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Updated 10:00 AM April 18, 2005




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Housing applications done with a mouse click

University Housing launched a comprehensive Web site March 25 that allows incoming first-year undergraduate students to complete applications for residence halls faster and easier, the next stage in a multi-phase plan to move from paper-driven to online processes.

Although not the first of its kind in the nation, the new site,, is believed to be the most comprehensive. It not only allows students to indicate housing preferences—including roommate selection, room type and preferred location—but explains all of the options the University has to offer to accommodate religious preferences, special needs and desired occupancy, among others. Incoming students also use the online process to apply to one or more of U-M's nine residential Michigan Learning Communities.

The site has a search tool, an online chat function called LivePerson and an e-mail address for students who have questions or need assistance.

It includes links to Wolverine Access, CourseTools (soon to be CTools), the academic calendar, course guides, the student's phone bill, and information on such services as residence hall cable TV, meal plans and refrigerator rental.

"It also has a section for parents that links to the M Parent newsletter, provides a sample Student Account statement and explains what University Housing has to offer," says Alan Levy, housing public affairs director.

In addition to the obvious savings from going to a virtually paperless system, Levy says one of the major advantages for University Housing is that those who process such requests have better information to use as they serve students.

"They literally can see who has received which materials, as well as provide more timely responses to students on their assignments," Levy says.

To communicate the availability of the site incoming students were sent a postcard explaining the application procedure, which includes first obtaining a U-M uniqname, and the deadline for submitting the application, which is 30 days following the receipt of the postcard.

Once received the housing requests made through April 7 were assembled for a lottery process to determine the priority order of requests. Those who apply after that date will be handled according to when their application is received.

The move to a paperless housing application system comes on the heels of placing the 2004 Fall Move-in Booklet completely online. Last year students received their residence hall room assignment, roommate information, and driving directions to their specific hall in a customized online format. Roommates were encouraged to contact one another by e-mail or phone prior to arrival. In 2005 roommates will be provided with instant messaging contact information as well.

Project direction and development for the online application came from staff of the Housing Information and Housing Information Technology offices.

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