My College:
Housing & Residential Life

Housing Timeline


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Your student is all moved in, so housing is off your to-do list for a while, right?

Wrong! Housing season starts earlier than you might think. If you don’t want your student scrambling at the last minute or discovering that all the desirable housing (and roommates) are taken, share this timeline and check in periodically about their progress.

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Right Now

Look at the university’s housing website to find out when applications are due for returning students. Even if your student doesn’t plan to live on campus, this is a good end date for having a plan in place.

Have your student ask an upperclassman when apartments start to fill up (try their RA or a Teaching Assistant from one of their classes). This varies by area, so the inside scoop is valuable. Don’t be surprised if it is early!

Will you attend Family Weekend at your student's college this fall? If you find yourself with a few extra hours, the two of you might want to tour a few off-campus communities together.

On-campus housing applications are due:

Off-campus housing tends to fill up by:

By Mid-Term

Now’s the time to start talking to potential roommates if they haven’t already. Your student should have a good idea what types of housing are available, and in some rental markets should already have started looking for a place.

Thanksgiving Break

If your student wants to live on campus: Encourage them to check out the different residence halls and on-campus apartments.

If your student wants to live off campus: Rental search time! Start by deciding on a budget for next year’s housing (we have a helpful worksheet: Browse apartment websites with your student (their university may have a search portal) and point out the features that they may not have top of mind, but you know are important. They can also be talking to upper-level students about which neighborhoods and buildings are desirable and which they should avoid.

Winter Break

Your student should know where they want to live, and in some areas should be ready to sign a lease (review the lease with them). Check out our glossary of lease terms and our property-viewing checklist (


It’s time to complete the housing process with the university or sign a lease. Encourage your student to make a plan for moving and/or storing their belongings.

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