FAQs for on-campus housing

We are committed to progressing through the room offer process quickly this summer to minimize stress on all remaining on-campus housing applicants. We will email our applicants regularly to provide updated information as best we can. Thank you for your continued patience.

If I didn't get on-campus housing, can I get a refund of the application fee?*

*Update August 19* The $50 application fee for student housing, as noted on our website, is typically non-refundable. However, in 2021, due to the unprecedented demand for on-campus housing, the university will refund this fee to all students who applied to on-campus housing and did not:

  • receive and accept a room offer by Sept. 5, 2021, and
  • add their name to the new waitlist (for on-campus housing that becomes available after Sept. 5, 2021).

For qualifying students, $50 refunds will be issued by cheque during the month of September and October 2021. You do not need to request the refund—we will send emails to all students who will receive the $50 refund as soon as possible after Sept. 5, 2021.

If you wish to remain on the new waitlist for housing that comes available after Sept. 5, 2021, you will need to fill out our online form, available between Aug. 30 and Sept. 9, 2021. If you choose to remain on the new waitlist, you will not receive a $50 refund.

How many beds are available?

*Updated July 22* Over 2,100 bed spaces are available, with 90-95% reserved for first-year students. Some of these beds spaces are allocated to student staff (Community Leaders) who work in the buildings, and students who are eligible for accommodation through the Priority Access process for students with chronic illness or disabilities. If these beds are no longer needed, they will be assigned to students in the lottery. Learn more about the number of beds.

This year, we have 14 apartments reserved for graduate students in on-campus housing. There is a separate lottery system for assigning beds to graduate students. We will offer rooms to applicants in numerical order, as availability allows.

Work is currently underway on our New Student Housing and Dining project, which will house 783 students total in two new buildings. Building 1 will be move-in ready for September 2022 and will provide about 400 beds. Building 2 is expected to open for September 2023.

Why can't you guarantee housing to all first-year students?

*Updated July 14* We are experiencing a higher than normal level of interest in on-campus housing this year and have received significantly more applications than we have beds. This is because there are many more first-year students who applied and were accepted to study at the university this year.

Before we opened the housing application on February 1, 2021, we made the challenging decision to do a first-year housing priority lottery instead of our usual first-year housing guarantee. As we were unsure of what the situation would look like for this fall in light of the pandemic, we would not be able to guarantee first-year students a place in residence. We also used a lottery system in fall 2020. This is our best way to ensure equitable and fair access to housing in this unpredictable year.

Within the context of the ongoing pandemic, it was difficult to know how many students would be interested in traveling to Victoria and living on the UVic campus this September. As such, we did not change our academic admissions cut-offs from the previous year. First-year applications to UVic this year were exceptionally strong, including among students in the 90%+ and 98%+ ranges, and more students than expected accepted offers of admission to attend UVic.

How does the undergraduate lottery work?

*Updated July 22* We have two separate undergraduate lottery lists: one for first-year students and another for all other undergraduate students. Over 90% of beds are reserved for first-year students.

As described in the application portal, offers go out in batches based on lottery number, unit type and other criteria. We will offer rooms to applicants in numerical order, as availability allows, to first-year students first. If they decline within the specified timeframe, the bed returns to the lottery and is offered to another student in the next batch of offers. Beds are also returned to the lottery if a student does not pay their balace of fees by the Aug. 1 deadline.

If there are spaces available once all first-year undergraduate students have received an offer, we'll begin offers to students on the other undergraduate lottery list. We will continue through the process until all inventory has been filled.

Which groups of students are being prioritized?

*Updated July 22* We segment applicants in the lottery into three cohorts: first-year, undergraduate and graduate students. First-year students are prioritized in the room assignment process. A small number of students who deferred their studies in 2020 until 2021 were provided bed spaces.

In order to ensure equitable and fair access to on-campus housing, no specific groups of students within those cohorts are being prioritized in the lottery (e.g., varsity athletes, international students, scholarship students, etc.). However, applicants who applied for the full academic year (September 2021 to April 2022) and who applied by the June 30 deadline were included in their respective lottery. Fall-term-only applicants are not included in the lottery and are waitlisted below the lottery groups.

Some beds spaces are allocated to student staff (CLs) who work in the buildings, and students who are eligible for accommodation through the Priority Access process for students with chronic illness or disabilities. If these beds are no longer needed, they will be assigned to students in the lottery.

How long do I have to accept a room offer?*

*Updated August 5* As of August 6, students who receive a room offer will have 48 hours to accept or the room offer is cancelled and re-offered to the next student in line. We have further shortened the amount of time given to students to accept room offers in order progress through the offer process quickly and minimize stress on all remaining applicants. We will continue to send room assignments via email until late August, as we do every year.

