Students in Dorm

Mod Lottery Basics

The mod lottery is a part of Hampshire's annual room-choosing process. The Spring 2021 lottery will be conducted completely online and will begin Monday, April 26 and end Wednesday, April 28. Only one size mod will be available per day.

Full transcript of presentation (pdf)

All students have lottery points. To participate in the lottery, students get together in groups and combine their lottery points. They use this total number of points to try and "win" a mod by completing a registration packet that is submitted to the housing operations office. Groups use a registration form to rank all of the mods of one size from the one they want most to the one in which they are least interested. Groups are awarded their highest ranked mod that has not already been won by a group with more points.

Learn more about the residences and your housing options.

Residence Life and Housing staff are continuing to do everything we can to ensure that students living in residence during the 2021-2022 academic year remain as healthy and safe as possible as we return to a fully in-person campus. With this transition, please note the following changes the start in Fall 2021:

  1. Mods will range in size from 4-6 students as opposed to the usual 4-10 sizes.
  2. De-densifying residences: This past academic year saw residences de-densified to ~50%.  Next academic year will see most residences from 50%-80% with some spaces returning to 100% capacity.
  3. Due to student numbers on campus staying relatively similar while residential space capacities increasing, Greenwich residential area will be offline.
  4. Prescott Mods that have lofted rooms on top floors will have these spaces offline.  The other single rooms in these mods are still available and the Mod capacities have been updated (see p.13 in the Mod Lottery booklet).
  5. Doubles in Enfield will be redesignated as common areas.  This should help alleviate demand for increased study or storage spaces.
  6. Students planning to be on field study, leave, or exchange for Fall 2021 and students studying remotely for Spring 2021 should participate in the housing lottery and points letters will be sent to them on Wednesday, April 21 unless a financial hold exists on their account.

We understand there is a lot of change going on at the moment, and participating in the housing lottery while not on campus may be difficult for some. Students who wish to forego participating in the lottery process may complete an Individual Room Sign-Up form and will be thoughtfully placed in available spaces in Prescott and Merrill. Please do not hesitate to email us (housing@hampshire.edu) if you have any questions about this new process or about the housing lottery. We will also hold virtual drop-in info sessions on Mondays from 3 p.m.-4 p.m. up until the housing lottery.  See the Mod Lottery Booklet for the zoom link.

2021 Lottery Information Booklet

Mod Mate Contract

4-Person Enfield/Prescott Mod Registration Form  Opens Wednesday April 21, noon; Deadline on Monday, April 26, noon.

5-Person Enfield/Prescott Mod Registration Form  Opens Wednesday, April 21, noon; Deadline on Tuesday April 27, noon.

6-Person Enfield/Prescott Mod Registration Form  Opens Wednesday, April 21, noon; Deadline on Wednesday, April 28, noon.

Individual Room Sign-up Form  Opens Wednesday April 21, noon and closes Sunday April 25. Reopens Thursday April 29, noon and closes Sunday May 16.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in the lottery?
What should I do to prepare for the lottery?
How do I participate in the lottery?
How exactly does the lottery work?
What do I do if I win a mod?
What do I do if I don't win a mod or choose not to participate in the lottery?
What happens if someone from my lottery group goes on leave/field study/exchange?

Who can participate in the lottery?

All continuing students are eligible to participate, with the following exceptions:

  • Students who have been granted off-campus housing for the upcoming academic year

  • Students who have accepted a space in an identity-based mod, intentional housing community, or institutionally-reserved space

  • Students who have filed for leave, field study, exchange, or withdrawal for the upcoming semester

  • Students who have been denied lottery privileges as a disciplinary sanction

  • Students who have a financial hold on their account (as determined by the office of student financial services)

What should I do to prepare for the lottery?

Finding modmates can seem overwhelming, especially when your friends may not be a good match for your preferred living environment. Groups and individuals can post on the Hampshire Spring 2021 Lottery Connections Board to search for lottery groups/members, or post virtually via social media. Also, check in with your Area Coordinator or Residential Director to learn about opportunities to connect with potential modmates.

Choose your modmates carefully. It is extremely important to form a lottery group with people you can live with comfortably, rather than students with lots of points who aren't a good match for you. Talk with potential modmates about the issues that you'll face when living together, and whether you would be compatible. This should include: who will share the double, tolerance to smoke on clothing, cleanliness, cooking/shopping together, noise level, and anything else that's important to you.

Once you've formed a group, discuss and fill out an online modmate contract to set designations and norms for the group. Completing a modmate contract will earn your group one extra point.  The contract must be completed in full and signed by every member of the group (excluding those on leave this semester) to qualify for the extra point. If you fail to win a mod, the contract will be returned to the point person designated on the registration form. Your group can use the same modmate contract in the next size lottery you participate in, but any new group members must sign the contract to be awarded the extra point. Contracts will be kept on file and mod residents will have the chance to review and revise their agreements during their initial mod meeting in the fall.

How do I participate in the lottery?

