Incoming first years, sophomores, juniors may request on-campus housing through SHARP

First years will not be considered for fall on-campus housing ‘except in cases of extreme hardship’

Incoming first years, sophomores, and juniors can “request to live in on-campus housing during the fall 2020 semester” through the Student Housing Assistance Review Process (SHARP), the MIT Division of Student Life (DSL) website writes. SHARP will be open July 17–21. 

However, the website writes that incoming first years “will not be considered except in cases of extreme hardship.” First years “won't have the benefit of all of the social interaction and on-campus support that is part of a typical MIT fall,” the website writes, adding that they would face “a lot of challenges trying to navigate MIT on their own.”

The website writes that students will be sent an email with a link to the application July 17, and the SHARP team plans to release decisions by the end of next week. Students whose applications are rejected may submit an appeal, which will be reviewed by Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88, Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz, and Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson.

SHARP’s eligibility criteria for students to return to campus include being unable to return home “due to travel restrictions, circumstances in their home state/country, or circumstances of their home life,” having a “home environment that significantly impair[s] remote learning,” or being “unsafe” at home.

SHARP was created to “assist students in need” and “is not intended for students who simply want to be at MIT,” the website writes. “Students should know that life at MIT will be very different than it was at the start of the 2019 fall semester.”

Students approved for on-campus housing are allowed to live on-campus until Nov. 20. The rest of the fall semester will be held remotely, but students can request to stay past Thanksgiving if they cannot leave campus.

The webpage states that “students may be asked to depart campus if there is a severe spike in cases.”

SHARP is coordinated by the Office of the Chancellor, DSL, and Office of the Vice Chancellor and collaborates with the faculty chairs of the Committee on Student Life and the Committee on Academic Performance. Student representatives from the Undergraduate Association (UA), First Generation Program, and Class Awareness, Support, and Equality student group helped develop SHARP.

SHARP team members will, if needed, contact individual students with questions, request additional information, or consult with Student Financial Services, the International Students Office, the Office of Minority Education, Student Support Services, and Housing and Residential Services. Team members may also help students find alternative options to living on campus.

The webpage lists several resources for students, including a campus life video created this summer by the UA Committee on COVID-19, a decision-making flowchart, and a self-assessment tool to help students decide whether they should apply for on-campus housing. Students considering applying can schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of five undergraduate SHARP Peer Consultants on the SHARP Advisory Group.

Students can send questions to SHARP staff at Students can contact a peer consultant at or schedule a 15-minute Zoom meeting using an online form.