Dartmouth's Housing System
As we prep for the start of a new school year, with new incoming first-years, housing is on everyone's minds. Housing will be different this year for sure but, for the most part, the housing system is still the same. So, I'll explain a bit about how housing works at Dartmouth.
When you first become a Dartmouth student, you are randomly assigned to one of the housing communities—North Park, South House, School House, East Wheelock, West House, and Allen House. Once you receive your assignment, you are part of that house until you graduate. So, what are housing communities?
Housing communities are residential groups. They each have select dorms around campus, and all have separate first-year housing so incoming students can meet one another. But, your housing community is meant to be more than just who you live with. Each house has its own student government that organizes events, designs apparel, and boosts house spirit.
Most dorms at Dartmouth are meant to house two or more students. Though singles are an option, you will likely have to room with someone at some point in your time at Dartmouth.
Each year, first-year students submit their preferred number of roommates to the Office of Residential Life, along with a survey about habits and personality. This is used to pair your with a roommate who is a good match. And, surprisingly, the short survey is more than enough. Most people, myself included, are paired with a roommate that fits their personality pretty well in their first year.
Though limited, off-campus housing is available. After your first year, you are able to rent an apartment or house in town instead of living in the dorms. This can be a great option if you need a bit more freedom and privacy than the dorms offer. Again, this housing is pretty limited, so it's usually reserved for upperclassmen and graduate students.