Housing FAQs


This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Are University Residence Halls open this year?

Yes, UW-Madison has returned to in-person instruction for the 2021-22 academic year, and all University Housing residence halls are open. We will continue following guidance from health experts to maintain a safe, supportive environment and a great on-campus living experience for our residents.

What is the current requirement for mask wearing on campus?

Effective March 12, 2022, wearing a mask in UW–Madison interior spaces is no longer required, and the following campus guidance will be in effect.

The university has purchased a large quantity of high-efficiency and surgical grade masks to provide at no cost to students who wish to use these types of masks, which will be available at residence hall desks.

How will policies be enforced?

Staff perform nightly rounds of all resident floors and all resident entrances are monitored by security cameras and a 24-hour electronic locking system. All residents are expected to adhere to policies in the Student Housing Handbook. Violations of COVID-related policies can result in removal of students from their residence hall and revocation of their Housing contract with no refund.

What can I do if I see policies being violated?

The UW-Madison Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards has a form to fill out to report a public health concern. Please be aware that the more specific information is provided, the better we will be able to act on the report.

What is UW-Madison's authority to implement these policies?

UW-Madison has authority under State law to protect the health and safety of those on campus. Policies of the Board of Regents also empower the Chancellor to develop public health polices and require those on campus to comply with those policies.

As a parent I would prefer to handle this for my student as this transition is stressful enough for them. If I give you all their information, can I just handle all of this for them?

Since the Housing contract is in the student’s name and they are responsible for the outcome, it is best for us to work directly with the student. This is a great opportunity for students to learn responsibility and self-advocacy skills. If you want to help, a great way to do that is to talk with your student prior to them contacting us so they feel prepared to reach out.

What health resources are available to students who feel sick and may have COVID or have mental health concerns due to COVID?

If students are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, symptoms of anxiety or depression, or any other medical concerns, please call University Health Services (UHS) at 608-265-5600. UHS has a 24/7 nurse advice line and a 24/7 mental health crisis line for concerns that arise after hours and on the weekends. If a student is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, they should dial 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

  • Medical: 608-265-5600 (option 1) – if you have general COVOD-19 questions
  • Mental Health Services: 608-265-5600 (option 2)
  • 24/7 Mental Health Crisis: 608-265-5600 (option 9)

Will Housing be providing quarantine or isolation spaces for residents who get COVID-19 or who are exposed?

Yes, University Housing will be providing isolation and quarantine housing for residents who test positive or who have had exposure for COVID-19.

My residence hall doesn't have air conditioning, can I request a window unit?

Students are not allowed to bring their own air conditioner. Housing will only install air conditioner window units for students who require air conditioning for disability and medical-related reasons and who are not assigned to a room with central air. Instructions for requesting an air conditioner for a fee are available in the “Application” process of My UW Housing after a student has received their assignment.

Vaccination & Testing

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Is UW-Madison requiring vaccination against COVID-19?

Vaccination for COVID-19 is not required at UW-Madison, but it is strongly encouraged for the health and safety of you and the campus community. Nearly 95% of students are fully vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccines authorized and approved in the United States remain highly effective, especially against severe illness and death. Booster shots help safely increase protection against infection and severe outcomes in fully vaccinated people. UHS is providing free COVID-19 vaccination and booster shots to UW–Madison employees and students ages 18 and older by appointment through the MyUHS app or web portal.

Given the current state of the pandemic, as well as continuing uncertainty around President Biden’s Executive Order regarding vaccination of federal contractors and subcontractors, mandatory, on-campus testing of unvaccinated individuals — employees and students — is paused effective April 4, 2022.

Campus will continue to consult public health experts and monitor national public health recommendations.

If you are vaccinated, remember to upload your vaccination status with UHS, including booster vaccines.

What testing resources are available to students?

Students have access to at-home antigen tests, and no-cost PCR testing by appointment through UHS. For details, visit the UW-Madison COVID Response testing page.

I got a positive result with an antigen test. What should I do?

If you get a positive antigen test result (not PCR test) at any point during the semester, submit your positive result to Housing, not UHS, and prepare to move into isolation housing when we send you instructions. For more details, visit our COVID-19 Testing page.

Submit a Positive Antigen Test Result

What health guidance is there for unvaccinated students?

If you are unvaccinated and testing to monitor COVID-19, here are some additional steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Continue to wear face coverings in indoor settings and while on public transportation
  • Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet indoors when possible
  • Follow good hand washing practices and use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Comply with Move In and Weekly testing requirements
  • Get tested if you learn that you had exposure to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and help our campus to return to normal. We strongly encourage you to get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Any student who has not yet been vaccinated will have an opportunity to receive a no-cost vaccine on campus.

I am vaccinated and will have an unvaccinated roommate. Should I be concerned?

