Membership Changes

Wait Lists

Because there are never enough spaces in OSCA to place everyone who wants to become a member, there are wait lists managed by the Membership Secretary. Similar to the OSCA lotteries, placement from the wait lists are made into the highest preferred co-op that has an open spot available. However, unlike the OSCA lotteries, lottery numbers on the wait lists are typically assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. You may change your co-op preferences at any time on the wait lists and your current lottery number will remain unchanged.

What if I join/leave OSCA mid-semester?


You will be charged or refunded for the number of whole weeks remaining in the semester on the effective date of your co-op entry or departure. Any year-end refunds or bills will be calculated based on the number of weeks you were certain co-ops as an OSCA member.

You will not, however, be refunded if you do not notify OSCA that you want to leave your co-op by the Wednesday, 4PM, before the final semester changes in November (for Fall) and in April (for Spring). This policy is in place to deter students from switching to Campus Dining Services (CDS) just for finals (because no one will take your place, which puts a lot of extra work on everyone else during a stressful academic time).

What happens if I’m going to be away from Oberlin in the Fall? Can I still enter the lottery?


Yes. If you know you will be LOA (leave of absence) for the Fall semester, you still need to sign up for the lottery to obtain a lottery number. Once the lottery is over, remember to put yourself on the Spring semester wait list no later than Commencement Day (extended deadline for students who will be away) to keep your current lottery number. You do not need to pay a deposit if you will be away Fall semester because OSCA cannot guarantee you a spot for Spring.

I was in “x” co-op over winter term, but now I’m getting emails from another co-op! Which co-op am I in?


Winter term co-ops are separate from semester co-ops, which means that you are likely in whatever co-op you are getting emails from. For example, if you were in Pyle in the Fall, and in Harkness for winter term, you are still in Pyle for the Spring unless you got off the waitlist. If you are confused about what co-op you are in, please email the All-OSCA membership secretary at

How do I join OSCA? (I am a new Oberlin student)


New students must participate in the new student lottery by going to OSCA’s website and filling out the new student application form. The new student lottery is held mid-June.

New students may sign up on the wait list once the school year begins if they do not get into their first-choice co-op during the new student lottery or if they apply after the deadline.

IMPORTANT: In order to get placed off the wait list as a new student, you MUST fill out a New Student Application and return it (hard-copy only!) to the OSCA Office!