College roommate selection processes vary at different schools

California+Polytechnic+State+University%2C+San+Luis+Obispo%2C+like+most+other+universities%2C+has+an+Instagram+page+for+students+admitted+to+the+class+of+2026.+

Emma Montalbano

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, like most other universities, has an Instagram page for students admitted to the class of 2026.

Emma Montalbano, Co-Editor in Chief

After accepting admission from a college, many seniors face the difficult task of finding a roommate. 

The process of roommate selection varies from college to college. At some colleges, students are randomly assigned to dorms with no say in their roommate, room type, or dorm building. At other colleges, students have the opportunity to choose roommates and dorm room types. Regardless of how roommate selection is carried out, the process is particularly stressful because, in most cases, students will have to live with their roommate assignment for the entirety of a school year.  

Schools where students are able to select roommates often have social media accounts or a particular app where students can make profiles and connect with other admitted students. 

“There is… a class of 2026 Instagram or Facebook page, and you can just follow that,” Greta Hachigian-Kreutzer, a senior who will be studying computer science at Boston University said. “You can find people with captions, or you can post your own thing and have people reach out to you.”

Having social media accounts or other platforms for students to connect on not only allows students to talk to potential roommates but also allows students to find friends and get to know other admitted students. 

“I think that I’ve made some possible friends,” Hachigian-Kreutzer said. “You get to talk to [a lot of other students], and there’s not a lot of restrictions. You can get to know a lot of people fairly quickly, so I think it’s a good way to get to know who you’re going to college with [and] find a possible roommate.” 

Sometimes people’s profiles may not always present the person accurately, so gauging whether or not other students seem genuine is sometimes only done by starting a conversation with them. While for some this may seem stressful, they should keep in mind that they can end a conversation whenever they want. 

“If there’s anyone you don’t want to talk to anymore, you can just stop talking to them,” Hachigian-Kreutzer said. 

Some schools, such as Brigham Young University, where senior Ella Fraser will be studying, require students to fill out surveys for roommate assignments and dorm room assignments. The school then uses those surveys to pair students, which in Fraser’s case, did not work out too well.

“My activities and traits were listed as working out, hanging out with friends, being outgoing, and being clean… The girl I got paired with had her activities listed as sleeping, watching Netflix, calligraphy, and being shy,” Fraser explained. “We just didn’t have that much in common, and I wasn’t sure we’d get along too well. 

Luckily, most colleges allow students to switch roommates if there’s a problem with the assignment. Fraser was able to switch assignments and feels much more comfortable with her new roommate. 

“I think that if I had a roommate that was constantly in the dorm or I didn’t get along with, I think it would have been a much harder living experience. So I am happy I was able to switch roommates,” Fraser said.  

Other schools offer students no say in their dorm-type or roommate and take very little into consideration when assigning living situations. 

“At Notre Dame, it’s completely random housing and random roommates, so you don’t even get a form to fill out about which dorm preference you want or what kind of roommate you want,” Bethany Radford, a current senior who plans to study chemical engineering at Notre Dame said. “They just randomly assign it for all students, and you have to live on campus for three years.” 

For students like Radford, this roommate assignment is ideal because it alleviates the stress of having to find a perfect roommate. 

“It is so nice to [have random assignment] because now I don’t have to go out, try and find the perfect roommate, and have the pressure of ‘okay, well if I don’t find a person, I’m going to be stuck with a random person,’” Radford explained. “It eliminates that pressure completely, and I feel like everyone, knowing that it’s all random, is going to be a lot more open… and willing to communicate.”

For those who are a little more worried about roommate selection, there are a few things to keep in mind that may potentially ease some stress. 

“Remember it’s only eight months, try to make friends in other places, [and] do not assume your roommate is going to be your best buddy or your life-long partner,” College and Career Advisor Lisa Vasquez said.