First-year students who wish to defer their studies have until the end of August to do so. (This deadline was extended from the usual August 1 deadline in response to the first-year housing lottery and in order to provide students and families with more flexibility and time to make decisions.)

What are my chances of receiving a room?*

Before the pandemic, our application numbers were stable and we were able to predict the volume of applications and forecast the acceptance rate. This is not a normal year and students' behaviour is less predictable, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you and your families.

*Updated August 5* All available on-campus rooms have been assigned. We may make some additional offers this month if students cancel a confirmed reservation or decide to defer their studies, but this is not likely to be a large number of students. As with every year, we will continue to offer spaces as they become available up until move-in day. However, if your number is over 1,975, it is unlikely that you will receive a room offer and we recommend you secure off-campus housing as soon as possible to ensure you have a place to live come September.

Will I need to be vaccinated to live on campus?*

*Updated September 1* 

The BC government announced the new BC Vaccine Card program on August 23. The program includes on-campus student housing, and states that students must be partially vaccinated by September 7, 2021.

  • If you have not been vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to have your first vaccine before you move-in on Sunday, September 5th.
  • You will be asked during the residence check-in process to provide health authority or government issued proof of your vaccination status.
  • If you have not received your first vaccine before September 5th, you are required to attend the UVic vaccination clinic on September 7th to receive this vaccine. You must have your second vaccine by October 17th in order to be fully immunized by the October 24th deadline set by the Provincial Health Officer. 
  • University staff will follow-up to ensure that all students in residence receive both first and second vaccinations by appropriate deadlines.
  • Vaccinations will be available for all students at on-campus vaccination clinics

As a student living in residence, you will share washrooms, lounges, dining halls and public areas with other students, and you will also interact with UVic staff. Residence Services is doing everything we can to help ensure safety in our residence community, following public health guidelines and providing a self-isolation procedure for students who become ill. While there is no way to assure complete safety from sickness during the pandemic, vaccination is our best defence. UVic strongly encourages all members of our community to receive a vaccination as soon as they are eligible.

Vaccines cause your body to produce antibodies that will help to protect you and those who are not vaccinated or are susceptible to infection from getting sick if exposed to the virus. Public health authorities encourage all British Columbians to learn about the benefits and safety of the vaccine and consider vaccination to protect themselves and others. The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone 12+ who lives or works in BC.

What do I do if I haven't be assigned a room on campus?*

If you are not assigned an on-campus room, we have resources to help you find off-campus housing. Due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, UVic is temporarily covering the listing cost for landlords to post rental units, suites and rooms on our Places4Students.com partner website. Landlords can list for free until August 31, 2021.

In a typical year, we also have about 20-30 students living on campus who move out in September. For this reason, we create a completely new waitlist in late August. As in previous years, we will contact all students who were not assigned a bed and provide information about the new waitlist.

*Updated August 5* If you have your heart set on living on campus, you may wish to defer your acceptance to UVic until September 2022, when we expect to have about 400 additional beds available with the opening of a new student housing building. This year, specifically for first-year students in response to the housing lottery, we have extended the deadline for deferrals until the end of August (instead of the usual August 1 deadline). Deferring will automatically defer the first-year housing priority to fall 2022.

UVic continues to work with government and community leaders to advocate for more student housing, both on and off campus. Our New Student Housing and Dining project will house 783 students total in two new buildings. Building 1 will be move-in ready in September 2022, with Building 2 ready for September 2023.

How does the new waitlist work?*

*Updated August 19* At the start of each term, in the first few weeks, there are students who decide to withdraw and return home. In order to expedite the process of assigning available rooms to applicants who wish to remain on the housing waitlist after move-in day (Sunday, September 5, 2021), we will create a new waitlist.

Learn more about the new waitlist.

How will I connect with other students if I'm not living on campus?

Regardless of whether or not you're living on campus, we have programs and resources to help you meet other students, including our New Student Connect programcourse unions and clubs.

The New Student Connect program is an online university community where new students from all over the world connect with others entering their first-year at UVic. The program offers the opportunity for new students to connect with both peers and programming relevant to their needs. By participating in the program, new UVic students are paired with an upper-year student mentor called an Engage Leader (EL).

Visit UVic Orientation for additional information and events for new students and second-year students.

*Recently updated

If you still have questions or concerns about on-campus housing and space assignments, please don't hesitate to reach out to  or call 250-472-4534.