On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Housing
On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Housing
Some considerations in comparing on-campus and off-campus housing:
Finding a good place to live takes time, but remember there are a lot of choices. If you're wondering whether you should live on-campus or on-campus, here are some things to consider:
Space in the UW residence halls (dormitories) is limited. If you want to live on campus, you should apply to a residence hall as soon as you can. Generally, the best, least expensive, and most convenient places to live near the university are often filled 2-3 months before a new quarter begins.
If you live in residence hall, you will only need to walk a short distance to classes. Off-campus apartments can be either near or far to campus, but you can usually walk, bike, or bus to the university from many apartments in the University District. There are several other neighborhoods with good buses to the University, including Green Lake, Wallingford, and Ravenna.
Residence hall rooms come with furniture (beds, desks, chairs, closets, etc.) They also have free cable tv and internet access. Off-campus housing may be furnished or unfurnished, and you may need to set up your own telephone, internet, and utilities.
Some residence halls have only limited access to kitchens, and others have in-unit kitchens if you want to cook for yourself. Most residence hall rooms come with a required "dining plan," with a range of levels you can choose from depending on your needs. Choices range from salad bars and sandwiches, to pizza and international food. If you live off-campus, you can cook for yourself - this can be cheaper, healthier, and more flexible than on-campus dining. Please remember that eating at restaurants can become expensive if you do it a lot!
Residence halls are clean and well-maintained; some are brand new or have been open only one or two years. Cheaper off-campus apartments can vary in quality; however, most can be made comfortable. Before signing a contract (lease) for an apartment, make sure to walk around with the landlord and write down any repairs needed for their information and for yours. Make sure the place you want to rent is clean and has everything working well.
Residence halls house hundreds of students, so sometimes it can become noisy. Most residence hall rooms are shared with at least one other person, so you will need to make adjustments and be flexible. However, living in the halls does provide a social atmosphere and the chance to meet friends. If you live off-campus in a room in a shared house, you will also have several people living in the house with you. Living in an off-campus apartment may be quieter, more private, and you can also have more choices about how you live.
7) Legal Obligations:
Contracts for both residence halls and apartments are legally binding documents. Residence hall contracts are for the academic year, but you can leave early by paying an extra fee. Apartment contracts (leases) are more difficult to break; however, you choose the length of a lease before you sign it. Talk about this with your landlord or with Student Legal Services before you sign a lease.
Residence hall costs for room and meals are usually similar to apartment costs off campus. Depending on the neighborhood, you may be able to rent inexpensive off-campus housing with other students and share food, rent, and other costs.
9) Living with a Roommate:
Sharing room or apartment with people can be an interesting experience. To have a good living situation, you should be open and communicate honestly with your roommates. It is a good idea to talk about issues such as privacy, using the phone, schedules, study and social habits, food, chores, cleaning, and finances before problems arise.
Click here for more information on on-campus housing options.
On-Campus/ Campus Affiliated Housing
Here is some important information if you're considering living on-campus:
When to apply: Acceptance to the UW does not mean you will automatically be able to live in the residence halls. If you want to live on campus, you should apply to a residence hall as soon as possible - applications are prioritized by the date they are received.
Autumn applications for returning residents are typically available in early April and the application for new students is typically available in early May. By August much of the on-campus housing is full, so apply early!
For information on the different types of on-campus student housing available, please contact UW Housing & Food Services:
Address: 301 Schmitz Hall, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195
Telephone: +1 (206) 543-4059
How to apply: You must apply for housing through the Housing & Food Services website and pay a deposit. If you are accepted, you will receive an assignment email (for 9-month residence hall or 12-month apartment) or an offer for an apartment (for family housing). Offers are sent out during the end of summer for autumn move-ins. Remember, getting on-campus housing is not guaranteed, even if you apply.
Moving In: The UW Residence Halls open a few days before classes begin, so if you move in before classes start, please remember that food services are limited before the first day of class. 12-Month apartment move-in is scheduled for mid-September. Family housing move-ins are arranged the housing office. Move-in appointments are scheduled Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
NOTE: If you are arriving for Autumn Quarter International Student Orientation and would like to move in to the residence halls before they open, you may apply for Early Arrival Housing. Please see theHFS website for details.
Please contact HFS at email@example.com if you have any questions.
The UW offers housing for students with families. Family housing is popular and generally has a waiting list, so it is important to apply early. The waiting period can be up to 18 months. Assignments are based on priority and date of application. Please contact HFS for more information.
UW Housing offers a wide variety of options for on-campus housing for undergraduates, from traditional residence halls to apartment-style options with private bathrooms and kitchens. All halls are non-smoking and co-ed, which means that men and women live in different rooms on the same floor, or on separate corridors. Rooms are furnished, but do not have bedding or sheets. Dining areas are located throughout campus and use the Husky Card payment system.
