Students in the Greenhouse Community cooking.

Contracts & Assignments

Advance Payments

Advance payments/contract fees are a required part of the legal transaction for a University Residence Halls contract. The advance payment/contract fee along with a signed contract means that you have entered into a legally binding agreement with the Division of University Housing.

University Residence Halls contract advance payments/fees are a separate and different payment than the Admissions enrollment advanced payment.

Freshmen & Transfers

Contracts will require a $75 non-refundable contract fee in addition to a $225 advance payment that is paid when the contract is signed. Review the cancellation policy in our contract that specifies what must be met to qualify for cancellation and details of the forfeiture schedule, if applicable. Your final Housing bill will be reduced by the advance payment you have made.

Returning Residents & Current UW-Madison Students

Contracts will require a $300 advance payment. Current UW-Madison students who have previously lived with University Housing are not subject to the $75 non-refundable contract fee. Review the cancellation policy in our contract that specifies what must be met to qualify for cancellation and details of the forfeiture schedule, if applicable. Your final Housing bill will be reduced by the advance payment you have made.

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Cancellations & Buyouts

The terms and conditions listed under Sections 15, 16, and 17 in your contract fully explain the cancellation policy for University Residence Halls contracts. Here are a few highlights:

  • If you are a new student not attending UW-Madison, you can be released from your contract:
    • To cancel, log in to My UW Housing and follow the instructions on the “Request a Cancellation” form under the “Contract and Room” section.
    • Notification by May 15 ensures a full refund of your housing advance payment.
  • If you are a current student withdrawing or no longer attending UW-Madison, you can be released from your contract:
    • To be released, log in to My UW Housing and follow the instructions on the “Request a Cancellation” form under the “Contract and Room” section.
  • Contract releases to live off-campus while attending UW-Madison are only considered when demand for housing exceeds occupancy. As always, you have an option of a buy-out of your contract at 85% of the remaining financial obligation.
    • To be considered for release, complete the release request form in My UW Housing and follow the instructions on the “Request a Cancellation” form under the “Contract and Room” section.
  • You can be released from your University Residence Halls contract for the following reasons at the End of the Semester through My UW Housing starting in early November (you will forfeit your advance payment for all of these reasons except for graduation):
    • You are withdrawing from UW-Madison and will no longer be attending in the spring semester
    • You are studying abroad in the spring semester
    • You are transferring to a different school
    • You are an exchange/visiting international student for the fall semester only
    • You are graduating in the fall semester

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ADA/Medical Needs

If you have a disability that may require special housing considerations, please submit a written description of your needs to the Assignment Office at assignMe@housing.wisc.edu when you are completing your contract for the University Residence Halls in My UW Housing.

You will also need to work with the McBurney Disability Resource Center regarding your University Housing accommodation needs.  We encourage you to learn more about becoming a McBurney Client. Please note, the Assignment Office does not collect or maintain medical documentation. Those materials should be sent to the McBurney Disability Resource Center.

Many of our residence halls are accessible to students with physical disabilities. Be sure to notify us if you need accommodations such as wheelchair-accessible facilities, devices/alarms for hearing impairments, or special dietary needs. Early notification and complete information about your needs allow us to best assist you.

Air Conditioners

Housing will only grant permission for a student to bring their own air conditioner for disability and medical-related reasons if they are not assigned to a room with central air. Students who qualify will be able to bring their own units as long as the unit meets the following requirements:

Requirements:

  • Fully Self-Evaporative Portable Air Conditioner
  • Cooling BTU Needed (DOE Standard) = 5,000 – 6,000 BTU
  • ETL/UL Listed Machine
  • Standard 115-volt electrical plug (NEMA 5 – 15)

Fully Self-Evaporative Portable Air Conditioners acceptable examples include:

  • LG Model: LP0621WSR
  • Friedrich Model: ZCP08SA
  • Frigidaire Model: FHPC082AC1 or FHPC102AC1

Instructions for requesting permission to bring your own air conditioner will be available at My UW Housing after July 1st, 2023.

Health/Immunization Form

Wisconsin law [SS 36.25 (46)] requires students who live in a University Residence Hall to affirm whether they have received vaccination against meningococcal disease and hepatitis B and to provide the vaccination dates, if any. The University Health Services has a health record form for students to complete which is confidential and will be retained by University Health Services.

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Gender Identity

Choosing a place to live is a very important decision, and our University of Wisconsin–Madison staff is committed to assisting you to see if the University Residence Halls will work for you. University Housing acknowledges that not all students may identify as female or male, and we want to create a welcoming environment for you in the residence halls. We would be happy to work with students who may identify as transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and/or non-binary regarding life in the halls.

Differently gendered and transgender students are encouraged to contact us as you consider your housing decision or if you would like to discuss any questions or issues related to your gender identity. Be sure to call prior to your contract deadline to discuss your options.

Director of Diversity Programs – Cleda Wang
608-265–5429

Gender and Sexuality Campus Center (GSCC)
608-265-3344
lgbt.wisc.edu

You may also want to consider our Open House: Gender Learning Community or the Multicultural Learning Community.