Being vaccinated against COVID-19 and up-to-date on booster vaccination provides the greatest level of protection against severe illness and hospitalization from the virus. You also remain much better protected from infection than people who are unvaccinated and people who are fully vaccinated but also overdue for their booster. In most instances, an unvaccinated roommate does not pose a major threat to you because of the high effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against poor outcomes.

Visit the campus vaccination page to make sure you’re current with vaccination guidance, or to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated or receive your booster. Being boosted once you’re eligible means you do not have to quarantine if you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but have not yet received one, you will need to quarantine if you are a close contact. Once you have been boosted, make sure UHS has your record on file.

I was vaccinated off-campus, how do I let you know?

If you are being vaccinated off campus, including by a UW Health clinic or by a UW Health provider, wait until you have received either the single dose of a one-dose vaccine or both shots of a two-dose vaccine. Then choose one of the two methods below:

Give UHS permission to access your record in the Wisconsin Immunization Registry  Complete this form (This option is currently available for faculty and staff).


Upload your record directly to MyUHS:

  • Log into MyUHS using your NetID and password.
  • Select “Enter my COVID-19 Vaccine information.”
  • You will be prompted to upload a copy of your immunization record. This can be an image file (PNG, JPG, JPEG) or a PDF. Attempting to upload other kinds of files will result in an error message. Accepted records include:
    • The official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card you receive at your vaccine site. It must contain two patient identifiers, such as name and date of birth; vaccine lot number; vaccine name (for example, Moderna, Pfizer or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson); date of vaccination (there should be two dates for Moderna and Pfizer); clinic name (must be an official clinic name; if the clinic was a chain pharmacy, please include the store number). The example below shows these fields.

A sample CDC vaccination card showing the five fields — noted above — that must be filled in.

Allow up to five business days for the record to be reflected in your MyUHS account. While the record is under review your Medical Clearance information will indicate “awaiting review.” Once it is approved, this field will say “satisfied.” Your Badger Badge will turn green once it has been two weeks since your final dose and your record has been approved.

If you received your vaccination in Wisconsin, and cannot find the record in WIR, contact the WIR Help Desk at 608-266-9691 or email DHSWIRHelp@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

Is a booster dose required to be considered as fully vaccinated?

No, UW-Madison considers students fully vaccinated if they have completed their first series of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, and a booster dose is not required. However,  everyone who is eligible for a booster dose is strongly recommended to get one as soon as possible. No-cost vaccines and boosters are available on campus through UHS.  If you received a booster shot off-campus, let UHS know by sharing your records through the MyUHS website or app.

For the spring 2022 semester, if your roommate tests positive at any point, residents who are vaccinated but have not yet received a recommended booster shot when eligible will need to quarantine. Residents who are fully vaccinated AND boosted will not need to quarantine if their roommate tests positive.


This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

When will students get their room assignment information?

We anticipate that our first wave of room assignments and roommate information will be released in mid-June. This information will be shared through an email to your wisc.edu account, and it will also be available in My UW Housing. Some students will receive a later assignment as we work through final adjustments and cancellations throughout the summer. If you are a returning resident, you have already selected your room, and that information can be reviewed in My UW Housing. For students joining campus starting at the spring semester, assignment information is typically sent in early-January.

How many students will have to wait for a later assignment?

Later assignments are a normal part of our process, to allow us to work through final adjustments and cancellations throughout the summer before placing some students. This year, because of the high demand for spaces and the timing of our first wave of assignments in mid-June, there will be more students receiving their assignments later. We project there may be up to 1,000 residents who receive their assignment sometime after the first wave. You are still guaranteed to have a space with University Housing for the fall.

What are my odds of getting one of my top hall preferences?

We cannot guarantee that you will be assigned to one of the residence halls or room types you ranked in your preferences. For example, Ogg has about 650 available spaces for first-years but was ranked by almost 4,000 students as one of their top three choices.

Will Housing be using Lowell Center again this year?

Yes, Lowell Center will again be used as a residence hall, featuring resident rooms that have their own bathroom. Lowell Market will again be available in the building for dining for residents. Lowell was originally built in 1961 as a private residence hall and has operated for many years as a campus hotel. It offers a mix of singles, doubles, and triples, each with a private bathroom. Residents will have typical residence hall furniture and storage space in their rooms, along with access to high-speed internet, TV service, laundry facilities, and shared spaces for studying and socializing, similar to other residence halls. On-site Residence Life staff will provide student support and programming throughout the year.

Why is residence hall demand so high for this fall?

UW-Madison will again have a robust incoming class of first-year students, similar to high levels at our peer flagship universities. With that high enrollment comes high demand for living on campus, with students wanting that in-person residence hall experience to meet new friends and take advantage of academic resources. As a result, we will be using more triples and quads this year, along with more spaces in Lowell Center, and cannot guarantee that students will be assigned to one of the residence halls or room types that they ranked in their preferences.

I have a question about my hall assignment. How do I reach out to Housing to talk to someone about it?

