student in media lab

Early Arrival

We understand that because the nature of travel and circumstances, it may be imperative for students to arrive in the area before the residences are officially open. To accommodate this need, we may grant early arrival exemptions on a case-by-case basis. There is an application process, which is publicized through email and social media well before the deadline to apply. The usual arrival extension is 24 hours, but will not exceed 48. There is a fee of $100 per night for early arrival, to offset the labor required to prepare the residence earlier than expected. Our general guidelines for approval are for students traveling from the west coast or farther, and students with family or circumstantial hardship that will prevent them from arriving on opening day. Please contact the housing operations office at if you have specific questions!

Please note: storage rooms are accessible for students to remove items each fall beginning on the day residences open (Labor Day), and continuing for the first three weeks of the fall semester. Students will not have access to storage prior to Labor Day, even if they have been approved to arrive early on campus.

Fall Semester

In advance of the official start of the fall semester, many students are required to be on campus to assist in the opening of the College, such as orientation leaders, resident advisors, and IT helpdesk staff. Additionally, Hampshire invites student althetes to a pre-season training program before the semester begins. These students are asked to return early, and do not need to apply for an early arrival exemption, unless they need to arrive prior to their official start date (in which case, the above procedures, fees, and guidelines apply). Similarly, new students have an earlier official start date than returning students and do not need to apply, unless they need to arrive prior to their official opening day.

Wondering what your "official start date" is?
If you are a student staff member, your start date is whenever your supervisor requires you to be on campus.
If you are a new student, your start date is the beginning of orientation.
If you are a returning student, your start date is always Labor Day.

Please check the Important Dates and Deadlines page, or speak with your supervisor, for specific dates.

The early arrival application for the fall semester is open from late July to late August. Check your Hampshire email, the Important Dates and Deadlines page, and the Residence Life and Housing facebook for this year's dates.

Spring Semester

Students who are enrolled for the fall and spring semesters are welcome to return for the spring semester at any time after the College opens for Spring term (check the Important Dates and Deadlines page for details). Students who are returning from leave, field-study, or exchange for the spring semester may contact the housing office about arriving early. Because of the nature of fall to spring housing changes, early arrival will be granted as space permits.


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Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002