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Incoming First-Year Housing FAQ

Have first-year questions?

All first-year students live in on-Grounds housing. This means the Housing & Residence Life Assignments Office is important to your first year! Our staff is responsible for making all on-Grounds housing assignments. They are here to help you if you have any questions regarding the assignments process.

You can visit our office in Gibbons House (425 Tree House Drive) in the Alderman Road Residence Area or contact us with any question not addressed in this FAQ.

How do I apply for housing?

Incoming first-years should complete the online First-Year Housing Application after May 1 and before June 1.

You will need to pay your Admissions deposit and activate your University computing ID before attempting to access the application. Please be sure to read the application carefully before submitting it.

What are my options in first-year housing?

Assignments in first-year housing are completely random. Details about first-year housing areas online are provided for the general purpose of sharing information, and to allow first-years and their families to learn more about the area where they will live, once they receive their housing assignment.

Incoming first-year students cannot select a specific first-year housing area. You can, however, request assignment in one of UVA's three residential colleges, which house undergraduate students from all years.

On the housing application, you can state that you would prefer:

Your stated preference impacts but does not guarantee your housing assignment.

In addition, you cannot specify a preference for hallway- or suite-style housing.

What is the open housing roommate option?

Housing & Residence Life (HRL) welcomes students of all genders at UVA, with a goal of providing housing accommodations that are conducive to individual academic success. HRL offers an inclusive housing option, known as open housing, to students who wish to request roommates regardless of their sex or gender identity.  We also offer individual assistance for students who wish to explore on-Grounds housing options that accommodate their gender identity or gender expression.

To learn more, please visit our Open Housing page.

What should I know about preferencing a residential college on my housing application?

By preferencing a residential college on your housing application, you agree that you may be assigned to live there.

  • If you select a residential college as a preference on your housing application, you will be given additional application instructions to complete.
  • Brown College and Hereford College require a Residential College meal plan. For more information, see
  • Each residential college charges a program fee to support community events and activities.

What is the $400 deposit for?

The $400 deposit you may hear about is the Admissions deposit. First years are not required to pay a deposit for housing. You will be billed for your housing fees later this summer.

How is my assignment made?

Our assignment software randomly generates your room assignment after the application deadline. While your preference for a traditional first-year area room or a residential college room that you state on your application will impact your housing assignment, it is not guaranteed that your assignment will reflect your stated preferences.

We cannot consider special requests other than accommodations made through the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC). See “How can I receive assistance from the University if I have a disability or medical condition? below.

May I request a roommate?

You may consider opting to have a roommate assigned to you, which is an easy way to meet someone new as you start your UVA journey!

If you do want to request a roommate, preferences must be mutual and designated on your housing application during the roommate preference phase of the application process. We strive to assign preferred roommates together, however, it may not be possible to honor all roommate preferences.

How does the roommate preference process work?

To opt into the roommate preference process, complete the two steps below during the roommate preferences phase. This is done on the housing application at

  1. Roommate Profile: Specify whether potential roommates can search for you, enter an optional description of yourself, and complete optional profile questions that can be used to help others match with you.
  2. Roommate Searching: Search for a preferred roommate, or accept/decline a roommate request from another student.

Due to space limitations, we cannot guarantee that requested roommates will be placed together. The order in which requests are received does not determine any ranking in the process, so there is no advantage to completing the process early. The assignments process begins after the published deadline, so we cannot accommodate late roommate requests.

What if I'm an Echols or Rodman Scholar?

The Office of Admission will provide a list of scholars to Housing & Residence Life during the summer. Echols and Rodman Scholars will be able to self-select into the Scholars Community (in the Alderman Road area) through the housing application process. Please note, any preferred roommates must also be a scholar, and must also select the Scholars Community. The Scholars Community is limited by the available space in the designated Alderman Road building(s).

How can I receive assistance from the University if I have a disability or medical condition?

Please see our Special Housing Accommodations page for information.

What is the procedure for bringing a service animal to the University?

Please see our Service and Assistance Animals page for information.

When do I find out where I'll live?

You will receive your room and roommate assignment in late June, as long as you submit your application by the June 1 deadline.

When can I move in?

You will be given your move-in date along with your room assignment in late June. For more information, see Move-In and Move-Out.

Do I have to live on-Grounds?

All first-year students must live on Grounds. If you believe your extraordinary circumstances (such as being non-traditionally aged or being a parent) qualify you for consideration to live off-Grounds, please send your request to

What kind of decorations are allowed for my room?

Please see our pages regarding Fire Prevention, Decoration Policies, and Prohibited Items for specific information. You may also want to check out our What to Bring FAQ.