This page has all of the information that our returning students need to apply for housing and select a room for next year! If you are a new or transferring incoming student for the Fall of 2024, please refer to our First-Year Housing Process page.

Key Information

If you are a returning residential or commuter student, you will need to both submit a housing application and select a room in the Residential Life and Housing Portal during housing selection in order to choose your room for next year. This is different from first-year applicants who are assigned a room by Residential Life. Another key thing to note is that this year, students will be able to choose between a Fall 2024/Spring 2025 application/contract or a Full Year (12-Month) housing application/contract.

Please explore each of the topics below for more detailed information, including frequently asked questions. If you still have questions after reviewing the information provided, please contact our office at or by phone at 207-780-5240.

Housing Selection, also known as Room Selection, is a live, online process through which returning students only (both commuter and residential students) select their own specific rooms and roommates for the following academic year. This is unlike first-year or transfer housing for incoming students, where Residential Life assigns students to rooms. Returning students will first complete their Fall 2024/Spring 2025 or Full Year (12-Month) housing application/contract, and then on their assigned selection day will log into their housing portal and pick a specific room on either the Gorham campus or in Portland Commons. Returning students who want to live on campus are expected to participate in this process and are responsible for knowing the information and deadlines. We will be communicating often and in many ways to help make this happen.

Please note that the first major deadline for Housing Selection is February 26th, 2024. This is the priority deadline to complete an application/contract to be eligible for the room self-selection process. Applications/contracts received after the priority deadline may mean that you will not be able to self-select your room and thus would need to be manually assigned by Residential Life later in the assignments process. This means that your desired room type or ability to be housed with requested roommates may no longer be available. As such, we encourage students to apply well before the application deadline. You then will pick your room on the date that you are eligible to self-select as determined by your roommate group size and your earned credits. Those self-selection dates are listed in the Timeline and deadlines section below.

Residential living has wonderful benefits.  Research tells us students that who live on campus have higher GPAs, graduate sooner, persist (stay in school) at a higher rate, and have a generally more satisfying college experience. Our students report feeling more engaged and connected to campus, their fellow students, and various university resources and support. That is because on-campus housing is designed to support your academic goals, and is based on a developmental model of supporting our students. Living on campus also comes with many benefits, such as multiple food options on both campuses that are included in the meal plan, free laundry, wifi, and other utilities. Unlike an off-campus lease, if one of your roommates leaves, you won’t be financially penalized, and if you’d like to change housing situations, there is a room change process. However, for some students, there are aspects of living on campus that can be difficult, such as the fluidity of roommate assignments (“my roommate left and I’m nervous about who I’ll get”), distance from family support, navigating living with a roommate, or needing to adhere to the Residence Hall Policies and the Student Code of Conduct. We know on-campus housing is a great option, but not for everyone. If you have questions about whether on-campus housing is right for you, we are happy to have open, honest conversations and encourage you to reach out to us.

  • Any students looking to request any housing accommodation must do so through the Disability Services Center Accommodation Form. If you would like to renew a current disability-based accommodation, or would like to request a new housing accommodation for Fall 2024, please complete this Disability Services Center Housing Accommodation Form to start the request process.  Please complete this step as soon as possible, but no later than March 7th to have your accommodation request reviewed before the returning student assignments process. After this assignment process is complete, cases will be considered on an ongoing basis pending space availability.
  • Students must complete a housing application/contract by February 26th to be eligible to participate in self-selection. Please note that completing an application is not selecting a space – it is simply the first step in the process of selecting a space. 
  • The housing portal will be your greatest tool for selection. Make sure you get into it often and explore so you are familiar and comfortable with it. You’ll be able to find the answers to questions there, and both the application/contract and the selection processes are in this portal. You’ll also see options pop up down the road, like a mock selection process. More information on the housing portal, including how to navigate to it can be found in the Get to Know the Housing Portal section.
  • For students eligible to self-select housing, selection dates will be based on class standing, with Graduate and Law students selecting first, followed by Seniors, then Juniors, etc. A full list of selection dates can be found under the Timeline and deadlines section.
  • You can select a room as a full group or as a small group or as an individual. New to this year, full groups and small groups/individuals will have separate selection days. We will still go in the order of class standing, however, groups and small groups/individuals will be given full days to select rather than three-hour periods. This will create a more equitable process as it will give students more time to select their rooms and lessen the chance of selection times conflicting with classes or work. Looking for more details on the mechanics of how to form a group? See below!
  • As a reminder, everyone who completes the contract/application is expected to have fully read the terms and conditions. Not reading the terms and conditions will not be a reason to be excused from any aspects of the terms and conditions.
  • Students who want to live in a room that is gender-inclusive need to indicate this on their application and fill out a gender-inclusive housing agreement in their housing portal.
  • There is a special interest selection day for the Rainbow floor in Philippi Hall, as well as the Honors community in Philippi. Please note that the Rainbow community does require an additional agreement to be completed in the housing portal.