Feel free to fill out our contact form if you have any questions or concerns about your assignment. We typically reply to submitted questions within three business days. Filling out the form once is sufficient. We will return your message. Multiple contacts inhibit our ability to get back to you and other students in a timely manner.

Triple & Quad Rooms

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Will there be triple and quad resident rooms this year?

Yes, with demand for on-campus housing being higher than ever, we expect to have many first-year students living in triples and quads this year. These spaces provide similar amenities for residents as traditional doubles and allow us to accommodate more students who want to live in the residence halls. Triple rooms are a common practice at many of our peer universities, and resident satisfaction has remained mostly positive in triples.

What are triples/quads/hextuples like?

Triples are larger double rooms that can accommodate 3 residents. Quads and hextuples are lounge/den spaces that have been converted to accommodate 4 or 6 residents. All of these spaces have been assessed to ensure they provide plenty of space, and all include similar furniture and amenities for each resident as what they would find in other resident rooms. Housing has used spaces like these in this way for several years with good success. We simply have more of these spaces being used in this way than in the past. Example images of many of these room setups can be found on our residence hall pages.

What rooms/buildings are going to have triple rooms?

All new students in Dejope, Leopold, Ogg, and Smith will be in triples. Some rooms in Adams, Phillips, and Tripp will be triples as well.

Do residents in a triple or a quad pay a lower rate for housing?

Costs for triple, quad, and hextuple rooms are among our lowest resident rates. They are based on the rates established for similar triple and quad rooms that we have used in past years, approved by the UW Board of Regents. These rates also compare well with similar rooms at other Big Ten universities. Rates for all of our buildings and room types can be found on our Billing & Rates page.


This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Can I cancel my contract if I no longer want to live in Housing with these circumstances?

Because of the high demand, we are offering students the option to cancel their 2022-23 housing contract to free up space and minimize the number of expanded spaces needed. Cancellations requested by 11:59 p.m. Central on June 1, 2022 will have their $225 deposit fully refunded. Cancellation requests can be submitted in My UW Housing. Before canceling, we strongly suggest you first secure off-campus housing, since many nearby private apartments may be full for the school year.

Will I still be able to cancel my contract after June 1?

If you are a new student who decides to not attend UW-Madison, you can be released from your contract. Other cancellation requests after June 1 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, based on whether demand for housing exceeds capacity. Cancellations after June 1 will forfeit their deposit. If you are attending UW-Madison, once the contract has been signed and the advance payment has been made, it becomes a legally binding contract for the entire academic year and we do not release students from the contract unless we are in a position where demand for housing exceeds occupancy. If you wish to cancel, you should submit a cancellation request in your My UW Housing portal as soon as possible. If we were able to offer a contract release, we would send you an email with a release offer, which you would need to respond to by the given deadline. Until that time, you should not make alternate housing plans since you would still be financially responsible for all charges under the contract.

What is the free dining plan incentive for cancellations?

The first 300 students who submit a cancellation request after receiving the May 24, 2022 Fall Updates email will receive a FREE Go10 dining plan (valued at $3,800) for the 2022-23 academic year to be used in Housing facilities while living off campus. Please note, accepting a free meal plan with the cancellation of your Housing Contract could impact your financial aid package. It is recommended that you contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to learn about potential impact on aid packages as a step in your Housing Contract cancellation process. You are not required to accept the meal plan with your cancellation. If you do not wish to accept a free meal plan with your Housing Contract cancellation, please notify the Assignment Office by email at AssignMe@housing.wisc.edu.


This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Where can students live if they are not in the residence halls?

The area around UW-Madison offers a large amount of conveniently located private housing for students. The Campus Area Housing service is UW-Madison’s official resource for students searching for privately-owned rentals. Many of these properties offer social opportunities, affordable rental rates, and amenities comparable to the residence halls.

If I wasn't able to live in the residence halls this year, are there ways I can still take advantage of Housing programs and services to support my first-year experience?

The Center for First Year Experience (CFYE) offers many resources available to first-year students. From first year interest groups, Go Big Read, and How-to Guides, there are lots of options to explore. Other campus offices assist students, such as the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI) which connects students to more then 700 student organizations and other leadership opportunities on campus. Other great places to get involved can be seen here: https://newstudent.wisc.edu/information-for/students/.

I am currently on the waiting list for University Housing, will you be able to offer me a contract?

Unfortunately, no. We do not anticipate reaching any students on our waiting list for Academic Year 2022-23. Each year, our goal is to offer housing to as many students as are interested. We have a limited number of spaces and can only guarantee housing to those who were offered and completed a contract by their given deadline. We continue to closely monitor cancellations and would only reach out to students through their @wisc.edu email with an update in the highly unlikely event that we reach them on the waiting list. Campus Area Housing is a great resource on campus for assisting students in seeking off-campus housing options. Their website has an option to search for housing and roommates.

