- What is the lottery system and how do I get the room that I want?
Students who apply for housing by the deadline are assigned a random lottery number. The Assignments Office uses these lottery numbers in conjunction with the student's top five preferences to assign spaces to applicants. If your first choice is unavailable, we will look at your second, third, etc. Remember, in order to increase your chances of receiving a housing offer, you will need to agree to consider an offer that is not among your top five preferences.
How do I request the roommate I want?
You may request roommates by creating a roommate group. The group leader will need to look up and invite each student using the Student Identification (SID) number. Each person will need to confirm their membership in the roommate group for our office to review their request. We try our best to honor roommate requests, but are sometimes unable to do so. We recommend all members of the roommate group have identical housing preferences to maximize the chance of being placed together.
Does having a roommate group affect my chances of getting housing?
We recommend limiting your roommate group to two or three people total. Students whose lottery numbers are reached early in the selection process may receive a room assignment that can accommodate a larger group. However, most of our rooms are doubles and triples, so your location options will be more limited if you have a larger roommate group. For Continuing and Transfer students, our most common apartment sizes are for four people. Having a larger roommate group will limit your placement options, particularly if your lottery number is not assigned during the first round of housing offers. Students are able to edit their roommate groups in the housing application after the application is submitted, and up to one week after the application deadline.
I can’t find my intended roommate in the housing portal. What should I do?
This happens when the students’ listed gender does not match. The self-gender field on the housing portal has no effect on your roommate search; rather, we use the information from your student record. Typically one or both students have an “unknown” gender designation in the housing portal. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us to make a temporary or permanent update to the gender designation in your student record.
I’m nonbinary or declined to disclose my gender. Will this affect my roommate choices?
Roommates must have matching gender designations in order to create a group in the housing portal. We are able to temporarily update your gender designation in order for you to join a group; please email email@example.com to request a temporary or permanent update.
If you would like to live in Gender-Inclusive Housing designed to support trans and nonbinary students, please select yes in response to “Are you requesting an accommodation based on identity?” in the Accommodations section of the housing application. You may also find the identity-based accommodation form on our website.
- How can I apply for the apartments?
- How do I know if I'm eligible for the apartments? I will have junior credits; does that count?
Apartments run by the University are reserved mostly for upper division students. This means that you must have sophomore standing, not including AP credits, by the term for which you are applying for housing.
- When are the next year room rates posted?
Due to budget cycles and the rate certification process, room rates for the next academic year are posted in late February.
- What is the difference between small, standard, large and premium rooms? Why is the premium room more costly?
Premium rooms are located in Blackwell Hall. Premium rooms are typically in newer buildings with newer amenities, and therefore are priced differently than standard rooms in other locations. Blackwell is a premium building with new construction with a large gym, well appointed common spaces and floor lounges, and cutting-edge amenities in student rooms.
Clark Kerr campus has triple large rooms available. Standard triple rooms include bunk beds. Clark Kerr triple large rooms are larger bedrooms that allow all three students to have a bed on the ground, with no bunk beds.
Unit 1 and Unit 2 minisuite buildings have triple minisuite small rooms. These rooms are smaller in size than other triples in these locations and have only two closets. Therefore, they are priced more affordably.
- What is the difference between a large triple room and a standard triple room in Clark Kerr?
Clark Kerr standard triple rooms have a smaller floor plan and contain bunk beds. Students in Clark Kerr large triple rooms pay a higher rate for a room that is larger with sufficient space for all beds to be on the ground.
- What is the difference between a typical triple mini-suite room and a small triple mini-suite room?
Triple mini-suite rooms are larger rooms with three closets provided. Small triple mini-suites are slightly more affordable than triple mini-suite rooms. They are smaller rooms that have only two closets, to be shared by three residents. Both rooms include three beds, desks, dressers, and chairs, and share a semi-private bathroom with another room in the mini-suite.
- What does a minisuite look like?
A minisuite consists of two bedrooms and a shared bathroom, all with a separate, locked entrance. The minisuites have two bedrooms; some consist of two double rooms, some consist of one double bedroom and one triple room. Our videos tours provide the opportunity to see a sample minisuite.
- What is the difference between a townhouse apartment and a standard apartment space?
Townhouse apartments are available in Channing Bowditch and Martinez Commons, and have a higher rate than standard apartment spaces in these locations. Townhouse apartments are multi-floor apartments with larger footprints and more space. Townhouses also include more bathrooms than standard, one-level apartments.
