One of Princeton's most distinctive characteristics is its close-knit residential community. On-campus housing is guaranteed for undergraduates for all four years. The University's six residential colleges are the center of residential life and offer an array of academic and social programs that enhance the undergraduate experience.
In fall 2007, with the opening of Whitman College, the University inaugurated an expanded residential college system that provides more housing and dining opportunities for all undergraduates. The new system establishes three four-year colleges and pairs them with three two-year colleges, enabling juniors and seniors to remain linked to a residential college, regardless of whether they live there.