If I don’t get into the residence halls this fall, could I get a room for the spring semester?

At this time, we do not anticipate having any open spaces in the residence halls in Spring 2023 for students who did not get housing this fall.

Learning Communities

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

I got placed in a Learning Community but I don’t want to be in one or pay the fee.

We do our best to place students in the communities that they ranked in their preferences, however, we always see a large number of students preferencing the same buildings. Because of this, it is possible for students to be placed in any hall or community on campus, even if they did not rank or prioritize it in their preferences.

Past Learning Community residents report a high degree of satisfaction with their living experience and the support they received in exploring academic and career interests. The learning community fee covers some of the costs of the additional services, programs, and staff that are made available to you while living in the community.Your level of involvement in the community is entirely up to you.

I saw something about a Learning Community Seminar. Is this something I have to do? Is it required?

Each learning community offers a for-credit seminar only available to residents in that community. The seminar explores the theme of the learning community while connecting you with other students, faculty mentors, and industry leaders. If you are living in a learning community, you get to take a class with friends while getting insider tips on being successful in college and your future career. Most seminars are 1-credit and easily fit into your course schedule. We strongly encourage you to enroll in the seminar in order to make the most of your experience, but it is not required. If you have more questions, you should talk with your academic advisor.


This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

I want to change my move-in date, what do I do?

For Fall 2022, residence halls move-in will take place August 29 – September 1. Students will receive their assigned move-in date and time in mid-June via email and in My UW Housing. Assigned times allow us to spread out activity evenly to allow for distancing and parking needs. You will have some ability to request a change of your assigned move-in date/time if it does not fit your schedule in My UW Housing depending on availability of open slots. Some students may be required to move in earlier or on a specific day based on organizations or jobs they might be involved in.

I have questions about room dimensions, furniture and other items so I can get all the right things for Move-in. How do I get that information from you?

We have lots of the information listed on our website. Browse to your residence hall and on that specific hall page, you’ll find approximate room dimensions and floor plans for most room types in that building. In addition, there are floor plans and 360-degree virtual tours to see how other students arrange items in their room. If you have additional questions than what can be seen here, please contact us and we’ll get back to you. Please note that there can be some variability among room dimensions within each hall, and it’s not possible for us to catalog every measurement, so we encourage you to wait to purchase too many items until you arrive and see your actual room.

Can I send packages or items before move-in?

Yes. If necessary, residents can ship packages prior to their move-in date for pick-up. Due to storage space constraints, do not ship large items, and do not ship items more than one week prior to your move-in date. All US Mail and packages are received and distributed by your hall desk. Mail is placed in your mailbox. Packages are logged, placed in storage, and an email is sent to your @wisc.edu account notifying you a package is available for pickup. You must have your Wiscard (or another form of ID) with you to receive your package, but you do not need to print out the email notification. Addresses for each residence hall are available on their individual hall pages.

Resident Experience

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Where can I go to study outside my room?

Study rooms and lounges in the residence halls are available for residents, possibly with some capacity restrictions. Many other campus study spaces are also available with reduced capacity. All students, employees and visitors to campus are required to wear masks when inside campus buildings, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

Can we use the kitchens in residence halls?

Kitchens in the residence halls are open for the 2021-22 academic year. Masks are required, regardless of vaccination status, except when eating or drinking. See signage in kitchens for additional guidelines.

How are students of color being supported in the halls?

The Center for Cultural Enrichment (CCE) in Witte hosts drop-in hours for residents. In addition, the CCE plans to host virtual events for residents that will be shared on social media and resident newsletters.

The Multicultural Learning Community (MLC) in Witte has multiple events and spaces each week for residents. In addition, MLC House Fellows are accessible for all residents of the MLC.

Dining - General

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

What Dining facilities are open?

Visit our Dining locations and hours page to see the latest updates and schedules. All of our Dining locations will be open for the 2022-23 academic year.

What if I have special dietary needs or restrictions?

Students with dietary needs should continue to work with our dietitian.

Who is allowed to use Housing’s dining locations?

Most of our dining locations are open to anyone on campus this fall, including students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Other guests may order food for delivery from this location through Starship Technologies app.

What can a student do if facing financial hardship?

If you have a financial hardship or are in need of additional resources, please contact the UW-Madison Office of Student Financial Aid. This office also offers student resources for emergency support. University Health Services also provides information on food assistance for students.

Does all-you-care-to-eat service create more food waste?

No, we use a trayless system for all-you-to-eat so residents take what they would like. Residents are welcome to come back as many times as they would like to take additional food, and this helps reduce food waste. In addition, University Housing Dining takes any leftover unserved food from the Dining Markets and creates pre-packaged frozen microwaveable meals. These meals are available at no cost to any student on-campus facing food insecurity. To learn more about this program and where you can pick-up food see our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Will seating areas be open between meal periods?

