Rooming lotteries are a mechanism to switch rooms within Ashdown House if you are already a resident.

Ashdown House holds lotteries approximately 3x per year, coordinated by the AHEC External Affairs Coordinator. Lotteries are typically announced by email and remain open for approximately one week. Interested residents can apply to the lottery via the online application. Applications must be made by the deadline or will not appear in the system.

For residents who are successful in getting a room reassignment, they must move. Lotteries do not affect residents who do not participate.

Entering the lottery

To enter the lottery, please apply [here] (only viewable to current residents).

There are two ways to enter the lottery: Individual and Stapled. You may enter one or both ways. Individual forms are for those who wish to be reassigned as a singular entity, for a bedroom/suite/efficiency apartment. Stapled forms are for those who wish to be reassigned with others, to indicate preference for roommates. In a stapled form, you specify 1 or 2 other residents and enter together, listing entire suites (not rooms). *note: If an applicant submits both an individual form and a stapled form, the stapled form is considered with higher priority.

Each applicant is requested to list rooms, in order of most to least preferred, one per line. Do not list rooms that you wouldn’t want to move to. Again, if you get reassigned, you must move.

Results from the lottery will be announced by email from AHEC, to both successful and unsuccessful applicants. Successful applicants will also be contacted by the MIT Graduate Housing Office, to negotiate move-in dates. You may not be given your exact requested move date, pending the room’s availability. In most cases, you must move as soon as your new room becomes available. For questions about specific move dates/situations, please contact


  1. Ashdown’s suites/apartments are all gender-inclusive, except for a very small number of single-gender suites/apartments. People of any gender may be placed in any vacancy, unless a special request has been made. *note: This only applies to shared spaces in suites/apartments; bedrooms are not shared and have their own separate lock and key.
  2. Lottery rooms are based on availability of vacant rooms. Interested residents can view the list of available rooms [here] when lotteries are open.
  3. Optimal strategy includes listing rooms that are currently occupied (i.e. not on the vacant rooms list) – if another resident transfers to a different room, then their original room becomes available. Thus, the more rooms an applicant lists, the higher probability of them getting reassigned.
  4. Detailed room information for all of Ashdown (size, orientation, layout) can be found [here].
  5. For successful applicants, move-out and move-in dates should be coordinated asap with Graduate Housing. AHEC does not decide move dates.

System of Assignment

Seniority: Our lottery gives priority to people with more seniority points. Seniority points are earned for each term of residence at Ashdown, with additional points earned for service as an Ashdown Officer. Stapled groups are considered to have a seniority equal to the sum of their members. You can check your residency seniority points here (*note: for Officers, we are not yet showing officer-earned points online, but are tracking them internally).

Algorithm: The lottery is runs on an algorithm created by previous Ashdown Officers. If you’re interested in the script details, feel free to view the lottery algorithm.

If you have any questions, please see the FAQ first, and if your question is not answered, please contact the AHEC external affairs coordinator at