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Student Veterans

University Housing is committed to serving the housing needs of our student veterans.

If you are considering University Residence Hall housing and would like to be placed together with other veterans, transfer students, or non-first-year students, please get in touch with one of our Coordinators for Assignments & Student Services at 608-262-2522 and we will talk with you about your on-campus housing needs.

Additional support is also available through the UW-Madison offices of the Dean of Students:

Assistant Dean of Students-Veterans
608-890-2701 (voice)
608-265-5646 (fax)

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Residence Hall Assignment FAQs

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When will students get their room assignments?

We anticipate that we will begin releasing room assignments and roommate information in mid-June and continuing throughout the summer. 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.

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. We monitor for cancellations daily and continually assign students as we are able. Our goal is to have all students assigned by mid-August, but it can run later. Students recently admitted will likely see assignment information closer to the August date. 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, Sellery has about 1,159 available spaces for first year students, but was ranked by 3,456 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, most 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.

I will be living in the residence halls, but I don’t want to share a room – can I have a single?

University Housing has a limited number of single rooms in certain residence halls, but the vast majority of our resident rooms are doubles and triples, as well as some quads. Most residents will have a roommate.  Available single rooms for incoming students are in Adams and Tripp.  Students should preferences those halls if interested in a single.  If you are unsatisfied with your room assignment and are interested in changing rooms, you can fill out a room change request form starting the first week of classes in My UW Housing and indicate your preferences on room type and buildings. If we are able to offer you a room change, we will email you the room change offer.

I already know that I want to change my room to a different one in another residence hall. How do I start that process?

We recommend you take the time to meet people in your assigned hall. Many students will submit a room change request and later change their mind after they have connected with people on their floor and in their hall.

The room change process typically opens on the first day of fall classes and remains open until late spring semester. For 2024-25, the room change process opens on September 4 at 8:00 a.m. in My UW Housing. The process is open for any student who is reserved or currently residing in on-campus housing through their My UW Housing.

My residence hall doesn’t have air conditioning. Can I bring my own air conditioner?

For students assigned to a residence hall that is not centrally air conditioned, University Housing offers the opportunity for those residents to register to bring an approved air conditioner unit to their room. Registration is done in My UW Housing. However, most of these students find that a box fan in the room is sufficient since the weather is cool enough through most of the academic year. Please consider environmental impact if you choose to register to bring an air conditioner unit.

Requirements:

  • Fully Self-Evaporative Portable Air Conditioner
  • Cooling BTU Needed (DOE Standard) = 5,000 – 6,000 BTU
  • ETL/UL Listed Machine
  • Standard 115-volt electrical plug (NEMA 5 – 15)

Fully Self-Evaporative Portable Air Conditioner acceptable examples include:

  • LG Model: LP0621WSR
  • Friedrich Model: ZCP08SA
  • Frigidaire Model: FHPC082AC1 or FHPC102AC1

Instructions for requesting permission to bring your own air conditioner will be available in My UW Housing.

Can I visit campus to see my room or a similar room in-person?

During the summer, we offer in-person tours of several representative resident rooms in various buildings. These tours are offered weekdays during SOAR at specific times. (We are not able to show every building, room type, or your specific room, because many of our residence halls are used during the summer for conferences and camps, and others may be under renovation.)

For most of our residence halls and room types, you can also find extensive details and photos on our residence hall web pages, including measurements and 360-degree room tours. Since there can be some room variation within the buildings and room types, we recommend waiting to purchase too many size-specific items until you have arrived on campus and seen your actual room.

Where can I find measurements and details for my room?

Each of our residence hall web pages includes extensive details* for most common room types in that building, including typical dimensions, photos, 360-degree tours, and floor plans. We also have an “Inside Our Rooms” page that explains what is provided in a room, along with lofting information and various measurements for our buildings.

Due to the variety of residence halls, rooms, furniture, closets, etc. in University Housing, we are unable to provide details and measurements for all possible situations and items. If the information you’re looking for isn’t shown on our website, we are unable to provide it.

*Note: Rooms in some residence halls have mixed furniture. Furniture, measurements, and dimensions may vary.

The hall my student was assigned does not have its own laundry room or kitchen within the building they are residing. Where can they go to do laundry or use a kitchen?

All residents will have access to the same amenities.  Some of our smaller buildings will share a common front desk as well as access to laundry rooms, kitchens, and music practice rooms.  These amenities are spread throughout the designated units that are tied to a front desk.  Each of our residence hall web pages includes extensive details of the amenities we offer.

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.

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

We have currently offered contracts to all admitted first-year students. We will continue to offer housing as long as space remains available. We do not anticipate being able to offer housing to most special, readmit, re-entry transfer, transfer, and current UW–Madison students wanting to return to the residence halls.

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

Students interested in living in the University Residence Halls for Spring 2025 should reach out to our office sometime in mid-October. Spring contracts are offered as long as space remains available.