No, because staff need to clean and prepare the market between every meal serving period, both the dining room and market will be closed to the public.

Will seating areas be open for studying or socializing?

Residents who have paid for a meal are welcome to use the dining rooms during meal service periods. Dining rooms will be closed between service meal periods.

Can I carry in outside food?

In all-you-care-to-eat locations, no outside food will be allowed in the dining room or markets.

How does all-you-care-to-eat service work?

All-you-care-to-eat or buffet style service means diners will pay for their meal upon entry to the market. In order to help manage food waste, these locations will have trayless service. Diners are able to return as many times as they would like during the meal period to enjoy additional servings.

Why don’t you have trays at these locations?

Going trayless at all-you-care-to-eat service locations helps reduce food wasting by offering pre-portioned options and encouraging diners finish their servings before going back from more.

Can I visit with friends if I’m not eating?

No, as guests have to pay to enter the market at and these dining rooms are only open to diners at all-you-care-to-eat locations. Due to the staffing shortage and high volume of diners, these spaces need to stay open for those individuals actively eating.

Who can I talk to if I have dietary concerns or if I’m unhappy with the dining service?

Please reach out to us through our Contact Us Form. We have staff providing timely responses to questions and concerns received there.

Where can I get coffee and ice cream on campus now?

In the Southeast Neighborhood, there is a Starbucks location in Smith Residence Hall. We also offer chilled coffee drinks and ice cream in our Flamingo Run in Gordon Dining & Event Center. In the Lakeshore neighborhood, there is a Bean & Creamery Coffee & Ice Cream Shoppe located in Dejope Residence Hall. To see hours and locations visit our dining hours page.

Is Dining going to start running out of items, or substituting products?

The supply chain issues that the entire food service industry are experiencing are expected to last quite awhile. While we do experience some daily shortages and product availability issues from our suppliers, it has not affected the variety of options we have on a daily basis. There may be times we may run out of a product or entrée, but we work quickly to replace it with another option that we have on hand. Sometimes these changes need to be made quickly, so you may experience some differences between our posted online menus and what you see on the serving line at each venue. These quick changes are to constantly provide variety as quickly as possible. However, if there is something you would like to see on our menus, please share that with us in our Contact Us form.

If products change, how can I check for allergens or other dietary needs?

The line signs printed and displayed at each venue will always be accurate to what is being served. You can always check those to verify any dietary need or food accommodation. But above all, if you have a question or need please let us know and reach out to a staff member working. We are always happy to help.

I have a dietary need (vegan, vegetarian, halal) or food allergen. With this change, will I still be able to find enough options that I can eat at the markets?

Please reach out to our Housing Dietitian at dietitian@housing.wisc.edu so that we can make sure your concerns due to these service changes are addressed and taken care of. We are more than happy to work with students to make sure they are taken care of. There is also additional information about dietary needs and how we can work with individual needs here: https://www.housing.wisc.edu/dining/nutrition/.

2022-23 Dining Plans

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Can Dining Dollars be used at other campus locations?

Yes. Dining Dollars are retail dollars that a student can use at any food location on campus. This would include any Housing Dining venue or Union location. Think of them like cash on a debit card.

Can students change their dining plan at certain points of the year?

Residents will be able to make changes to their dining plan selection through September 23, 2022, so that they can adjust if they find they need more or fewer meals per week on their plan once they’ve lived on campus for a few weeks.

Do unused meals for a week always expire, or is there any flexibility to carry over or flex to another week?

Unused meals expire at the end of the week and do not carry over to the next week. Your dining plan gives you a designated number of meals per week based on the plan you selected. We can help you decide on the right plan to fit your schedule and eating habits, ensuring you get the full value of your plan. Please reach out to us at dining@housing.wisc.edu.

Will I receive any resident discount when using my Dining Dollars?

When using your Dining Dollars on your Wiscard, you will receive a 5% discount on all purchases.

Will any of the dining funds carry over at the end of the year if unused?

No, designated meals per week need to be used up within the week. In addition, all Dining Dollars need to be used up by the end of the academic year. They do not carry over to the next year.

I have purchased the GoUnlimited dining plan, can I share my meals with guest or my friends who have run out of meal for the week?

Meals are to be used for the student who purchased the plan and cannot be used for friends or guests. Students are not allowed to use another resident’s Wiscard. As part of the GoUnlimited plan, you will receive three guest meals per semester. These meals can be used for guests or friends. Once guest meals are used up, you can use your Dining Dollars to buy meals for others at the door price per meal.

If I have extra meals I haven't used for the week, can I "donate" them to someone else in need?

No. Meals aren’t transferable to other students. However, Housing Dining is a part of the Swipe Out Hunger program and residents are able to donate when making a purchase to support UW-Madison’s Badger FARE program. In addition, University Housing Dining takes any leftover unserved food from the Dining Markets and creates pre-packaged frozen microwaveable meals. These meals are available at no cost to any student on-campus facing food insecurity. To learn more about this program and where you can pick up food, see their Instagram and Facebook pages.

