Assignment Guarantee and Priorities

Assignment Priorities

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Academic Year Assignment Priorities - Graduate Students

Guaranteed first-year housing

If you are new to Stanford and enrolled in a graduate degree program, you are guaranteed housing for your first year of study if you apply by the Lottery deadline and indicate as the final choice on your application that you are willing to live in any residence for which you are eligible. This assignment priority is effective only the first academic year of graduate study and cannot be used in later years if you choose not to apply for, or live in, housing your first year or are admitted to an additional degree program. If you have previously received a graduate degree from Stanford and are beginning a new graduate degree program, you are considered a continuing graduate student. If you apply after the deadline or have restricted choices, you are no longer guaranteed, but will still receive a high priority during your first year. As part of the housing guarantee, you could be assigned to a subsidized apartment either on-campus or in university assigned off-campus housing that has been rented to help meet the graduate housing demand. It is important to know that the commitment to live anywhere does not include Munger or the GSB Residences. You will not be automatically assigned to Munger or the GSB Residences, due to their price, unless you specifically list those options on your application.

Coterminal students

Stanford undergraduates who are admitted into coterminal graduate programs are considered continuing students and will have limited coterminal priority in the Lottery.

After the first year

Stanford has adjusted the housing priority and renewal options offered to graduate students, in response to the higher demand for housing. Students will be allocated a certain number of housing priority years based on their degree program. Students who have housing priority years remaining can renew their housing and bypass the Lottery, but students are not guaranteed an assignment for the duration of their graduate studies.

Housing Priority Levels

Assignments for graduate students are made in the order listed below. The first three levels are for new students, students who need medical accommodations, and student staff.  All other students are considered continuing students and, if eligible, they can renew their current housing or apply for housing in the Lottery.  In order to renew your housing you must have limited priority years remaining as determined by your degree level and the number of years you have lived in housing. 

Priority is given in this order:

  1. Medical Accommodations approved by the Office of Accessible Education and exempts student staff
  2. Guaranteed Priority: New students who apply by the May deadline and are willing to live anywhere
  3. High Priority: New students who limit their housing choices or who apply after the Lottery deadline in May
  4. Renewal Priority: Continuing students with limited priority years remaining who renew in place by the Lottery deadline in May
  5. Limited Priority: Continuing students with remaining priority years who are not currently living in housing or chose not to renew in place; or students changing categories (single student to couples).
  6. Limited Coterminal Priority: Coterminal students who have used their four years of guaranteed undergraduate housing.
  7. No Priority: Continuing students without remaining priority years
  8. Nonmatriculated Priority: Post-docs, Visiting Students or Researchers who are enrolled, but not seeking a degree at Stanford (only eligible for housing in during the spring and summer)

What You Should Know About Assignment Priority Levels:

  • There is no distinction between years within the limited housing priority. For example PhD students in their second year have the same housing assignment priority as students in their third, fourth, fifth, and sixth years.
  • Students who have priority years remaining, or limited priority, may renew their apartment by the Lottery deadline each year if they remain in continuous occupancy and meet eligibility requirements.
  • Students entering the Lottery with a limited priority will be assigned after the first-year students, if there are spaces remaining.
  • Students whose studies extend beyond the priority years allocated for their degree program can apply for one additional year of housing. These students are offered housing after all students with assignment priority.

Housing Priority Years

Each year, Housing Assignments calculates your assignment priority level, which is based on 1) your new student status (new or continuing), 2) the number of housing priority years allocated for your degree program and 3) the number of years you have lived in housing. 

Continuing students applying in 2017-18

Students will receive the following housing priority years based on degree program in the 2017-18 Lottery.

  • Continuing Doctoral degree candidates (PhD, JSD, DMA) have six years of housing priority. After their first guaranteed year, they can renew in place or participate in the Lottery with limited priority for five additional years.
  • Continuing MD candidates have four years of housing priority. After their first guaranteed year, they are can renew in place or participate in the Lottery with limited priority for three additional years.
  • Continuing JD candidates have three years of housing priority. After their first guaranteed year, they can renew in place or participate in the Lottery for two additional years.
  • Continuing Master’s candidates in Single Graduate and Couples without Children Housing are only guaranteed housing for the first year of the program. After the first year, they are not able to renew and may enter the Lottery but will have no priority for assignment.
  • Continuing Master’s candidates in Students with Children Housing have two years of housing priority. After the first year, they can renew in place or participate in the Lottery with limited priority.

What You Should Know About Housing Years:

  • Housing years are based on the academic calendar (autumn through the following summer).
  • Your housing years include those spent as a single graduate student, couple, and/or student with children.
  • Housing years include those lived in on-campus housing, University-assigned off-campus housing, and Housing Stipend Awards.
  • Only housing contracts kept during Autumn and Winter Quarters are counted toward the total number of years in housing. Cancelled assignments and occupancy beginning in spring or summer don’t count.
  • If you are enrolled in a joint degree program, your housing years will reflect the highest degree. For example, if you are a JD/MBA, you would be considered a JD student with a total of three years of housing priority.
  • The number of assignment priority years given does not increase cumulatively per degree. If you were a Master’s student with one year of assignment priority are beginning a doctoral program, you are given five additional years of housing priority, for a total of six assignment priority years. If you were previously a Master’s student and lived in housing for at least one year and are beginning a new Master’s degree program, you will have no additional priority years provided.
  • It is your responsibility to verify that your priority level is correct on your application and to contact Housing Assignments before the Lottery if there is a problem.
  • The number of years that students will be able to renew their housing is being reviewed and may change during your time at Stanford.

Academic Year Residence Priorities - Law Students

Law student priority for Munger Graduate Residences

Law students have priority to half of each type of the apartments in Munger Graduate Residence in this order:

  1. New first-year JD law students
  2. New transfer JD law students
  3. All other new law students (LLM, JSM, JSD, PhD, etc.)
  4. Continuing law students currently living in Munger (for their specific apartment type)
  5. Continuing law students not living in Munger

What you should know about the Law student priority to Munger:

  1. The Munger Graduate Residence priority is only activated for each type of Munger housing option when you specifically list it as a choice on your application.
  2. Since the law students receive priority to 50% of each type of housing, you should list all the different types of housing choices to maximize your chance of being assigned to Munger.
  3. There are a very limited number of couples housing options in Munger. We are rarely able to assign all the law student couples who want to live only in Munger. If you want to live on campus in couples without children housing, consider listing apartments in Escondido Village as well.
  4. There are also a very limited number of two-bedroom apartments for single students in Munger. Single students interested in Munger should also list the four-bedroom or studio options.
  5. If you apply for housing as a group, and if you have a law student priority but others in your group do not, you may be split from your group as your priority does not transfer to group members. You can use the group retention feature to void your Munger priority. If you would like to maximize your chances of getting assigned to Munger, do NOT use the group retention feature.
  6. The law student priority is active all year through all rounds of housing assignments.

Summer Assignment Priorities

  • Enrolled students have priority over non-enrolled students for summer housing in the event that there is not enough space to house all applicants in a given category of housing.
  • Students living in Single Graduate and Couples without Children Housing who reside in buildings with academic year contracts receive an automatic priority to move into a similar apartment for the summer.
  • Students assigned to Single Graduate, Couples without Children, or Students with Children Housing for the following Autumn Quarter may be assigned to a summer residence that they did not list as a choice on their application in order to match their summer assignment to their autumn assignment.