Panther Central

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions for University-owned Housing for the 2020-2021 academic year.

General Questions:

What does de-densification mean?

A decrease in the density or concentration of something. To de-densify student housing, we will spread out the number of people per square foot to support a safer environment. This plan allows the university to provide housing placements to all students who have fall housing guarantees following required CDC and university safety protocols. We are doing this in our communal bathroom buildings that have doubles, triples, and quads.  

What main housing changes can students expect when returning to campus?

There will be enhanced health and safety protocols in place, following CDC and university guidelines. Most first-year students will live in residence halls, with others residing in Pitt Experience partner hotel properties, expanding Pitt’s housing availability through valued community partnerships.

Why will first-year students be placed in hotel properties?

We selected these properties especially for first-year students because each will have a roommate, a key component of the college experience, and are located within a 15-minute walk of the cathedral. They will also have a private bathroom for their residence vs. communal bathrooms found in most first-year residence halls and enjoy quality, newer residence accommodations. Special attention is planned and will be given to first-year students to guide them in their journey at Pitt, including a Resident Assistant, Resident Director, student life activities and more!

What are the advantages of living in a Pitt Experience partner property?

Students who reside in a partner hotel will have a roommate. They will also have a private bathroom for their residence vs. communal bathrooms found in most residence halls and enjoy quality, newer residence accommodations. Most importantly, the same commitment, care and attention given to students in residence halls will be provided to students who reside in a Pitt Experience partner property to ensure a positive, fully integrated student experience. This support will include a Resident Assistant and Resident Director, student life activities, 24/7 security, campus shuttle, and dining services.

Will hotel properties be on or near campus?

All are anticipated to be within a 15-minute walk to/from campus. In fact, many planned hotel properties are located closer to the heart of campus than some residence halls. Students will also have access to campus shuttle services for transportation to/from campus for classes, dining and student activities. Campus proximity and convenience are top priorities in finalizing Pitt hotel partners for the fall semester.

What main housing changes can students expect when returning to campus?

There will be enhanced health and safety protocols in place, following CDC and university guidelines. Most first-year students will live in residence halls, with others residing in Pitt Experience partner hotel properties, expanding Pitt’s housing availability through valued community partnerships.

What will be in place to support student safety in hotel properties? 

All properties will have 24/7 security in place, along with a Resident Assistant and Resident Director. Campus shuttles, as well as after-hours SafeRider services, will be available to provide transportation services to/from campus. 

Will students who reside in hotel properties have a different academic experience?

No, the experience will be just like living in a traditional residence hall with a Resident Assistant on each floor. The Flex@Pitt academic experience will be available to all students, regardless of where they live on campus or off campus, which allows for in-person, remote, synchronous and asynchronous learning approaches. 

How will I receive my Panther Card (Student ID)?

Submit your photo online, and we will mail your Panther Card.

 

Housing Placements:

How will incoming first-year student housing placements occur? 

Students filled out roommate, building, and LLC preference requests when they completed their initial housing request. The University housing team will consider these preferences when placing students for the fall. Most first-year students will be placed in campus residence halls, with others residing in Pitt Experience partner hotels. Panther Central will send first-year students their housing assignments in mid-July. As a reminder, we do our best to match preferences but cannot guarantee specifics.

How will returning student housing placements occur?

Returning upper-class students have already received their fall housing assignments. If there are any assignment updates or changes, Panther Central will notify impacted students in mid-July.

When can students expect to know where they will live?

All students will be notified of their housing placement in mid-July, including Pitt Experience partner property placements available to first-year students.

Will certain groups of students be given preference for accommodations (health, disability, etc.?)

All accommodation needs and preferences should be included on students’ university housing request. Students can update this information by logging into the housing portal at my.pitt.edu.

Do all residential areas need to be de-densified?

Based on health and safety guidance, not all residence halls need to be de-densified. Specifically, the majority of suite and apartment-style residence halls will not need to be de-densified. We are de-densifying our residence halls that have communal bathrooms and double, triple, and quadruple room assignments.

For incoming first-year students placed in a Pitt Experience partner hotel, how will this impact their student life and activities?

Almost all students who reside in a partner hotel will have a roommate. They will also have a private bathroom for their residence vs. communal bathrooms found in most residence halls and enjoy quality, newer residence accommodations. Most importantly, the same commitment, care and attention given to students in residence halls will be provided to students who reside in a Pitt Experience partner property to ensure a positive, fully integrated student experience. This support will include a Resident Assistant and Resident Director, student life activities, 24/7 security, campus shuttle, and dining services.

Will these changes affect room and board pricing?

No. Room and board pricing at Pitt Experience partner properties is consistent with overall campus housing rates. 

 

New Housing Requests & Changes:

Can students who haven't yet requested housing, or who are now unable to find housing due to lease dates, rates, or other COVID-19 related issues, still apply for university housing? 

The due dates for first-year and upper-class guaranteed housing applications have passed. If a student would like to apply for non-guaranteed housing, they can reach out to Panther Central. 

Can a student change their university housing preferences?

Students are unable to change their preferences. The university housing team will consider prior roommate preferences when making placements. As a reminder, we do our best to match preferences but cannot guarantee specifics. As a reminder, we do our best to match preferences but cannot guarantee specifics.

What should students do if they paid their housing deposit (first-year students) or selected their housing (upper-class students), but no longer wish to live in campus housing in the fall? 

