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Making a Second-Year Housing Decision

Aerial photo of downtown Madison.

Your student may have already started talking with you about where he or she might live next fall — in part because campus-area property owners and managers begin contacting students about next year’s fall vacancies as early as September. And then there’s what some call the “Fall Housing Rush Myth” — a myth that students need to decide by November where to live next fall or there will be no openings left. This is simply not true.

We encourage first year-students to wait until after winter break before they make their second year housing decision. Throughout the fall semester, new students are still acclimating to their current living arrangements as well as the campus. They continue to meet new people, and their friendships are evolving. By waiting until after winter break, students are more likely to make an informed decision about housing, including knowing who they want to live with, as well as having a better understanding about their second-year housing needs.

The University Residence Halls are always an option for second-year students. Both current on-campus residents and off-campus students are given priority to select the specific room they want to live in, as well as the option to “cluster” with friends within the same hall. A variety of floor-plan options are available, ranging from single rooms to suite-style units, in a wide variety of locations across campus. Information about the 2014–15 contract process for returning University Residence Hall residents can be found on the University Housing website.

Students may choose from a wide range of campus-area options, such as apartments, houses, suites, roommate vacancies, cooperative living arrangements, etc. Students who choose to live off-campus are encouraged to use UW–Madison’s Campus Area Housing Service, which features a consolidated and searchable list of campus-area rentals from property owners and managers, big and small. Please note that the university simply hosts this online domain for rental vacancies and does not inspect or endorse any of the rental units.

To help students begin thinking about housing options, Campus Area Housing, in collaboration with campus and community partners, is hosting the Student Housing Fair on Tuesday, November 12, from 3-6 p.m. at Union South (Varsity Hall).

For more information about housing options, visit the Parent Program website.