Housing: The Numbers

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Very soon, most of Swarthmore’s students will be entering the housing lottery. To help you make an informed choice, the Gazette has compiled information from the Housing website, averaging together the numbers which have picked selected rooms over the past three years and further compiling those numbers to show the most (and least) competitive dorms.

If you are interested, you can see the entire PDF here.

Dorm Averages

A few notes on these numbers. While we tried to remove most blocks, we weren’t always successful. This could skew some of the numbers, particularly in buildings with several sophomore blocks. These numbers for Mary Lyon include the basement singles which are not available in this upcoming lottery—and the popularity of Kemp Hall might cause the average numbers picking in to other dorms to drop slightly. We did not control for the size of the student population each year. A 467 in 2006 is not the exact same as a 467 in 2008. These numbers, then, should only serve as rough guides—not exact measurements.

Finally, the presence of a few choice rooms in less desirable dorms can skew averages heavily, which could help explain why there are no dorms which have an average number in the sophomore number range.

Average number within the senior number range
Wharton: 201.94 [ Flr 1 Flr 2 Flr 3 ]
Worth: 315.06 [ Flr 1 Flr 2 Flr 3 Flr 4 ]
Alice Paul: 341.83 [Flr 1 Flr 2 Flr 3 Flr 4]
Parrish: 354.88 [Flr 3 Flr 4]
Mertz: 357.77 [Flr 1 Flr 2 Flr 3]

Average number within the junior number range
Dana: 483.78 [LL Flr 1 Flr 2 Flr 3]
Hallowell: 620.78 [LL Flr 1 Flr 2 Flr 3]
PPR: 726.03
Mary Lyon: 740.94 [Flr 1 Flr 2 Flr 3]
Willets: 795.75 [LL Flr 1 Flr 2 Flr 3]

Most (and Least) Popular Rooms
1. Wharton E 183 (Avg. 15)
2. Alice Paul 218 (Avg. 21)
3. Wharton C 247 (Avg 24.3)
4. Wharton E 270 (Avg 24.7)
5. Wharton W 216 (Avg 29)

Least — To make this list more useful, basement ML numbers were removed.
1. Pittenger 159 (Avg 993.1)
2. Hallowell 201 (Avg 988.5)
3. Hallowell 301 (Avg 981.3)
4. Hallowell 309 (Avg 981.3)
5. Pittenger 259 (Avg 979.7)


  1. Its really abundantly likely that all numbers will change this year with the addition of 50-60 rooms available to non freshmen classes with the completion of Roberts. So the whole game is off by a good deal

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