- Are the floors and bathrooms single gender?
For the most part, the shared bathrooms in the residence halls are all gender; however, there are some floors in the Units that are single gender (with single-gender bathrooms). The third and fifth floors of Martinez Commons have both single gender and all gender bathrooms. Shared bathrooms in suites in the Units and Clark Kerr are single gender. Foothill suites with five or less bathrooms are single gender. Stern Hall is single gender. Apartments are all gender specific, unless a student has requested a gender inclusive apartment.
- When and how do we find out if we get housing?
All contracts will be sent via email, so make sure your email address is up to date. Continuing students apply first, then first-year students (including Fall Program for First Semester students), and new transfer students. On average, students are offered housing a month or so after the application deadline.
- Can I apply for only fall or only spring semester?
If you apply for housing for the fall semester your contract will be for the full academic year (see next question for one exception), which means August through May. If you are not going to be living with us in the fall, you can apply for housing for just the spring semester at a later date (usually in early October).
- I will be studying abroad during spring semester. Can I still apply for housing?
Yes. You will need to sign a full-year contract and then provide us with a letter of acceptance to your program and a Contract Cancellation Request Form. Do this early in the fall semester in order to cancel your housing contract for the spring semester (when you will be studying abroad).
- How do I get a rental verification?
For all rental verifications, please send an email to BusOps@berkeley.edu with the subject line "Rental Verification," and a Student Affairs Cashier's team member will process the verification.
- If I live in an apartment, am I responsible for cleaning my room and apartment?
Yes, cleaning is your responsibility. It is up to you to keep your room clean, and work with your roommates to keep the shared apartment spaces clean as well. Taking good care of your living space on a regular basis helps prevent pests, allergens, and damage that can result from accumulated dirt. Review our Apartment Cleaning & Maintenance tips.
Note that some apartment buildings have optional cleaning services you may pay for during the academic year. Please check the housing webpage for your apartment building for more information on whether cleaning services are available.
- I’m having an issue with my housing. Can I move out and be released from my contract?
Your first step is to reach out to your Resident Assistant or your front desk regarding the issue you are experiencing. If your issue cannot be resolved, please apply for a room transfer. You may email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the link to the room transfer request form. The Appeals Board oversees requests for cancellation that were not approved for contract cancellation through the normal process of finding a replacement for your contract. The Appeals Board will only consider cases of extreme hardship. For all financial appeals, students must show that they have exhausted all possible options provided by the Financial Aid Office, including loans. For medical and mental health appeals, the student must have engaged in the ADA accommodations process. Appeals related to roommate conflicts will not be granted, as the student must engage in the room transfer process. Appeals for students who have found alternate housing will not be granted. Filing an appeal does not guarantee cancellation.
- What is FERPA?
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that applies to all educational institutions (primary, secondary, and postsecondary schools) receiving funds under any applicable program of the DOEd. FERPA was put in place to protect the privacy of student education records, which are records that are:
- Directly related to the student, and
- Maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
For minors, FERPA gives parents rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights are automatically transferred to the student once the student:
- Turns 18, or
- Attends a postsecondary educational institution (i.e. beyond high school). The student assumes responsibility for the record once a Statement of Intent to Register is submitted to the postsecondary educational institution.
Non-minor students and those who attend postsecondary educational institutions are considered “eligible students” who have full rights under FERPA with respect to their education records.
- What are the implications of accepting a housing offer?
By clicking the Finalize Acceptance button at the bottom of your housing offer, you are completing the process of securing your placement in campus housing. You are accepting financial responsibility for your housing until the end of the contract period. If you later decide to live off campus, then cancellation of your housing agreement is not guaranteed.
Cancellation is contingent on an eligible replacement (another eligible student) accepting financial responsibility for the housing agreement. Residents requesting cancellation will continue to be liable for room and board fees until an eligible replacement is found and/or the request is approved by the Cal Housing Office in writing. If an eligible replacement is not found, the resident is financially responsible for the entire balance of the housing agreement.
Students who cancel their enrollment with UC Berkeley or withdraw from the University must submit a cancellation request form with the UC Berkeley Housing office and provide supporting documentation of their change in enrollment to be considered for a cancellation of their housing agreement.
For the full cancellation policy please refer to the Terms & Conditions for your particular housing agreement.