affiliated housing for the 2021-2022 academic year was announced and will be conducted later than in non-pandemic years due to extraneous circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, namely the uncertainty regarding the climate of Fall 2021 and the lack of any undergraduate residence on campus during the 2020-2021 academic year. This specific roompicks procedure applies to this year only for the 8 houses to promote a smooth return back for the 2021-2022 academic year. 


Q: Who was involved in developing this roompicks procedure?

  • This roompicks procedure for residence in Caltech-affiliated housing for the 2021-2022 academic year was a collaborative effort between the Housing Office, the Interhouse Committee (IHC), and the Office of Residential Experience (ORE). The procedure aimed to incorporate elements of existing house picks while reducing to a standardized model for all houses to aid in running roompicks as quickly and smoothly as possible given extraneous circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and existing Caltech Housing requirements.


Q: Am I guaranteed a spot in my house as a Sophomore? 

  • No. While the requirement at Caltech is that all first and second year students live in campus housing, it does not guarantee Sophomores a spot in their house. 


Q: Am I guaranteed Caltech-affiliated housing as a Sophomore?

  • Yes. Caltech requires that all first and second year students live in campus housing. Students who would like to apply for a waiver for this requirement to live off-campus may find more information here.


Q: Am I guaranteed Caltech-affiliated housing as a Junior, Senior, or Supersenior?

  • No. Due to the size of first and second year student classes and the limited number of bed spaces currently available, Junior/Senior/Supersenior students are unfortunately not guaranteed Caltech-affiliated housing.


Q: How many Juniors/Seniors/Superseniors will not be able to have Caltech-affiliated housing?

  • At the moment, there are approximately 870 beds available with approximately 970 undergraduate students. Consequently, there will be roughly 100 Junior/Senior/Supersenior students who will not be able to have Caltech-affiliated housing.


Q: How do lottery numbers work?

  • On July 1st, every enrolled returning student will be issued a lottery number by the unaffiliated lottery. Picking order for unaffiliated housing (Bechtel) will be in order of the lottery numbers according to the Bechtel roompicks procedure. Picking order for affiliated housing (the Houses) will be in reverse-order of the unaffiliated lottery numbers according to the House roompicks procedure. If you are not currently a registered student, you must register to be enrolled for Fall 2021 or petition the Deans (deansoffice@caltech.edu) to be issued a lottery number. 


Q: I'm unaffiliated. When do I pick into a room? 

  • Students who are not affiliated with a house may participate in an unaffiliated lottery that will occur before the house lotteries; please note, however, that only students who do not have an affiliation with a house will be able to participate in this lottery in which they may select a room or suite in Bechtel. Unaffiliated students will, however, be able to pull in suitemates for a limited number of suites. Specific numbers and sizes of suites available to select during this lottery will be posted with the lottery numbers on July 1.

Q: I'm affiliated with a house. When do I pick into a room?

  • Starting the week of July 19th, in conjunction with each house ExComm, the Housing Office will host Zoom calls for each house's lottery. If you are a member of more than one house, you may elect to participate in the room picks for one house only. Following the house lotteries, the Housing Office will re-post the lottery numbers removing everyone who received an assignment during the unaffiliated or house lotteries. Everyone remaining will be eligible to participate in the final housing lottery to fill the remaining spaces in Bechtel. Due to the requirement for second year students to live on campus, sophomores will be prioritized during this final housing lottery, and then juniors and seniors will be able to pick spaces. More details for this final lottery will be made available as we get closer.


Q: I took some terms off / a gap year. Which class am I a part of in the picks process?

  • For the purposes of the housing lottery, students are assigned to their class based on the year they matriculated. Students who matriculated with 2020-21 cohort are designated as second year students and are required to live on campus. Students who matriculated with the 2019-20 cohort are designated as juniors. Students in the 2018-19 cohort are designated seniors. And finally, students who matriculated with the 2017-18 cohort or earlier are designated as super seniors.


Q: Will terms lived in the house be considered in the picks process? / I have never lived in my house. Do I have priority in getting a spot in my house?

  • No. House picks will follow the same procedure for all houses. Each house lottery will use the reverse of the unaffiliated lottery numbers, with designated house positions as priority or guaranteed. The picking order is Priority, then Seniors, then Juniors/Sophomores. Juniors and sophomores will pick in the same group. The number of bed spaces for class is capped to prevent any one class from taking a majority of the available spaces. Within the Senior and Junior/Sophomore groups, the Guaranteed positions pick first, then the remaining bed spaces are picked by the reverse of the unaffiliated lottery numbers. If all remaining spaces are not taken by the Juniors and Sophomores, any remaining seniors will be able to pick, followed by juniors, sophomores, and super-seniors.


Q: How does a guarantee/priority pick work?

  • Each House Excomm has designated student positions as Priority and Guaranteed based on picks determined by the House bylaws. Priority picks are allowed to first pick within the house, regardless of class or lottery number. Guaranteed picks follow class group order, but allow the students to pick first within their class group. The intention of guarantee/priority picks were to incorporate the element of allowing student leaders to live in the house to fulfill their roles (as dictated in House bylaws) into the standardized template used in the AY21-22 roompicks procedure. 


Q: What are the class cap sizes for house picks?

  • Each house has designated a list of rooms that are for incoming Freshmen which are locked and cannot be picked into during picks. The number of locked rooms will follow Freshmen room allocations for residence in Houses from AY19-20. The remaining non-locked rooms are open for picking into. Seniors are capped at 40% of the non-locked rooms. Juniors/Sophomores are able to pick into the remaining rooms and with class sizes capped by a 3:2 class size ratio towards either class (i.e. capped at Juniors:Sophomores :: 3:2 :: 2:3, whichever is reached first). If there are still available rooms, any remaining seniors will be able to pick, followed by remaining juniors/sophomores/super-seniors. 


Q: Are Marks/Braun currently open for picking into?

  • No. At this time, we are being asked to hold Marks and Braun, as they may be needed for isolation and travel quarantine housing in the fall. If we are able to open Marks and/or Braun before or during fall term, we will reach out to the waitlist and depending on interest, potentially hold an additional lottery later in the summer.


Q: Will Caltech arrange for other housing opportunities off-campus?

  • No. Caltech has not arranged for other housing opportunities off-campus. 


Q: What about ADA Housing Accommodations?

  • Students should work with the Caltech Accessibility Student Services Office (CASS) to address all ADA accommodations.  CASS can be reached at cass@caltech.edu. Students should confirm accommodations requests by July 12, 2021.

Q: Why are Marks/Braun being used for isolation and travel quarantine housing?
  • The Institute explored various options for housing community members who need to isolate or quarantine after travel, and determined that providing this housing on campus allows us to best support our community members.
Q: During the final unaffiliated lottery, will sophomores be able to pull juniors/seniors/superseniors into suites?
  • This will depend on the number of second year students who do not receive housing during the early unaffiliated lottery or house lotteries. If there is a need for sophomores to only select other sophomores to fill the suites during the final unaffiliated lottery, a message will be sent out to all remaining participants on Monday, July 26 with updated information.