How Are Roommates Selected?

Question: After you apply to college and have been accepted, how can you arrange who will become your roommate?

Colleges have different systems for matching roommates. Typically, however, pairings are based on your responses to a series of questions that you'll submit during the summer before your freshman year. These questions may ask about your sleep patterns (are you a morning person or a night owl?), your housekeeping skills (are your a neatnik? a slob?) and, above all, your smoking habits (unless there is no smoking in any dorm, in which case the question is moot). Sometimes the questionnaires are longer--more like those used by dating services--and explore your tastes in music, movies, literature, etc. Occasionally, even freshmen have the opportunity to live in "theme houses" (vegetarian, substance-free, French-speaking, etc.), and thus, if you do, too, you'll know that your roommate will share at least one of your interests.

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