Step 1: Get your Lottery Points Letter. Lottery Points Letters will be sent to your Hampshire College email by 5 p.m. on Wednesday April 21. Lottery Point Letters for students on leave and continuing students who are studying Remotely will be emailed to them as well. Please note that your Points Letter will include a Unique Lottery Identifier (ULI) which will be required to authenticate your registration packet.

Step 2: Complete a registration form for the mod size you will try for first. Registration forms will open by noon of April 21.  Make sure your whole group has input, as you will need to rank the mods in order of preference. You also have the option to put n "X" on any mod you absolutely do not want to live in.

Step 3: Submit a complete registration form online noon on the lottery day for the mod size you are trying to win. LATE REGISTRATION PACKETS CANNOT BE ACCEPTED. No exceptions. A modmate contract is optional, but strongly encouraged (it earns your group an additional point).

You must submit each member's points and Unique Lottery Identifier (ULI) code into the registration form which will be checked against what we have on record. If you are caught falsifying points or ULI's, this may result in disqualification of the registration form or penalty in participation in the Lottery process. You may not change your registration packet after it has been submitted.  If you feel you have made a mistake in your form, please e-mail housing@hampshire.edu as soon as possible.

Step 4: Results will be posted each day by 6 p.m. on Residence Life and Housing's HampEngage page.

Step 5: If your group wins a mod, congratulations! You will receive an email with instructions on how to sign up for individual rooms in the mod. At that time you will also have the opportunity to list alternates (suggestions for the HOO of students you would like to live with if any vacancies arise), and additional housing designations. Designations guide placement decisions when alternates are not listed or able to be placed in the mod. Students may update alternates and designations at any time by emailing the HOO and including all modmates. Approximately 40% of mods had vacancies during summer 2018, which were filled by the HOO.

Step 6: If your group did not win a mod, regroup and try again! The online registration form for the following day's Mod Lottery will be available the same day starting at 4 p.m. Check the date for the lottery of the Mod size you want to win and adjust your group so it is the correct size. Involve your new group members to reach consensus over your Modmate contract for an extra point, and submit your new online registration packet.

How exactly does the lottery work? (Behind the Scenes)

Once your registration packet has been submitted, HOO staff will review it to ensure your lottery points have been recorded accurately and student ULI's match what they have been assigned. As registration packets come in we enter the group's name, total number of points, and mods in order of ranking into a spreadsheet. Once the registration deadline has passed, we sort the spreadsheet so the group with the most points is on the top line and the group with the least points is on the bottom line. 

Groups are awarded their highest ranked mod that has not already been won by a group with more points. In case of a tie the group with the higher average divisional status will win. If there is still a tie the group with the higher age average (as of September 1 of the upcoming year) will win.

What do I do if I win a mod?

One person in your group will need to submit the room sign up form online before Sunday May 16. When you sign up for a room in the mod you won, you will also have the opportunity to list alternates (suggestions for the HOO of students you would like to live with if any vacancies arise), and additional housing designations. In a typical summer, close to half of all mods have vacancies which must be filled by the HOO. Alternates and designations are taken into consideration as much as administrative need permits. Students may update alternates and designations at any time by emailing the HOO and copying all modmates.

What do I do if I choose not to participate in the lottery?

Good news — you don't have to! Students who wish to forego participating in the lottery process may complete an Individual Room Sign-Up Form and will be thoughtfully placed in available spaces in Prescott and Merrill.

You may also apply for identity-based mods and intentional housing communities, which may have openings throughout the summer.

What happens if someone from my lottery group decides to go on leave, field study/exchange, or leave the College over the summer?

When you sign up for a room in the mod you won you will also have the opportunity to list alternates (suggestions for the HOO of students you would like to live with if any vacancies arise), and additional housing designations. In a typical summer, close to half of all mods have vacancies which must be filled by the HOO. Alternates and designations are taken into consideration as much as administrative need permits. Students may update alternates and designations at any time by emailing the HOO and copying all modmates.

Listing alternates does not guarantee their placement in a mod. All room assignments will be made ultimately by the HOO.

As students make decisions regarding their enrollment over the summer months, rooms become vacant across campus. Historically this has resulted in many mods maintaining those vacant rooms, thinly spreading residential students across campus and straining Residence Life, Facilities, Grounds, and other campus resources. In order to ensure a safe, secure, and vibrant residential community, as well as efficiently using available resources, Residence Life and Housing may shift residents of one half-full apartment into another half-full apartment based on mod designations and alternate lists. Mod groups will be kept intact, meaning we will not separate modmates. This consolidation would result in one full and one vacant apartment. 

Consolidation may occur over the summer months as opportunities arise and will continue until the housing freeze begins in mid-August. Students will be notified of any consolidation impacting their mod group at their Hampshire College email address throughout the summer. If needed, a second round of consolidation may occur over the Fall semester.

Helpful Links

Identity-based housing
Intentional housing communities
Medical accommodations
Substance-free housing
Housing designations

Stay In Touch
With Housing
Snail Mail
Housing Operations Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002