February 25, 2021

Dear students,

Now that many of you have started thinking about next year's housing, I have information that may help you with your planning.

Housing next year will need to adapt to the historic number of students living on campus, given that so many students are projected to return after delaying their matriculation or taking time off. Old Campus will not have sufficient capacity to house the first-year students for ten colleges, and the colleges will be also be housing more upper-level students. However, by adjusting some timelines, practices, and even traditions, the colleges are expected to be able to accommodate the increased demand.

The provisional plans that follow presume that Yale College will be able to bring all students back to campus in the fall by making use of double bedrooms once again. These plans are based on the encouraging progress in vaccinations, but that progress is still early and uncertain. The university therefore needs more data and time – possibly several weeks – before the plans can be finalized.  Even so, you may be able to start making some decisions now based on this information.

Housing locations

The increased demand for housing will affect colleges differently, depending on their capacities and configurations. Some will house sophomores on Old Campus and first-year students in the colleges. Others may make changes to their usual assigned buildings on Old Campus, based on their needs for space. Others still are expected to proceed next year with only minimal changes to their housing practices.

Branford, Davenport, Morse, and Saybrook will house rising sophomores on Old Campus and first-year students in the colleges, along with juniors and seniors.

Berkeley, Ezra Stiles, Grace Hopper, Jonathan Edwards, Pierson, and Trumbull will continue to house rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the colleges and first-year students on Old Campus, although their Old Campus building assignments may change.

Benjamin Franklin, Pauli Murray, Silliman, and Timothy Dwight will continue to house all their students within their colleges.


Housing lotteries and room draws are expected to be complete before classes end. Although housing was managed centrally this year because of the pandemic, residential colleges ordinarily manage their own housing, following their own timelines and procedures, and will return to doing so for next year’s housing. The colleges usually make information about housing available at this point in the semester, but all timelines will be delayed for at least a few more weeks while the public health situation evolves.


In previous years, some students have petitioned to change their residential college affiliation in order to live with friends from different colleges. Last year, the petition process was suspended, and it will be suspended this year as well. Transfers have always depended on availability and housing demand is at maximum capacity this year, without sufficient room to allow for transfers across the 14 colleges. Suspending the petition process also allows the colleges to manage the extraordinary complexity of the year’s changes and to complete their lotteries and room draws before the end of the semester.

Mixed-college housing

A new category of housing, in McClellan Hall on Old Campus and Arnold Hall on Broadway, will be available to rising juniors and seniors who wish to live with friends who are in other colleges. This new mixed-college housing, although limited, responds to a longstanding request for students from different colleges to be able to live together without having to transfer affiliation.

Next steps  

In the weeks ahead, you will be receiving more information from your respective residential colleges, which will provide you with deadlines and procedures for participating in their lotteries and room draws. Melanie Boyd, Dean of Student Affairs, and Ferentz Lafargue, Dean of Saybrook College and Director of Undergraduate Housing, will be supporting the housing process for all 14 colleges and will keep the community informed of college-wide housing policies and updates. I will also keep the community informed of any developments that affect these plans. I recognize, just as your colleges do, how eager you are to make your plans for next year’s housing.

Marvin M. Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science