The Draw - The Application

The Application

To submit a Draw application, students log onto Axess and select Student Housing and Dining from the Student drop-down menu. Then, select Apply For Housing from the left hand menu.

Selecting a Quarter for Housing to Begin

Once inside the application, students will need to select the quarter in which they want their housing to begin. For most students this will be autumn quarter, but some students know they will be away autumn quarter and will therefore need to pick either winter or spring quarter.

If students are applying for summer quarter housing in addition to housing for the next academic year, they need to fill out two housing applications, one for summer quarter and one for either autumn, winter, or spring quarter.

Students will also need to select their housing type. The Draw is only for single undergraduate students. All other students are accommodated in graduate housing.

Guarantee and Tier Level

On the next screen, students will see a confirmation of the options they selected on the previous screen. They will also see information about their guarantee status.

Next, students will have to select a tier level. Each tier level dictates a range of numbers from which the student’s random application number will be assigned.


Application Number







Students out of Guarantee Years


The lower the application number, the sooner a student is considered for housing. This means the student with application number 1 will be the first person considered for housing.

There are rules regarding when students can use their tiers:

  1. Rising sophomores (students who will be sophomores next autumn quarter) can only use Tier 2 or Tier 3.
  2. All students must use Tier 3 at least once.
  3. All students can use Tier 1 only once.

The tier system allows students to choose during which year they have the best chance of receiving their first choice housing. Students will only see the tier levels that are available to them. See the Tier levels section for more information.


The next section is a reminder that students will see information about their priorities when previewing their applications. Priorities are generally given out based on class year. For example, sophomores have a housing priority to Toyon and to a certain number of double rooms in Meier and Norcliffe. This means sophomores who select Toyon will be assigned to these residences before juniors or seniors who select Toyon, and that at least 16 sophomores will get into Meier, and that at least 16 sophomores will get into Norcliffe.

Special Program Houses

The next section asks students to indicate whether or not they want to list special program houses on their applications. These houses have specific requirements for residents, and students should familiarize themselves with the requirements before deciding to list these houses on their applications. More information about these houses can be found on the Residential Education website.


After answering the special program house question, students will have the option of creating or joining a group. To create a group, a student must establish a group name and password as well as indicate how they want to keep their group together. To join a group, the student must enter the group name and password established by the group leader and answer the question regarding group retention. Some of the biggest mistakes students make during the Draw center around group applications. Students are strongly encouraged to review the groups section of this website to maximize their chances of being housed with their group.

Residence Choices

Students will then need to enter their residence choices. Students are able to list every residence and room type and are strongly encouraged to make an extensive list. Students should list all of the residences that interest them and should not assume their application number will be strong enough to get into one of their top choices. Students should keep ranking choices until they have no preference between the choices they have left unranked. That is when they know they have made an adequate list of housing choices.

The residence choice menu allows students to filter or sort the residence list in many ways. Students can filter by location, room type, specific residence, housing type, rate, or any combination of those items. Students add residences to their lists by clicking on the ‘Add’ button next to the residence type.

Students’ choices are listed in the “My Choices” window. These choices can be reordered by changing the choice number to the left of the choice or by clicking and dragging the choice to another position on the list. Choices can be removed by clicking “Remove.”

“Any” Choices

When listing residence choices, students have the option of listing “any” choices such as “Any BOB” or “Any Branner.” The Draw program looks at a student’s choices one at a time. When it comes to an “any” choice, the program determines whether or not the student has an application number low enough to get into the house. If they do, the program assigns that student the last available space in the house because the student is willing to accept “any” assignment in the house.

This means a student with application number 1, the best possible number, who lists “Any BOB” and then “BOB Premier” will most likely not be assigned a premier room. They will be assigned the last space in the house because they are willing to accept “any” space. Likewise, if the student with application number 1 was to list “Any Branner” and then “Branner Single” they could end up in a Branner Triple. They will be assigned the last space in the house because they are willing to accept “any” assignment.

Students should never list an “any” choice before a specific choice.

Residence Choice Tips

Students will lose their work if they do not submit their applications within thirty minutes. Students can submit their applications and then make edits to those applications up until the Draw deadline.

Students are strongly encouraged to list where they want to live and not make assumptions about the strength of their application number. Every year cut-off numbers for residence halls change and it is much better for a student to list a choice and not get it than to not list that choice and later learn that their application number was low enough to get in to the residence.

Final Choice

When assignments are made, the Draw program considers students in application number order. When considering a student’s application, the program looks at that student’s residence choices one at a time. If the computer is unable to assign the student to any of their residences, it considers their final choice.

If a student has guarantee years remaining, the student must choose “I am willing to accept any other assignment” as their final choice or they will lose their guarantee. When students are assigned out of this final choice, they are given whatever residence spaces are left after all other students in the assignable pool are assigned. In short, they are given the last spaces available. To avoid this, students are encouraged to make robust lists of choices.

Preview and Submit

Students should be sure to preview and then submit their applications. A confirmation email is sent to the student's Stanford email account after the application has been submitted. Students should contact Housing Assignments if they do not receive this email. Students can continue to update their applications up until the Draw deadline.