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Alert COVID-19 Update

Harvard University and Harvard Law School shifted to remote teaching and learning, as of Monday, March 23. For more information and the latest updates, please visit the HLS coronavirus information page.


There are two very useful tools available for use on HAHLS during the room selection process:

Room Swap:

for students who have a room reservation but are interested in changing

Wait List Tool:

for students who have not yet reserved a room  

Room Swap

(Please click here for information on Room Swap during the “Spring Only” Room Selection Process)

Room Swap is a function in the HAHLS application room selection process that allows a student with a reserved dorm-style booking to trade their current reserved room for another available room. If you have to have selected a dorm-style room in HAHLS and signed your Room License Agreement in HAHLS in order to use Room Swap. Room Swap will remain open until the date in which assignments are finalized.

You are welcome to swap your room for an available room as many times as you would like prior to July 15th, when your room location will become finalized. Due to cancellations, we have dorms open up throughout the summer, with large blocks becoming available in late May and late June. Once a student cancels his dorm room, that room will automatically become available on the Room Swap page to anyone who already has a booking. Therefore, the rooms listed on the Room Swap page will change on a daily basis throughout the summer.

Important Facts About Room Swap:

  • If you change rooms using Room Swap, you will not resign your Room License Agreement. Your Residence License Agreement states that it applies to the housing assignment that you are officially assigned to in HAHLS as of the date in which assignments are finalized.
  • There is no fee associated with changing a room.
  • If you move into a more expensive room, you will be billed the additional amount.
  • If you move into a less expensive room, you will be credited the difference.
  • You cannot use the Room Swap Tool if you have signed an Apartment Lease for an apartment-style accommodation at 3 Mellen St, 5 Mellen St, or 1637 Massachusetts Avenue. Apartment assignments are final once a lease is signed, regardless of date.

To access Room Swap you need to have selected a dorm-style room and signed your Room License Agreement. After that is done, you may access Room Swap by following these instructions:

  1. Log back in to Home at Harvard Law School
  2. Select “Application” from the top navigation
  3. On the Term Selector page, choose Academic Year 201x-201x
  4. Choose Room Swap from the numbered navigation line toward the top of the page.

Wait List Tool

The waitlists are available during the summer only for Fall Room Selection. Since all vacancies are pre-solidified for Spring-Only Room Selection, we do not offer waitlists for that process. Please note that all waitlist offers end on the last day of June each summer. The room inventory is still selectable after this date, but waitlists will not be reviewed in July or August.

The waitlist tool is an option that becomes available in HAHLS once your room selection period begins. The waitlist is one of the options for students who are not interested in living in any of the rooms that are available. For example, if you are only interested in living in a North Hall small single, but none of those rooms are available, you can skip to the “Waitlist Search” page and place yourself on the waitlist for a North Hall small single. If a North Hall small single becomes available, the housing coordinator will assign you to that room and notify you that you have three days to sign the contract for that room. Should you decide not to sign the contract, your room reservation will expire, but you will not receive any kind of cancellation penalty. You will then be removed from this waitlist, unless you request to remain on the list and clarify why you are turning down your initial offer. If you request to remain on the waitlist for a room type that you have already received an offer for, you will be moved to the bottom of the waitlist.

Please note that the waitlist is not automated. Instead, the housing coordinator will assign available rooms to the waitlist once each business day. Because of this, it is recommended that students place themselves on waitlists, but also continue to search for availabilities using the Room Search Wizard in HAHLS. If a room becomes available, students on the waitlist will have to remove themselves from all waitlists in order to select the available room. We will not make waitlist offers after June.

You are welcome to be on up to five waitlists for multiple types of dorms. You can check your spot on the waitlist on the “Waitlist Search” page of the HAHLS application.

Waitlist offers end on the last day of June. Students who are interested in housing after the start of the academic year should contact

Please note that once you sign your Room License Agreement or Apartment Lease for a room, you will automatically be removed from all waitlists. The waitlist system is for students who have not reserved a space on campus.

“What are my ‘Odds’ of getting off the waitlists? What ‘speed’ to they typically move at?”

There are many different factors in place the determine the speed of the waitlists:

  1. Vacancies are made available based on room cancellations and expirations. We cannot predict how many students plan on cancelling their room selections or allowing them to expire. In addition, we cannot predict the building or room type in which these cancellations/expirations will come from.
  2. The waitlists are checked manually once each business day. Vacancies are available on the housing portal in real-time. If a student cancels their housing while the waitlists are not being reviewed, such as on a weekend, the space is available for students to select into. The waitlists should be treated only as a second pair of eyes.
  3. Students are allowed to turn down a room offer, which results in faster movement down a waitlist. In addition, as students log on and select their own rooms, they are removed from the waitlists.

There are several different instances that cause movement on the waitlists. We encourage any student to sign up for only those lists that they are truly interested in. In addition, we encourage students to log on for themselves to find vacancies. There are key times of the process when rooms are more likely to pop up. Please find valuable information about these opportunities on the Application Process page.