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Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find frequently asked questions about participating in a themed living-learning or SSIR community. If you have other questions that are not answered here, please contact us.

May I apply for more than one LLC or SSIR community?

Yes. You can only apply to be a participant in up to three LLC or SSIR communities. Faculty are looking for students who show a particular interest in their community.

What's an ideal length for my application essays?

An essay response should be concise yet expansive enough for you to express genuine interest as to why you want to be part of this community. Past application essays ranged from 1–2 paragraphs. You will have the opportunity in your interview to expand on your essay. If you are applying to more than one LLC or SSIR, be sure to address both communities in your essay responses.

Why do you ask for my G.P.A. on the application?

We ask for your grade point average only as part of your entire application; there is no minimum grade point average to apply. The classes associated with SSIR and LLCs are rigorous and require a committed student; however, we understand that grade point average is only one measure of academic success. If you are not satisfied with your grade point average or do not feel it reflects your ability as a student, please explain that in one of the essays.

What if I haven't gotten involved yet? Does it look bad for that part to be blank?

We ask that you list how you been involved on campus thus far to try to get a holistic picture of you as a student here at Richmond. We know that many first-year students, in particular, haven't been overly involved as they work through the transition from high school to college. We also acknowledge that, for many students, participating in a living-learning or SSIR community is a way to find their niche on campus. Feel free to explain that in one of the essays for the faculty to review.

Does the faculty or staff member I list as a reference on my application have to submit a letter?

No. Your reference does not submit a letter of recommendation or complete any recommendation form.

reference is a faculty or staff member who will give a strong positive statement about you and your qualities and experience. Our faculty may contact your reference if they are looking for more information about you after reading your application and speaking to you during the interview day. It is always a good practice to contact anyone you may want to use as a reference, prior to listing them, to ask their permission and if they can provide you with a positive reference.

I have submitted my application. Now what?

You will receive a confirmation email from the Office of Living-Learning Programs. In that email, more details about the student interview process, to occur February 1–12, 2021, will be included.

What are the faculty looking for from students?

We are looking for students with a genuine interest in the topic and an open mind. We want students who will commit to the community fully. We are looking for students who want to join a community of peers who they may not know well to begin with, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, academic disciplines, and who want do more with their academics outside of the classroom.

I am a student athlete; can I apply to be in an LLC or SSIR?

Yes, communities are open to all. We have had many student athletes participate in an LLC or SSIR who successfully balance academics, the LLC or SSIR community, and their athletic commitments.

I have a friend who is applying for a different SSIR community. If we both get in, can we live together?

Yes. New for 2020–21, students participating in Sophomore Scholars in Residence will be able to live with any other student also participating in a Sophomore Scholars in Residence community. Students from the same community or from other communities can live together. 

The SSIR cohort will live in South Court.

I want a single room in the community. Is that possible?

A very limited number of single rooms are available in South Court, which are given priority to students requiring housing accommodations. 

The desire for a single room should not be a motivating factor to applying for a LLC or SSIR community.

I require specific housing accommodations. Can I still apply and participate in a community?

Yes, students requiring accommodations can still participate in a SSIR or living-learning community. 

Housing accommodations are available for students whose medical related conditions or disabilities substantially limit their housing needs.  However, to be considered for such special housing, they must submit a completed disability accommodation application and documentation to the Director of Disability Services by February 1, 2021. Applications are accepted after these deadlines but may delay review.  Submitting a disability medical accommodation request does not automatically guarantee a space in University housing.

Is Gender Flexible Housing available as an option?

Gender flexible housing is available as an option within Sophomore Scholars and living-learning communities for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students will be given more information about how gender flexible housing during their first community meeting. Students within the community interested in gender flexible housing will need to complete the online application prior to their community's room selection date.

As with all housing options, GFH is not guaranteed.

Students within a Sophomore Scholars or living-learning community who might have a need for GFH—especially those who identify beyond the binary, including but not limited to genderqueer, gender questioning, or trans students—should contact the Director of Living-Learning Programs to discuss their needs and available options.

I am interested in being a Cultural Advisor. Can I also be in an LLC or SSIR community?

Yes. Cultural Advisors can also participate in an LLC or SSIR community, and the Office of Living-Learning Programs and the Office of Common Ground work collaboratively if students apply to both.

Does it cost anything to participate in an LLC or SSIR?

No. Participation involves no out of pocket expenses for students; transportation, lodging, food, and admission to anything as a class is included. The program also includes paying for a student's first passort, as well as any visas that may be required for travel.

For SSIR communities, do I have to enroll in the spring semester seminar?

As a participant in the SSIR program, you will be automatically enrolled (by the Registrar's Office) in the fall and spring semester seminars.

May I study abroad for one semester and still participate?

If you are interested in one of the Sophomore Scholars communities, you are not able to study abroad, as participating in a SSIR community is a full-year commitment.

Students applying for UR Living Well may study abroad in the Spring semester. Students who plan to study abroad in the Fall semester will need to apply for the community in a future year.

Other Residence-Based Programs and Positions

There are several residentially based programs and positions that exist for students to consider applying for that provide leadership opportunities for students. These positions all have deadlines early in the spring 2021 semester.

Cultural Advisor

Resident Assistant