Why does Westminster College restrict the number of of students living off-campus?
Westminster prides itself on being a small residential liberal arts college The College provides an intimate community where students are encouraged to get involved in campus life and interact with faculty and staff on a regular basis. Expecting students to live on campus ensures this part of the educational mission is realized. National studies show that students who live on campus perform better academically, are more likely to graduate in our years, and are more involved in the campus community.
How does the College determine how many students to allow to live off-campus?
Originally, students were permitted to live off-campus only when the College had more students than space in the residence halls. However, as the College continues to build more housing for students on campus, the Off-Campus Lottery may be modified.
Berlin Village provides students with the independence and amenities of apartment-style housing, as well as the conveniences of on-campus living.
Why does Westminster use a lottery system for off-campus living?
As the numbers of students who expressed interest in apartment living increased, the lottery became a logical extension of the on-campus housing selection process. The lottery gives each student the same chance as all of the others, and no individual or group of students get preferential treatment. The Student Affairs Office has investigated the off-campus sign-up procedures at other institutions, and ours tends to be the most often used and fairest method.
What about students who live off-campus "illegally"?
The College goes to great length to ensure that all students play by the rules. This includes requiring written statements by parents, meeting directly with students, and verifying their residential status through Borough records. Unfortunately, despite our efforts some individuals know how to beat the system. When students misrepresent their housing status to the College, they are robbing other students of opportunities to live off-campus. Rest assured that anyone found living off-campus without permission would be subject to judicial action by the College. Sanctions include repaying the College for lost room and board. That's a lot.