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First Year Housing: Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions. If you find that your question has not been answered, please Contact Us.


All First Year students are required to live in on-Grounds, which makes the Housing & Residence Life's Assignments Office important to your First Year. The staff in our office is responsible for making all of the on-Grounds housing assignments. They are here to help you if you have any questions regarding the assignments process. The office is located on the ground floor of Kent House, in the McCormick Road Area, along Bonnycastle Drive.

1. Applications

1.1. How do I apply for housing?

Incoming First Years should complete the online First Year Housing Application after May 1st (you will need to pay your Admissions deposit and activate your University computing ID before attempting to access the application) by June 1st. Please be sure to read the application carefully before submitting it.

1.2. What is the $400 deposit for?

The $400 deposit you may hear about is the Admissions deposit. First Years are not required to pay a deposit for housing. You will be billed for your housing fees later this summer.

2. Assignments

2.1. How is my assignment made?

Our assignment software randomly generates your room assignment after the application deadline. The following information impacts your housing assignment, but they are not guarantees, just preferences:
  • Your preferences for a single, double, triple, or Residential College room.
  • Your roommate preference.
We cannot consider special requests, other than accommodations made through the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) - see question 4 below.

2.2. May I request a roommate?

Roommate preferences must be mutual and designated on your housing application. We strive to assign preferred roommates together, however, there are a limited number of double rooms and it is usually not possible to honor all roommate preferences. When this occurs, we attempt to place preferred roommates in nearby rooms within the same suite, where possible.

2.3. What's a triple and how are students assigned to one?

Five triple occupancy rooms are located in the Gooch/Dillard area; these rooms remain triple rooms all year long. If needed, several Alderman Road buildings have rooms that can accommodate three people. Students are placed in these triple occupancy rooms after all double rooms are assigned. As space becomes available, students placed in Alderman Road triples will be moved to double rooms.

3. What if I'm an Echols or Rodman Scholar?

The Office of Admission will provide a list of scholars to Housing & Residence Life during the summer. Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars will be able to self-select into the Scholars Community (in the Alderman Road area) through the housing application process. Please note, any preferred roommates must also select the Scholars Community. The Scholars Community is limited by the available space in the designated Alderman Road building(s).

4. How can I receive assistance from the University if I have a disability or medical condition?

If you need special housing accommodations due to a disability or medical condition, you will need to submit a Disability Related Needs Request and appropriate documentation to the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) by June 1, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact SDAC at 434-243-5180 or send an email to sdac@virginia.edu.

5. What is the procedure for bringing a service animal to the University?

Students must request the University's permission to allow the presence of a service animal on University property, and permission will be granted only as an accommodation for a documented disability. Please see the Guidelines for Service Animals. For more information, contact SDAC at 434-243-5180 or send an email to sdac@virginia.edu.

6. When do I find out where I'll live?

You will receive your room and roommate assignment in early July, as long as you submit your application in a timely manner.

7. Do I have to live on-Grounds?

All First Year students must live on-Grounds. If you believe your extraordinary circumstances (such as being non-traditionally aged or being a parent) qualify you for consideration to live off-Grounds, please send your request to housing@virginia.edu.

8. What to bring / not to bring


We have put together this list of suggestions to help you make some informed decisions about what to bring to U.Va. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list; it is only meant to help you decide what to pack and what to leave at home. Ask us about anything questionable that you are considering bringing with you.

8.1. What should I bring?

  • computer equipment
  • cell phone (AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon recommended)
  • 1 microwave and 1 small refrigerator per bedroom, or 1 combination microfridge unit per bedroom ¹
  • single-serve coffee maker such as Keurig (1 per room)
  • lamp(s)
  • flashlight
  • alarm clock
  • TV
  • power strip, with surge protector
  • hair dryer
  • hangers
  • iron
  • stereo, with speakers suitable to living space
  • bed linens, towels, etc.
  • carpets can be ordered from the U.Va. Bookstore ²
  • fan, maybe even two (also available from the U.Va. Bookstore)
  • bicycle (with a good lock)

¹ Students may rent a microfridge from the U.Va. Bookstore, or bring your own combination microfridge, or bring your own separate microwave (1200 watts or less) and refrigerator (5.0 cubic ft. or less) with a surge supressor (also available from the Bookstore).

² Carpets are not necessary in Hereford College, Gooch/Dillard, Balz-Dobie, Kellogg, Lile-Maupin, Shannon, Tuttle-Dunnington or Watson-Webb.

8.2. What should I not bring?

  • pets - only small non-lethal fish are allowed
  • any halogen lamp (torchiere, desk, spotlights, etc.)
  • any lamp with a plastic shade (see examples)
  • extension cords
  • air-conditioner (unless pre-approved for medical reasons in permitted buildings - they are not permitted in McCormick Road or Alderman Road buildings)
  • oversized refrigerators
  • cooking appliances
  • hotplates
  • Fry Baby or any other deep fryer
  • wireless Internet routers or range extenders
  • devices that operate on 2.4 GHz and 5.1 GHz frequencies such cordless telephones, microwaves, baby monitors, wireless speakers, and wireless (not Bluetooth) headsets. Devices that operate on 900 MHz and 5.8 GHz frequencies are permitted.
  • waterbeds
  • lofts which do not meet University safety regulations ³
  • cinder blocks to raise beds
  • incense & candles - burning of these items is strictly prohibited
  • space heaters
  • firearms & ammunition (including BB Guns, paintball guns, bows, etc.)
  • firecrackers or explosives of any type
  • alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs
  • car - First years may not register, store, or park vehicles on Grounds (Requests for exceptions due to physical disability are made to the Department of Student Health. All other requests for exceptions should be made to the Dean of Students.)
³ lofts are not allowed in any Alderman Road, Gooch/Dillard, or McCormick Road building nor at Hereford College, Munford, Gwathmey, or Brown College.

9. What kind of decorations are allowed for my room?

For specific policies related to decorations and fire safety, please see our page dedicated to Fire Safety Policies.