Small Group Housing Application Process

Here you will find important information and will be able to apply for small group housing for the 2015-2016 academic year. Each applicant must read all information provided.  

For many years, the small group housing option has been a valuable part of the student life experience for Goshen College students. The report, “Experiment in Living” (1969-70), outlined a number of outcomes for students living together in small group housing. SGH offered a setting to “foster closer and more caring relationships, to allow students to exercise more responsibility for their decisions…by taking seriously the implication of commitment to one another. Community standards and discipline would be developed in the context of the small group, calling for participation to ‘confront the ultimate issues’ of life together” (p. 1).

We value these goals today as much as when this program was initiated in the 1970s. Community life allows students who are willing to work hard a chance to live out the core values with intentionality and purpose. The SGH setting affords a unique opportunity for students to wrestle with developmental issues during the college years. By the time students are applying for SGH, most have gained the confidence that comes from increased independence and have invested in significant interpersonal relationships. Students are ready to contribute to the greater good of a group and to seek ways they can leave a legacy they can be proud of at Goshen College.

Because SGH is a competitive process, selection criteria have been developed to determine which groups demonstrate the greatest chance of completing a year of community living as an educational and positive experience. The criteria identified below have been developed with student involvement and are grounded in over 30 years of offering SGH as a housing program at GC.

Small Group Housing Guidelines

  • By the start of the fall semester, students who have completed 2 years since high school graduation are eligible to apply.
  • Each group should study “Expectations for Small Group Living.”
  • Selections are made on the basis of the group’s application and capacity. The Director of Residence Life and Assistant Directors of Residence Life will review each application and make assignments based on a designated scoring system that weighs the quality of the application, capacity, GPA, classification, standards compliance, community involvement, etc.
  • Groups must maintain minimum capacity to retain the housing unit. If a group falls below minimum capacity each group member may forfeit the deposit money.
  • Deadline for finding replacement of a group member for spring semester is December 1st.
  • The Residence Life team reserves the right to deny any or all applications for small group housing in order to maintain essentially full occupancy in campus student halls.
  • Contact the Student Life office if you have any questions concerning small group housing applications.
  • If not studying on campus for spring semester please follow these procedures >>

Expectations of Small Group Living

  • Group members uphold SGH visitation policy: 24-hour open house in public areas; 24-hour open house in all areas for group members; 12:00 noon – 12:00 midnight open house for non-members in bedrooms, no overnights.
  • A contact person from the group will serve as a communication link between the small group and the director. See the contact person job description for details.
  • Individuals in small group housing are responsible for regularly cleaning their own units. The small group housing director will work with the group to ensure cleanliness of the house.
  • Students are expected to keep yard, porches, etc., free of trash. Also, furniture designated for indoor use is prohibited for outdoor use.
  • Group members must purchase at the minimum the 80 Block Meal Plan. Groups are encouraged to prepare and eat at least one meal together a week.
  • Monies are available for programming activities. These activities must include the majority of house members and be pre-approved by the RD. Programs that encourage connections and strengthen friendships between the group and the broader campus will be more likely to receive funding.

 Application Requirements

pdf-downloadIt is recommended that you download and print out this PDF to guide you through the application process.  Your group application is complete when your group completes the following steps:

Step 1: Submit a Room Deposit

Each member of your group must submit a $200 Room Deposit.  You can submit your deposit online at or in person at the cashier’s desk in the basement of the Ad Building. This deposit is non-refundable after units have been assigned; this deposit will then be held as a damage deposit until after the end of school year. If the condition of the house is found to be acceptable after checkout, the damage deposit will be refunded to you at the conclusion of the academic year.

Step 2:  Prepare an 8-10 Minute Group Video that Addresses the Following:

Group History: Describe how your small group was formed.

Group Goals: Identify the group’s goals for the next year together. The goals should also include an implementation plan for each goal. Group goals should reflect:

  • Intentionality of community life within GC’s core values (e.g. how will you demonstrate your commitment to live in community?)
  • Goals for decision-making and managing interpersonal conflict within the groupSummarize your group’s response to the Standards in the past and how your group would deal with potential violations next year.
  • Thoughtful contribution to the campus community (e.g. how will your SGH unit make campus a better place?)
  • Efforts at developing purpose and identity as it relates to campus life (e.g. supporting each other academic or co-curricular goals, how will you encourage each others personal growth, etc.)
  • Each group is responsible for cleaning the house together.  Be sure to include your group’s action plan for cleaning (who cleans when and what).
  • Upload video to YouTube and share with the Director of Residence Life at

Step 3:  Complete the Online Application Data Form

Applications will be evaluated once all portions of the application have been submitted

Available Houses for 2015-16 (Subject to Change)

  • Howell House (9-12 Co-Ed or Single Gender)
  • Kenwood (8-10 Co-Ed or Single Gender)
  • East Hall (9-12 Co-Ed or Single Gender)
  • Kulp South (6-8 Single Gender)
  • Kulp North (4-6 Single Gender)
  • Kulp West (7-10 Single Gender)

Visit the Small Group Housing page for more details and video tours for each available Small Group House.

Group Standards Statement – Please review and discuss the Community Standards together. Note: Once groups are awarded a house, they will be issued a SGH contract. Included with this contract will be statement to be signed by each member indicating his or her acceptance of and commitment to the Community Standards.  In addition, please turn in the individual statements made by those in your group who are not on campus currently (on SST, BCA, transferring from another school, etc). Check with our office (AD14) to see if they have already been submitted.

Important Dates to Remember:

SGH Applications are Due – Monday, March 16

SGH Assignments Announced (on or before) – Friday, March 20, 2015

SGH Resources