Roommate selection process

Anyone with insight into how colleges pair up roomies? Would it be appropriate for me to specify what I want in a roomie?

Totally depends on the college. Most have a roommate matching questionnaire - the level of detail depends on the college. Some allow you to request specific roommates; others do not. Some colleges match with an algorithm; some colleges use live human beings to do they matching.


One of my daughter’s schools selects for you Freshman year, but you can choose in the future. Other daughter’s school allows her to choose or they will choose for her.

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TY @skieurope I was thinking more about saying that I’m okay with, or even want:

Non-Cis (though I understand college freshmen may not be “out” in this regard)
Generally LGBT+

I’d ALSO want roomies open to these communities

Again, depends on the college. There is no answer that will apply across the board. Some colleges also have themed housing, although it may not be available for first-years.

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Thanks @skieurope Hopefully as they update the engine with housing stuff, that’s a choice. Are Themed dorms open to allies usually?


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Seems like the trend, which I do not think I like, is for colleges to let you find your own roommate. It adds another level of pressure for students, instead of feeling the relief associated with gaining admittance. My daughter went through that process and seems to have found a great one. Out of her 8 friends, 6 have had a similar process to her. Only one had the process that I remember - schools matching you up based on something - and that’s who you get.

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Many of the roommate compatibility issues are things like clean/messy, early-bird/night-owl, etc. Roommate matching questionnaires may not even ask about race, religion, LGB, T, etc…

Decades ago, when smoking was more common and allowed in college dorms (in one’s own room), roommate matching questionnaires asked if you smoked.

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Not sure if the colleges have changed in terms of allowing mutual self-selection of roommates. However, it may be more common now if matriculated pre-frosh are finding each other on social media early (possibly on college-sponsored social media pages for matriculated pre-frosh), which was not really available decades ago.

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Found various school’s surveys. Topics they covered:

Sleep schedule
Study location/noise tolerance
Guest policy
Possessiveness of property
Religion/race/gender ID openness

Was glad I googled it.