I'm not a housing resident (student or employee). How does dining work for me?

Non-housing residents will pay a flat standard fee for their meal upon entry to the market. This will allow you to enjoy all-you-care-to-eat (buffet style service). You are welcome to come back into the market during your meal as many times as you would like for additional food, however you are not able to carry out extra food. If a non-resident pays with their Wiscard, they receive a 5% discount.

Are all meal periods counted as the same amount for residents?

Yes, for residents using their dining plan meals, all meal periods – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch (served on weekends) – count as equal meals and will count as one of your weekly meals. If you are a non-resident or if you are using Dining Dollars or other funds to pay for a meal, there are different prices for different meal periods.

If I have used all of my meals for the week, what are my options for eating for the rest of the week?

If you use all of your designated meals for the week, you can use your Dining Dollars to purchase meals upon entry to the market at standard price. You’ll receive a 5% discount on food when using your Wiscard. If you run out of Dining Dollars, you are able to add money to your Wiscard online or by visiting the Wiscard Office.

In addition, University Housing Dining takes any leftover unserved food from the dining markets and creates pre-packaged frozen microwaveable meals. These meals are available at no cost to any student on-campus. To learn more about this program and where you can pick-up food UW Frozen Meals Instagram and Facebook pages.

What day and time will meal balances get renewed each week?

Our weeks run Sunday through Saturday. Weekly meal balances renew for the week every Sunday at 12:00 am.

Will all dining markets now offer all-you-care-to-eat service?

Yes, with the exception of Flamingo Run convenience stores, The Bean & Creamery Coffee and Ice Cream Shoppe, Starbucks, and Starbucks Delivery service. Those venues/services will remain à la carte, or pay for what you take.

Will all-you-care-to-eat service create more food waste?

No, we use a trayless system for all-you-care-to-eat, this means diners only take what they can carry on each trip. Guests are welcome to come back as many times as they would like during the meal for additional food, this helps reduce food waste.

In addition, University Housing Dining takes any leftover unserved food from the dining markets and creates pre-packaged frozen microwaveable meals. These meals are available at no cost to any student on-campus facing food insecurity. To learn more about this program and where you can pick-up food see UW Frozen Meals Instagram and Facebook pages.

Will all-you-care-to-eat service affect the variety of food offered?

Maintaining variety and quality of food for our residents is a top priority for us. We have an executive chef on staff and unit chefs for each market who create menus and help to ensure variety in our service. Actually, all-you-care-to-eat service gives us more flexibility in our menu offerings, as we have more freedom to interchange offerings at each of our venues within the markets.

I have a dietary need (vegan, vegetarian, halal) or food allergy. With this change, will I still be able to find enough options that I can eat at the markets?

Fill out the Allergy/Dietary Requirement Self-Declaration Form so our Housing Dietitian can make sure your specific needs are addressed. We are happy to work with students regarding individual circumstances. We have several resources we can use to ensure your needs are met.

What can a student do if facing financial hardship?

If you are facing financial emergencies during your time at UW-Madison, you can submit an Emergency Support Request via your MyUW Student Center to be considered for emergency support options, including limited grant funding and loans. 

In addition to direct financial support, UW–Madison continues to connect students with resources to meet and navigate basic needs (e.g., internet/technology, child care, housing and employment) and food assistance. University Health Services has also provided information on available healthy food at https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/prevention/food-assistance/

Above all, if you need assistance, please reach out to us at dining@housing.wisc.edu, and we will see what we can do to get you connected with assistance.

Can students take food to-go from markets?

Yes, to take food to-go from any location, you will need to use your Ticket to Take-Out token. Upon entry to the Market, provide your token to the cashier. You’ll be allowed to take 1 container to-go. The container must be able to shut. Food that is requested to-go must be consumed off-site and not in the dining room.

Where can I go to see how many meals I have left for the week?

You can check your meal balance for the week along with your Dining Dollars balance at any time by visiting the Wiscard online account portal. In addition after your WisCard is swiped for entrance in the dining facility you balance will flash on the POS machine.

Can I use my Housing meals or Dining Dollars at any Union locations?

Housing meals can only be used at Housing Dining locations. Dining Dollars can be used at any Housing Dining location or Union location.

Have students been involved in the planning process and decision about changing to the weekly dining plan format along with all-you-care-to-eat service?

Yes. In a resident dining survey last academic year, we found that 73.5% of individuals surveyed favored an all-you-care-to-eat model. In addition, Associated Students of Madison (ASM) has had representation on the dining plan committee and has provided student input throughout the planning process. During this process, we presented the proposed dining plan/service changes to ASM’s shared governance group as well as Housing’s Dining Advisory Board to garner additional feedback and to help provide student perspective.

