Sophomore Housing Guide

In most cases, entering the sophomore year of college means that you have more housing alternatives available to choose from – although, some universities might not permit students to live off-campus until they become juniors. Whichever is your child’s case, you should be aware of what housing options they have and how to adjust to off-campus lifestyles, if that's what they want. This guide will provide information to inform students about housing after their freshman year.

Life as a Sophomore

After adjusting to college life as a freshman, most sophomores are ready to become more independent and figure out what there is in terms of housing, aside from their college dorm. Below you'll find a list of sophomore housing options:

Residence Hall

The most convenient and easiest choice for sophomores is to continue living in their residence hall. As students move forward with their college careers, they might have more resident hall options made available to them. There are even some schools that have housing communities that sophomores can choose from influenced by their special interests, lifestyle, culture, and academic focus.

college dorm


Students sometimes live together in communities designed to lower costs by participating in the cleaning and maintenance of the house – these are student co-ops. To live here, students are required to meet specific conditions and then gain approval from the other co-op members before they can move into the house.

Campus Housing

This sophomore housing option combines the independence of living outside of the residence hall with the convenience of living near campus. Most of these campus housing communities offer amenities like exercise facilities, cafes, and picnic areas.

Sorority or Fraternity Housing

For those sophomores that are part of the Greek community at their college, they often will have the option to move in their sorority or fraternity house to become more immersed in their group. Many of these houses offer study facilities, on-site laundry, and exercise rooms.

fraternity housing

Off-Campus Apartments

Another sophomore housing option is apartments located off-campus. This type of sophomore housing is ideal for anyone who wants to take a plunge and move into their own apartment instead of on-campus apartments. This housing option gives your sophomore freedom and offers students the chance to gain real-world experiences that will prepare them for life after graduation.

Live with Parents

Sophomores that go to college close to home might consider moving home with their parents. This might seem counterintuitive, but there are benefits for doing this – the biggest being the cost savings on housing. Another advantage is that it's simpler for students living with their parents to be able to focus on schoolwork. However, it is also harder to gain that college experience and immersion and can inhibit extracurriculars or socializing with classmates.


If your college sophomore plans on living with roommates, either by selecting them themselves or by having a random roommate sophomore year, there are a couple of things that should be kept in mind.

Know What You Want

Before starting the search for a roommate, it's important to figure out what your sophomore wants from the shared living environment. For instance, some sophomores want someone they can go to the movies with. Others want a roommate who will keep to themselves and pay rent. You might even want to consider living with someone who shares the same interests as you.

college apartment

Similar Cleanliness

For some sophomores, having a clean apartment or dorm is important to their well-being mentally and physically. Others don't mind as much. If your sophomore and their roommate have opposite cleanliness requirements, arguments are bound to happen. So, make sure that your child's random roommate sophomore year has similar cleanliness habits.

Make Sure They Pay Their Rent

The last thing you want for your child is for them to have a roommate that's unable to pay half of the rent. Your sophomore needs to pick a roommate that will be able to pay half of the rent on time each month.

Shared Interests

This isn't an essential requirement when choosing a roommate or having a random roommate sophomore year, but it can help the two become closer and give them something to chat about. Roommates who have similar interests are ones that are bound to get along, and they will have more fun together than roommates who don't share interests.

Can't find a roommate sophomore year? Don't worry! Colleges tend to have programs that they use to help match up college students as roommates who are in similar fields of study and have the same studying and living habits.

What About Housing Lotteries?

Housing lotteries are common in smaller colleges when students live on campus. They are typically reserved for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who want to live on campus. So, if you're going to live off-campus, you don't need to worry about a housing lottery.

Housing lotteries tend to take place in the spring or winter term. What happens is you're assigned a random number, based on your class standing and credit hours. You then get to put in your preferences for the building, floor, and you can specify a roommate if you want. Before the next semester begins, you'll be given a housing assignment.

The process for housing lotteries varies among colleges, but they shouldn't be too different than what is described above.

Final Thoughts

There are many housing options when it comes to rising sophomores in college. Figuring out which one is right depends on the student and what they're looking for in terms of the living environment. Sophomores have the option of living on-campus in resident halls, off-campus in housing close to the school, or even their own apartment. Or they can choose to move back home and live with their parents.

Roommates play a big role in sophomore year, so picking a roommate or having a random roommate sophomore year is important. There are a few things that should be considered when looking for a roommate, including cleanliness habits and the ability to pay rent.

Good Luck!