male student in North Hall room

How to Get a Contract

Penn State Housing and Food Services uses eLiving, an online housing system, to manage student Housing and Food Services (HFS) Contracts and meal plans.

While all students use eLiving, there are separate processes for incoming first-year students and current Penn State students. Housing is not guaranteed for any student, and some students who request on-campus living may not receive an offer.

For more information, visit the eLiving website or follow the links below.

First-Year Students
Returning Students
Change of Campus Students
Transfer Students

First-Year Students

(Incoming first-year students new to Penn State)

If you're a first-year student who is accepting your offer of admission by logging on to MyPennState, you'll be informed if on-campus housing is available as you go through that process. If housing is available and you indicate your interest, you'll need to pay the fees ($230 non-refundable general deposit fees and $100 non-refundable housing reservation fee, for a total of $330). You must also agree to the Terms, Conditions, and Regulations of the HFS Contract and the housing and financial statements. After you've completed those steps, you will have successfully accepted your offer of admission and the HFS Contract. You will get an email confirming this.

If you do not request housing when you accept your offer of admission and then later are interested in living on campus, log on to eLiving and select HFS Contracts then Waitlist. If space is available, a Contract Offer will be made to you. If space is full, Contract Offers will be made as cancellations occur, sometimes as late as the first day of classes.

The Campus Meal Plan will automatically be defaulted to a level two; to modify the meal plan level or add housing preferences (building, roommate, etc.), log on to eLiving using your FPS account. You can modify preferences until May 15.

Returning Students

(Current Penn State students)

Current Penn State students who are interested in living on campus must follow the established timeline for requesting Housing, viewing invitations, and accepting HFS Contracts. View returning student process FAQs.

Request Housing:

  1. Log on to with your Penn State Access ID and password.
  2. Under the HFS Contracts icon, select ‘Request Housing’.  
  3. Choose the campus and contract period. 
  4. Select the blue ‘Request Now’ button. 
  5. The page will refresh with a confirmation stating: ‘Success!  Your housing request for Penn State <campus> has been submitted.’

View an Invitation and Generate your Contract:

  1. Log on to and under the HFS Contracts icon, select View Invitation. 
  2. Select your invitation to view available housing options.  Not all options may be available based on when you are invited into the process.
  3. Select the housing option you desire and click ‘Continue’.
  4. (Optional) Add a friend’s Penn State Access ID who you want to receive a HFS Contract offer and click ‘Continue’. Not all housing options allow for a roommate.
  5. Review your selections and click ‘Create Contract’ to generate the HFS Contract for your selected housing option.  If you added a roommate, this student will also be offered the HFS Contract.

Accept Your Contract:

  1. Select the Shopping Cart icon and view the offer.
  2. Click the ‘Begin Acceptance Process’ button to view and read the HFS Contract and Terms, Conditions, and Regulations (TCRs).
  3. Check the box to indicate that you have read and agree to abide by the TCRs. 
  4. Type your name to electronically sign the HFS Contract.
  5. Click the ‘Accept Contract’ button.

Once you have accepted the HFS Contract, you are legally bound to that contract for the fall and spring semesters. You may not cancel the contract after it has been submitted.

Making modifications: after you accept your HFS Contract, you may make changes to your housing preferences and meal plan selection until the modification deadline.


Students who did not participate in the process but are interested in living on campus can Request Housing through eLiving at any time. If housing is available, a Contract Offer will be made to the student; if housing is full, the student will be directed to the Waitlist. Contract Offers will be made to Waitlist students as spaces become available. Adding your name to the Waitlist does not guarantee that you will receive an offer for an HFS Contract.

Current Students Considering a Change to another Penn State Campus

Students considering a change of campus should initiate the request through the Change of Campus contact. If you are interested in living on campus, you must participate in the eLiving Returning Student Contract Process during the established timeline.

If you receive and accept an HFS Contract for another campus, this doesn't mean that your change of campus has been or will be automatically approved.

We highly recommend that you submit a request for both campuses – your current campus of enrollment and your expected change of campus. If you are offered an HFS Contract for one or both campuses, you should accept both offers, even if your change of campus has not yet been approved. Once it is determined which campus you will attend, it is your responsibility to cancel the HFS Contract for the campus you will not be attending by contacting Housing and Food Services.

Additional information about change of campus is available at

Transfer Students

Students transferring to Penn State from another university can indicate interest in on-campus living if it's available when they accept their offer of admission. If housing is not available when they accept their offer of admission, they can choose to add their name to the Waitlist at that time. Students who do not indicate interest in on-campus living during the admissions process can log on to eLiving afterward and under HFS Contracts, select Request Housing. They will be taken to either the Request Process or to the Waitlist, depending on the timing of their request and the availability of housing.