Please review the following timeline to ensure that you understand when you need to submit your application/contract, and when you are able to select your room. Please note that March 1st, 2024 is the priority deadline to submit housing accommodation requests through the Disability Services Center (DSC) and February 26th, 2024 is the priority deadline to complete an application/contract to be eligible for the self-selection process. February 26th is also the deadline to clear financial holds on your MaineStreet account to ensure you have access to self-select on your selection day. Students who submit an application after February 26th will be ineligible to participate in self-selection and will thus be manually housed in available spaces by Residential Life after the self-selection process is complete. Students who are manually assigned will likely not be able to be housed according to their room type preferences and roommate requests as spaces will be much more limited. As such, we encourage students to apply well before the priority deadline. Please note that while we accept both DSC accommodation requests and applications on a rolling basis, our ability to fulfill requests declines as we get further along in the process. Please make sure to apply before priority deadlines to better help us in providing you with more options.

General selection days are divided between group selection days and small group and individual selection days. This allows groups that can fill a full apartment, suite, or room the ability to select fully open rooms, and small groups and individuals to select spaces in those same room types as well. We ensure that all applicable room types are released on both days to the same class standing groups, meaning that those selecting on either full group or small group and individual selection days are not disadvantaged in selecting their room types.

The full timeline, including deadlines, is listed below.

Housing Selection Timeline for Fall 2024*

*This schedule may be subject to change, so please check back on both this page and your USM email often for any updates.

  • January 29th: Returning Student Housing Application/Contract becomes available.
  • February 15th: The roommate group formation tool becomes available. More information about this tool and how to use it will be updated at this time. There will be some updates from last year, so make sure to review this information in February.
  • February 26th: Priority deadline for returner housing applications/contracts and the deadline to clear financial holds from your student account.
  • March 1st: Priority deadline for returning students to submit a housing accommodation request (please note you must be logged into your USM portal to access the link).
  • March 5th-8th: Room self-selection begins for those looking to select a room on the Honors or Rainbow floors and DSC accomodations.
    • March 5th – Honors and Rainbow Full Groups
    • March 6th – Honors and Rainbow Individuals
    • March 7th & 8th – DSC
  • March 18th – 29th: Room self-selection for general selection (based on credits earned as of the date of your selection with selection times staggered throughout the day)
    • March 18th – Grad and Law
    • March 20th – Current Seniors (earned 85-120 credits) Groups
    • March 21th – Current Seniors (earned 85-120 credits) Individuals
    • March 22st – Current Juniors (earned 55-84 credits) Groups
    • March 25nd – Current Juniors (earned 55-84 credits) Individuals
    • March 26th – Current Sophomores (earned 25-54 credits) Groups
    • March 27th – Current Sophomores (earned 25-54 credits) Individuals
    • March 28th – Current 1st Years (earned up to 24 credits) Groups
    • March 29th – Current 1st Years (earned up to 24 credits) Individuals

The Residential Life and Housing Portal is how you will fill out your application/contract, form or accept your roommate group, select your room, update your emergency contact information and roommate preferences, and more.