What are meal exchanges?

A meal exchange is a meal a student can use at Flamingo Run or The Bean & Creamery for a set combination of items during certain hours. One exchange meal may be redeemed per day.

Why are all residents required to have a dining plan?

Having a dining plan helps ensure that students get the nutrition they need to be healthy and successful, without having to worry about budgeting for food throughout the year. It also allows us to maintain lower housing rates for our residents, and gives students more value.

I'm a current resident in 2021-22. If I have unused dining plan money at the end of the year, will it still carry over to use next year?

Yes, whether you live on-campus or off-campus next year, any unused dining funds from 2021-22 will continue to carry over throughout your time as a student, to be used for Wiscard purchases at campus venues. These funds will be treated similar to Dining Dollars, with the 5% discount on any Wiscard food purchases.

Sellery Renovation

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Will there be study spaces available for students in Sellery beyond their rooms?

Residents will have access to the dens on some floors for studying and gathering. However, some of these dens will be closed for renovation this academic year (such as A-Tower dens). To provide other options, we are preparing other nearby spaces to be additional study spaces for Sellery residents to use. As soon as we have those spaces established, residents in that area will be made aware of those options.

How will you manage the construction noise concerns that students may have in Sellery?

We have agreements with the construction contractors that they cannot start construction prior to 8am to help limit morning disruptions. Unfortunately, as with any project, residents can expect some noise, dust, and vibration during daytime hours, but we work very hard to keep it manageable and not too disruptive for students. We recommend that students consider bringing noise cancelling headphones. Questions or feedback about the Sellery renovation project can be directed to sellery.renovation@housing.wisc.edu.

Do Sellery residents get a discount during the construction?

While Sellery Residence Hall is under renovation, residents in Sellery will receive a discount on their Housing bill to acknowledge any potential inconveniences. The discounted rate will be displayed on their semester tuition bill. Students benefit from a savings of $300 annually, split between both semesters. During the renovation, Sellery residents also receive a free air conditioner in their room and free use of the laundry room.

This is the same discount that was given to Sellery residents during the first year of the renovation and to Witte residents during their similar renovation project. Sellery and the Southeast neighborhood are very popular locations among our students, and with the discount, Sellery residents benefit from some of the lowest double room rates in the Southeast. Our rates, which are approved by the UW Board of Regents annually, cover many fixed per-resident costs, including programming, staff support, maintenance, supplies, dining operations, academic resources, and furniture. We operate as a self-funded, not-for-profit operation at UW-Madison, reinvesting our revenues to continuously improve the quality of our services and facilities. University Housing works hard to keep our costs as low as possible, and we offer some of the lowest on-campus housing rates of any Big Ten school while providing exceptional facilities, programs, and experiences.

International Students

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

What are the COVID-19 requirements for international students living in the residence halls?

Requirements for international students traveling from outside the U.S. will vary based on their vaccination status, but all air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are currently required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the U.S. A list of other requirements based on vaccination status is available on the UW-Madison COVID-19 Response site.

Quarantine and Isolation

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Will the residence halls provide isolation and quarantine housing in 2021-22?

Yes, to provide for a responsible community at UW-Madison during the pandemic, University Housing has repurposed designated areas to be quarantine and isolation spaces for residence hall students affected by COVID-19. Students living on-campus who are exposed to COVID-19 or who test positive for the virus have the option of returning to their permanent home for the quarantine or isolation period or being placed in one of these spaces.

What spaces will be used for quarantine and isolation housing?

For 2021-22, we have a limited number of separate spaces set aside on campus and in the Madison area for quarantine and isolation housing. This includes:

  • A small set of apartments in the Eagle Heights community
  • Other spaces in campus/Madison-area hotels if needed to accommodate additional residents

We have worked carefully with campus health experts to select appropriate spaces and carry out this plan in a way that does not create added risk for other residents or the community.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine housing is for unvaccinated residents who have been contacted about medium or high-risk exposure to COVID-19, such as the roommate of a COVID-positive student. They are placed in a designated quarantine space for a minimum of 5 days until cleared by UW-Madison University Health Services (UHS) to return to their regular room. Isolation housing is for residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. They are placed in a designated isolation space for a minimum of 5 days until cleared by UHS to return to their regular room.

If I am required to be in quarantine or isolation, how will I continue with my in-person classes?

Students unable to attend in-person class meetings for COVID-19-related reasons (or for any reason) should contact their instructor to discuss options for access to course materials and activities. Instructors are encouraged to be flexible and supportive of students in such circumstances. Students who must miss multiple class sessions should talk with their instructor and with their academic advisor about the best course of action. If multiple students in a course section must miss in-person class meetings for COVID-19-related reasons, every effort should be made to avoid a disruption of in-person instruction. Instructors should work with their department, school, and college to explore ways to provide students who cannot attend in-person sessions access to course materials and activities.