In addition to the residence halls, there are 12-month apartment options for graduate students and undergraduates who plan to stay on campus during the summer:
Mercer Court: Opening in September 2013, the newest campus community has private and shared apartments for both graduate students and undergraduates. All units are furnished and have private bathrooms and in-unit kitchens. Mercer Court is located in West Campus. 9- and 12-month agreements available.
Stevens Court: Stevens Court has unfurnished one-bedroom apartments for married couples or registered same-sex domestic partners with no children, and furnished 4- and 6-bedroom apartments for single students. Satellite TV, internet access, and utilities are included in the rent. Laundry facilities are available on site. Stevens Court is located in West Campus. 9- and 12-month agreements.
Commodore Duchess: Unfurnished studio and one-bedroom apartments for single or married/registered same-sex domestic partners currently enrolled in classes. Commodore Duchess is located in West Campus. 12-month agreement.
Radford Court: Unfurnished studio, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, located less than three miles northeast of campus, are available for single students, couples, and families. Our most flexible property, with the option to live with non-UW students. Pets are allowed at Radford Court. 12-month agreement.
Nordheim Court: Furnished apartments located near University Village Shopping Center (0.5 miles from campus) with utility and a fitness center costs included in the rent. 12-month agreement.
Blakeley Village & Laurel Village: 2- or 3-bedroom unfurnished apartments are available for students with families. These apartments are located one mile east of campus. These options are popular, and are a quiet, affordable, family-oriented community. Month-to-month agreement.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for On-Campus Housing?
You must apply for housing through the Housing and Food Services website and pay a deposit. If you are accepted, you will receive an assignment letter (for residence hall housing) or an offer for an apartment (for family and single-student housing). Offers are sent out during the end of summer for autumn move-ins. Remember, getting on-campus housing is not guaranteed, even if you apply.
When can I move in?
If you have a reservation for single student housing, you will need to arrange a move-in time with the housing office. Move-in appointments are scheduled Monday-Friday between 8am and 5pm. The UW Residence Halls open a few days before classes begin, so if you move in before classes start, please remember that food services are limited before the first day of class.
NOTE: If you are arriving for Autumn Quarter International Student Orientation and would like to move in to the residence halls before they open, you may apply for Early Arrival Housing. Please see the HFS website for details.
Please contact HFS at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Can my family live on campus with me?
The UW offers housing for students with families. Family housing is popular and generally has a waiting list, so it is important to apply early. There is usually a 6-18 month waiting period before placements are issued in the family housing properties. The waiting list is compiled by a priority system and "date of application." Please contact HFS for more information.
If you plan to rent private housing, here are some places to look:
1) Come to the FIUTS office. We have postings in our office of houses and apartments for rent, often from people interested in renting to international students.
2) The Off-Campus Housing Affairs (OCHA) office is the best housing resource for students. You can look at apartments both in their office and on their website. You should also see their “Husky Housing Handbook” for ideas on finding housing, landlord-tenant relations, and limited legal advice. Housing is listed by in order of price.
3) Craigslist and apartmentsearch.com are popular websites that lists rooms and apartments for rent. Other helpful resources are ApartmentList.com which pulls from over 100 different sources, and myapartmentmap which has a nice function that allows you to search by area.
4) You can find apartments in local newspapers such as the University of Washington Daily, The Seattle Times, The Seattle Weekly, and The Stranger.
5) Students often find housing by walking around the University District neighborhood looking for the "For Rent" signs displayed on local apartments and houses.
Furniture is not included in the cost of most apartment rentals. You will be responsible for buying your own furniture. Craigslist is a common website to find inexpensive, used furniture. Alternatively, many students also rent furniture while they are in Seattle through CORT Rental Furniture. This is often cheaper and more convenient than buying.
While FIUTS offers homestays for new students, our homestays are for 7-10 days only. If you are looking for a longer term homestay experience, some options are listed here.
The FIUTS homestay is a great option for your first week in Seattle. FIUTS Hosts are very helpful, and often take their students around to see the city, help them shop for things they need, and sometimes help them move in. A homestay is a great way to be welcomed to a new country and learn about the US. There is a fee for homestays - to apply, please see our Homestay Page. (If you are looking for a longer term homestay experience, some options are listed here.)
Hotels and Hostels:
There are many hotels and hostels in Seattle. Hostels are usually cheaper than hotels, and have dormitory-style bunk beds shared with other guests. Hostels also have shared kitchens, lounges, or bathrooms. Whether you stay in a hostel or a hotel, it is a good idea to ask about discounts if you plan to stay more than a few days - many hotels have weekly rates.
University District Hotels
4242 Roosevelt Way NE
4140 Roosevelt Way NE
College Inn Guest House
4000 University Way NE
University Silver Cloud Inn
4725 NE 25th Avenue
4507 Brooklyn Avenue NE
Other Seattle Hotels
City Hostel Seattle - Belltown
2327 2nd Ave.
Green Tortoise Hostel- Downtown
105 1/2 Pike St.
Hotel Max - Downtown
620 Stewart Street
Sheraton Hotel - Downtown
1400 6th Ave.