  • See your selection time for the selection days that you are eligible for.
  • Form and accept roommate groups.
  • View roommate matching criteria to help you find a good match on your selection day if you are selecting as either part of a small group or as an individual.
  • Practice in the mock selection process prior to your selection day so you know how to navigate selecting a room.
  • Sign up for room change request lists or waitlists for specific room types.
  • View your mailbox information.
  • Update your application information at any time.

You have the option to participate in room selection as a member of a group. To form or accept an invitation to a roommate group, log in to your Residential Life and Housing Portal. From there, click on the 2024-2025 Application Homepage button. On this screen, click the Returner Housing Application Update where you will see the Roommate Group button. Only one person in the roommate group needs to create the group, and they will only be able to invite people who have completed their 2024-2025 housing application. Those invited to the group will need to accept it under that Roommate Group button as well.

If you have any trouble finding how to create or accept a roommate group, give us a call at 207-780-5240 during business hours and we can walk you through it.

Residential Life will be providing a number of opportunities for students to learn about the Fall 2024 housing selection process, such as:

  • Online info sessions for housing, staged at different points in the selection process. 
  • Online help guides and videos. 
  • Drop-in Zoom rooms to ask questions with a live person. 
  • Informational tabling at the dining hall.
  • Roommate group Mix and Mingle events for those looking for more people to join your group. Come meet others to make a full group for your selection process!

Do I need to do a different application if I want to apply to live in Portland Commons?

  • No, the application is the same for both campuses, you will just want to make sure to navigate to Portland Commons when selecting your room on your selection day.

If I am a graduate or law student, will I be housed with undergraduate students?

  • Ideally, we are hoping to keep graduate and law students housed separately unless they have requested to live with undergraduate students.

As a graduate or law student, can I live with an undergraduate student(s) if I want to?

  • Yes, but you may not be housed on the Graduate & Law Student specific floors dependent on our housing numbers.

What if there are more applications than spaces?

  • While this has been a concern in past years, with the opening of Portland Commons, we anticipate having plenty of housing for all students with rooms at natural capacity.

Can I live with someone who only wants a 9-month contract if I want a 12-month contract?

  • Yes, you can, but it is important to note that rooms that are fully occupied by residents with 12- month contracts in Portland Commons or Upperclass Hall can stay in the same room through the full term of their contract (June 1 to May 31) whereas rooms that are occupied by residents with both 9-month and 12-month contracts may require that the individuals with 12-month contracts move at the end of the 9-month time frame.

If I am on a 12-month contract and someone moves out, do I get to choose who moves into that vacant space?

  • If we are not in a room freeze time period, you and your roommates will be sent a notice that you have 48 hours to alert Residential Life if there is another residential student that you want to pull into your space. After that time, the space would then be available to Residential Life to assign students as needed. This is the same process for folks with a 9-month contract.

Do I get to stay in the same room all year with a 12-month contract?

  • This depends on what room and building you live in. If you sign up for a 12-month contract and live on the Gorham campus, you will need to move to a summer room in either Upperclass Hall or Portland Commons after the end of the spring semester until the start of the fall semester the following academic year.

Do I need to sign up for break housing between semesters if I have a 12-Month contract?

  • No, with the 12-Month contract, you will already have access during all breaks.

Do I need to sign up for a 12-month contract if I want to stay on campus for the summer?

  • No, we still have traditional summer housing available for students. The summer housing application will go live during the spring semester.

Can I reserve the same room for each year that I am here if I have a 12-month contract?

  • No, we do not allow for room retention from year to year as we need to allow for cleaning and repairs of spaces, so rooms used for 12-month contracts will rotate from year to year.

I need to extend my 12-month contract for a month or two due to summer classes or the Bar Exam. Can I do that?

  • Yes! Students either taking a course or taking the Bar could then be eligible for summer housing. Simply apply for the extension through our summer housing application process.

Is there specific housing for individual academic programs or majors?

  • Our Gorham campus houses living-learning communities for our first-year students, as well as Honors housing and our Rainbow floor. Portland Commons does not have any specific programmatic housing apart from our graduate and law floors.