Students should contact Panther Central at panthercentral@pitt.edu

 

Partner Property Hotels:

What area hotels will be available for student housing?

Participating Pitt Experience partner properties are being finalized, all anticipated to be located within a 15-minute walk to/from campus.  

How will participating hotels be selected? 

Selections will be based on the partner’s commitment to support a personalized, superior Pitt Experience tailored to first-year student residents, overall quality, proximity to campus, and adherence to all safety protocols including cleaning and sanitizing requirements.

Why will first-year students be placed in hotel properties? 

We selected these properties especially for first-year students because it allows us to meet the standards for health and safety, the opportunity to have a roommate, which is a key component of the college experience. They will also have a private bathroom for their residence vs. communal bathrooms found in most residence halls and enjoy quality, newer residence accommodations. 

What are the advantages of living in a Pitt Experience partner property? 

Most students who reside in a partner hotel will have a roommate. They will also have a private bathroom for their residence vs. communal bathrooms found in most first-year residence halls and enjoy quality, newer residence accommodations. Most importantly, the same commitment, care and attention given to students in residence halls will be provided to students who reside in a Pitt Experience partner property to ensure a positive, fully integrated student experience. This support will include a Resident Assistant and Resident Director, student life activities, 24/7 security, campus shuttle, and dining services.

Will hotel properties be on or near campus?

All are anticipated to be within a 15-minute walk to/from campus. In fact, many planned hotel properties are located closer to the heart of campus than some residence halls. Students will also have access to campus shuttle services for transportation to/from campus for classes, dining and student activities. Campus proximity and convenience are top priorities in finalizing Pitt hotel partners for the fall semester.

Will there be Resident Assistants and/or Resident Directors in these hotels?

Yes. A Pitt Resident Assistant, as well as Resident Director oversight, will be dedicated to each Pitt Experience property and residents. The same commitment, care and attention given to students – whether they live in residence halls or at one of Pitt’s partner properties – will provide a positive, personalized, and fully integrated student experience.

Will participating hotels have welcome attendants?

Yes. 24/7 welcome attendants will be stationed at all Pitt Experience partner properties, supporting the safety of all student residents.

 

Security

What will be in place to support student safety in hotel properties? 

All properties will have 24/7 security in place, along with a dedicated Resident Assistant. Campus shuttles, as well as after-hours SafeRider services, will be available to provide transportation services to/from campus. 

 

Transportation:

Will shuttle routes be adjusted to reflect the new housing?

Yes. University shuttles will be available to/from all Pitt Experience partner properties, with fall schedules to be determined soon.

 

Dining Services:

How will students access dining options?

Pitt Experience partner properties are anticipated to be located within a 15-minute walk to/from campus to access University dining options. Additionally, University shuttles will be available to/from Pitt Experience partner properties to provide transportation.

How will housing plan updates impact student dining plans?

Dining services and meal plans will continue to be offered at all campus locations. Students who do not live in suite or apartment-style accommodations are required to have meal plans. Information regarding dining services and meal plans for the fall semester will be sent to students in the coming weeks.

 

Housing Policies:

Will the same Pitt housing policies apply to the hotels as the residence halls?

Yes, students will be required to follow all policies and protocols whether living in a residence hall or Pitt Experience partner property.

Can I have guests in my residence hall or my hotel?

Guest visitation rules will follow CDC, ACHD and University guidelines. All requirements are subject to change based on safety protocols.

Will students have to share a residence hall or hotel room?

This will vary by accommodation, based on required health and safety protocols for each space. 

What other steps are being taken to de-densify housing areas, including study lounges and laundry rooms?

Access to these spaces will be modified to follow current required health and safety protocols throughout residence halls and Pitt Experience partner properties. Additional details will be provided in the coming weeks.

If I am unable to attend the fall 2020 semester, will I be able to keep my housing guarantee?

If you will be a guaranteed First-Year student or Sophomore for the 2020-2021 academic year and you meet the applicable housing deadlines, you will have a housing guarantee for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

If I take the 2020-2021 academic year off, will I be able to keep my housing guarantee?

If you remain a registered student for the 2020-2021 academic year, you will retain your housing guarantee.

If I take the fall semester off, will I keep my selected room for the spring semester?

No. Housing will be available for you, but you may be assigned to a new bed space for the spring semester. 

I was planning to study abroad for the 2020-2021 academic year. Is housing available for me?

If you were given a housing guarantee in January 2020, you will have housing for the 2020-2021 academic year.  

 

Additional Questions:

What are the regional campuses doing to de-densify residences?

Regional Pitt campuses are reviewing housing, educational and public spaces to support a safe environment. These decisions will be finalized by each campus.

What new trainings, if any, will be required for staff?

All Residence Life, housing, Panther Central, maintenance, and cleaning staff members will undergo required health and safety training in preparation for the fall.

Will I receive a refund on housing/dining if the University closes?

We do not intend to close University operations and have comprehensive plans in place to support the health and safety of the Pitt community. With this in mind, in the event of extraordinary circumstances that require the closure of residence and dining halls, we will make every effort to work with students and families on housing/dining pro-rata reductions as completed in spring 2020.

Will these hotel leases carry into the Spring semester or will students be expected to relocate at that time? 

We anticipate that these arrangements will continue throughout the 2020-21 academic year.