Frequently asked questions: campus housing and the general waitlist

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the housing assignment process and general waitlist for Fall 2022.

How are housing assignments made?

Students are assigned off the waitlist based on rooms available and the type of room a student has requested. When looking at roommate compatibility, housing coordinators will do their best to make good matches based on what is listed on the student's housing application. We have some tips on what makes a good housing application!

If there isn't an available room of the type you requested, best efforts will be made to  try to offer you alternative housing. However, assignments will first be made for students who have  requested available room types before providing  alternative offers to students who have requested room types that are not available. For example:

If Student A and Student B both want a residence hall large triple, but Student B has also listed a residence hall triple, and there are no residence hall large triples available, Student B will be assigned to the available regular triple.

After every student who requested a residence hall triple on their housing application is assigned and there are leftover spaces, only then will alternative   housing offers be provided to those students who did not request the available  room type like Student A.

What are my chances of getting housing?

We remain committed to offering students housing assignments that align with their preferences. Because of this, it is often hard to answer this question. Demand for housing is high and far exceeds remaining availability. The type of housing a student prefers can impact the chances of receiving a housing assignment or alternate housing offer. The more flexible you are in your housing options, the greater your chance of being assigned housing. The most common room types still available are in residence hall triples. If this accommodation type is not among your preferences, consider returning to the Housing Portal to update the room preferences listed in your housing application.

What is my place on the waitlist?

Because we are committed to offering students housing assignments that align with their preferences, this question is hard to answer. The waitlist is NOT a numbered list and does not work as such. The length of the waitlist correlates to the number of students wanting housing on campus. Students are assigned off this list based on what spaces are available and how well matched that space is to preferences indicated by the student, including consideration of compatibility with other roommates/housemates.

Why can’t those on the general waitlist know whether they will or won’t receive housing before the end of the academic year?

From start to finish, the UC Santa Cruz housing assignment process centers students’ preferences (e.g., single versus double versus triple rooms). Because of this, after the selection window closes for priority students, the remainder of the assignment process is completed manually by staff members. Staff, specifically Housing coordinators, carefully review available supply of rooms on campus and make assignments that align with students’ stated preferences. This portion of the process is not automated and takes considerable time. The housing team works on these assignments from May through the start of the school year.

If my preferred type of housing isn’t available, will I still be offered housing? I was offered a room type I didn't list?

Best efforts are made  to assign students to housing options they request when assigning off the waitlist. However, there is a finite number of each room type. If a room type you did not request becomes available, the Housing coordinator may offer you that spot. You will have 48 hours to accept. This deadline is strictly enforced. 

Please review your UCSC email account on a regular basis.

I got sent an alternate housing offer. How do alternate housing offers work? Why was I offered alternate housing?

If there are no spaces that match your room preferences, you will be offered a different room type. This includes rooms at other housing areas including other Colleges, the Village, and the University Town Center. 

Alternate housing offers are made via UCSC email and require students accept the offer within forty-eight (48) hours or the offer is void and the space will be offered to another student. Closely monitor your UCSC email and/or set up email forwarding to have your UCSC email forwarded to another account you check regularly. Students who do not respond during the allotted time, or decline an offer of housing, will be moved to the general waitlist and will no longer receive Priority Status for placement.

If you were offered alternative housing, it means the housing community you applied for does not have a room that meets your requests listed in your application. 

When will I know if I have a space available?

When a student is assigned to housing, they get an automatic email titled "UCSC Housing Assignment Confirmation". That email will only contain confirmation of the assignment. Information about roommates and room placement will be sent in a separate email by the end of August.

While the majority of our assignments are usually finished by mid-August, we assign students through the first week of class. We are working diligently to house as many students as possible but, regretfully, we will not be able to provide university housing for all interested students and we anticipate very little movement off of the waitlist before the start of the Fall quarter.

How can I increase my chances of getting housing?

  • Mark or flag housing emails as Important/VIP/etc. on your phone and in your email. 

    • The housing emails will be sent primarily from and the email address of the housing community you applied to.

    • In particular, mark the "Housing Application acknowledgment" email you were sent when you applied to housing. By marking your “Housing Application Acknowledgement” email as important, your email will know to prioritize all housing emails so you are more likely to see an alternate housing offer.

  • Opt into texts from UCSC in MyUCSC Notification Preferences. The Housing Office may text you to check your email for an alternative housing offer.

  • Check your email daily. If you are offered an alternate housing assignment, you will have 48 hours to accept.

  • List as many room types as you would be comfortable taking. The more room types you list on your housing application, the more likely it is that an available room will match your preference increasing the likelihood of an assignment.

Why don’t I have priority? 

Priority housing eligibility is determined by a number of factors. This housing priority page explains the housing priority criteria and requirements for 2022-2023.

I haven't heard anything from the Housing Office. Does this mean I won't get housing?

If you haven't heard from us, it means you are still on the waitlist and that you currently don't have housing. There is more information about the Waitlist and when you may learn about your housing on this FAQ.

Why does enrollment at UCSC increase while housing is in short supply?

Enrollment is holding steady at UCSC. Due to the limited supply of housing–on campus and in the Santa Cruz area–we are carefully managing our student enrollment. We are working  to hold enrollment steady at the current rates until additional housing is available.

With housing in short supply why are more remote learning opportunities not made available?

Though the pandemic necessitated use of remote learning modalities, in-person learning remains the primary mode of instruction at UC Santa Cruz. We believe in-person learning provides the best opportunity for learning, development, and transformation.

I still have questions. Who should I contact?

If you have questions that are not addressed on the list, please reach out to your College Housing office for further assistance.