Note: students with a documented accommodation need related to in-person instruction should contact the McBurney Center. The McBurney Center will work with the student and instructor to explore the possibility of reasonable accommodations.

Who will be staying in isolation and quarantine spaces?

All residents who test positive for COVID-19 must leave the residence hall and isolate at home or in designated isolation housing, regardless of vaccination status, until cleared to return by UHS.

If you have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, such as a roommate, your quarantine requirements will depend on your vaccination/booster status, as described below.

  • If you are fully vaccinated and are eligible for a booster dose but are NOT boosted:
    • You need to quarantine and you should schedule a test in MyUHS immediately. You should also test any time you have symptoms of COVID-19 during your quarantine period. If you test and get a positive result, please report a positive test result immediately to University Housing.
    • Due to your vaccination status, you are approved to reside in your current room to self-quarantine, and you must limit your movements to engage only in essential activities. Essential activities include using the bathroom, obtaining food, going to medical appointments, etc. You CANNOT go to class or any other facility on campus unless for essential activities. You are encouraged to take an antigen test on Day 5 to check for viral presence before ending your quarantine on Day 6.
    • You should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0).
  • If you are fully vaccinated and are not yet eligible for a booster dose OR you are fully vaccinated and boosted:
    • You do not need to quarantine. You may reside in your current room and should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0). At any time, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should test immediately.
  • If you are NOT fully vaccinated:

I noticed that students in these quarantine and isolation spaces will be able to leave for "essential business". What does this mean?

The international students who are self-quarantining before the start of classes are able to leave for essential business. During the academic year, undergraduates in quarantine and isolation are expected to stay in their apartments until they have been cleared to return to their residence hall community. These students are already required to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to air travel into the U.S., and they have not had any known contact with a positive case. Out of an abundance of caution, they are self-quarantining before moving into their residence hall, which has fewer restrictions than a full quarantine.

In contrast, during the academic year, undergraduates in quarantine and isolation are expected to stay in their apartments/rooms until they have been cleared to return to their residence hall community.

Will students in quarantine and isolation have their own transportation method rather than using the 80/84 bus? These buses tend to be very full during busy periods.

Yes, students will be provided with separate transportation to their quarantine and isolation spaces. They are also able to call for this separate transportation once they have been cleared by UHS to return to their residence hall room. Once their time in isolation and quarantine is complete, they are allowed to utilize public transportation.

Will students in quarantine and isolation also have access to and be using common spaces (such as gyms, laundry rooms, etc.)?

No. Students in quarantine and isolation are expected to limit their time outdoors and remain in their assigned space most of the time except for essential business (work, medical appointments, food, etc.) or in the event of an emergency. No visitors are allowed. When outdoors, students should wear a mask, social distance, and not gather. When exiting the building, they should use the most direct route and only use an elevator one at a time (if available) when needed. Staff will monitor these spaces for adherence to all quarantine and isolation policies.

What precautions are in place to ensure that students in quarantine and isolation spaces are following the guidelines? How will they be reinforced?

All residents are expected to adhere to policies in the Student Housing Handbook. Violations of COVID-related policies can result in the removal of students from their residence hall and revocation of their Housing contract with no refund.

What can I do if I see residents violating quarantine and isolation policies?

The UW-Madison Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards has a form to fill out to report a public health concern. Please be aware that the more specific information is provided, the better we will be able to act on the report.

Are there any back-up plans if the number of student who are in need of quarantine and isolation space exceeds the capacity available? Will buildings in other areas be requisitioned in the future?

We have reached out to additional campus partners and community businesses that could assist with providing additional spaces should that be needed.  If Housing-designated quarantine and isolation spaces become full, residents that are required to quarantine or isolate may need to do so at their permanent home or find their own space off-campus — they may not return to their residence hall or participate in any in-person UW-Madison activities until they are cleared by Housing staff.

If I'm in quarantine, can I return to my residence hall sooner if I get a negative COVID test?

No, students who are quarantined due to close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 must remain in quarantine for the minimum period until they are cleared by UHS. The virus can have an extended incubation period, so quarantined students cannot return to their residence hall earlier, even with a negative test result.

My roommate went to isolation and I want my room cleaned. What can I do?

Time since roommate has been in your room

CDC Recommendations


Less than 24 Hours Clean and disinfect the space Contact your hall desk to radio a Building Supervisor for assistance in cleaning/disinfection
More than 24 hours Cleaning is sufficient; disinfect is optional Check out a cleaning kit from your hall desk to wipe down areas of concern in your room
More than 3 days Nothing additional is needed Check out a cleaning kit from your hall desk to wipe down areas of concern in your room

I’m an Eagle Heights resident. Where can I find answers to questions I might have about isolation and quarantine spaces in my community?

University Apartments has a separate Frequently Asked Question page all about isolation & quarantine spaces in Eagle Heights. You can find additional information on the University Apartments FAQ page.