Questions and Answers
The first-year guarantee for new graduate students remains unchanged. All graduate students in their first year of study at Stanford are guaranteed subsidized housing (on or off campus) if they apply by the lottery deadline and agree to live anywhere.
In the past, the ability for a student to renew housing depended on a student’s assignment location either in a renewable or non-renewable space. Moving forward, a student’s degree program will determine the number of years that a student has priority to renew.
The university has built over 2,400 new graduate housing spaces over the last 20 years and has plans to build another 2,000 spaces on campus by 2020. Despite these efforts, the local housing market has driven the demand from new and continuing graduate students well beyond our current supply.
Providing on-campus housing for graduate students is a vital component of graduate education at Stanford, fostering academic success and wellbeing. Until this new housing is completed, the university believes it is important to adopt interim measures to address the graduate student housing shortage by revising housing assignment renewal and priorities for graduate students living in university-subsidized housing on and off campus.
This change is in response to demand for housing that exceeds the available supply. The new housing, when completed in 2020, will allow more students to be housed on campus and may result in an adjustment to the housing priorities outlined here. Future priorities and eligibility will be established to ensure a sustainable supply of on-campus housing and will include such factors as overall graduate enrollment, the local rental market, and demand for housing by graduates.
These changes were carefully deliberated and endorsed by the president, provost, deans from all seven schools, vice provost for graduate education, key leaders in Residential & Dining Enterprises, Graduate Life Office and they also included consultation with the Graduate Housing Advisory Committee.
Incoming students will continue to have a first-year guarantee of on-campus or off-campus subsidized housing, if they apply by the Lottery deadline in May and indicate that they are willing to live in any housing available.
The number of priority years that doctoral (PhD, DMA, JSD) and professional (MD and JD) students receive depends on their degree program. Beyond a first year guarantee –
- PhD, DMA, and JSD students can renew in place for five additional years for up to 6 years total
- MD students can renew in place for three additional years for up to 4 years total
- JD students can renew in place for two additional years for up to 3 years total
The ability to renew in place in subsidized off-campus housing will depend upon Stanford's continued lease with the property owners. Doctoral and professional students in off-campus subsidized housing who choose to renew are also able to submit an additional application for reassignment (in a separate process) to on-campus housing.
Doctoral students may leave the housing system for the express purpose of conducting research that requires relocation to a distant region for an extended period of time (two quarters or more). Students are required to adhere to housing eligibility guidelines and provide formal notice from their respective school prior to leaving to begin the research. These students may apply in the Lottery to return to housing and will be assigned with priority after new students. Students conducting research for just the summer should renew their contracts to have an option to sublicense their space if they live on-campus.
The university recognizes that local housing market costs have significantly impacted doctoral students, given that their prolonged time of study in their respective fields averages 5.7 years to completion as compared to other graduate degree programs that require fewer years for degree completion. Doctoral students also need proximity to their research labs, as many of them work late in the evening conducting research.
Doctoral and professional students with children will have the same number of years of priority commensurate with their degree program. Master’s students with children will be guaranteed housing for the first year in their degree program, and have the option to renew in place for their second year.
Master’s singles/couples without children have their first year of housing guaranteed. Beyond the first year they have no guarantee subsidized housing (on or off campus). They are eligible to apply in the housing Lottery for one additional year with low priority and will be assigned after all new students have been assigned and space has been held for renewing students. The amount of space available each year will vary depending upon how many students renew and how many new students apply for housing.
Additional clarification for master's students can be found in our Master’s Degree Students’ Guide to Graduate Housing Assignment Priorities and Eligibility
Master's students with children have a priority year after their first guaranteed year, for a total of two years of housing. They are eligible to apply for the housing Lottery beyond their second year in housing, and will be assigned with low priority if if space is available. The amount of space available each year will vary depending upon how many students renew and how many new students apply for housing.
For Master’s students admitted in 2016 and after: Beyond the first year they have no guarantee of subsidized housing (on or off campus). They are eligible to apply for the housing Lottery beyond the first year guarantee, and will be assigned with low priority if if space is available. The amount of space available each year will vary depending upon how many students renew and how many new students apply for housing.
Continuing master’s students admitted to a doctoral or dual degree by May 11, 2017, should apply to renew their housing to be eligible for subsidized housing. You should not apply in the Lottery for housing until you are admitted into the PhD program and are able to apply to renew your housing. Continuing master’s students unsure of their transition to doctoral status should consult their department student services office. If unable to get accepted into a PhD program by May 11, 2017, students should apply in the Lottery by the May 11, 2017 deadline although they are unlikely to be assigned by the start of Autumn Quarter. By applying in the first round, they will have the greatest chance of being assigned later in 2017-18.
Students returning to Stanford to begin a new graduate degree program after previously receiving a Stanford graduate degree are considered continuing graduate students and should apply accordingly.
For students in dual degree programs, the number of priority years is based on the highest level degree at the time the application is processed (i.e., JD/MD students receive 4 years of priority, JD/MBA students receive 3 years of priority, etc.). After using those priority years, students are eligible to apply for the housing Lottery and will be assigned with low priority if if space is available. The amount of space available each year will vary depending upon how many students renew and how many new students apply for housing.
Coterminal students applying for their first year of graduate housing will be considered continuing students. They will have a limited coterminal priority and will be assigned if space is available after first-year graduate students new to Stanford, current continuing graduate students who renew their housing, and continuing graduate students with limited priority.
Students who require on-campus housing due to a documented medical condition are encouraged to contact the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) at 650-723-1066 or OAE.Stanford.edu. Housing exceptions for students with medical needs are only approved at the recommendation of the OAE. The deadline to file a medical accommodation request is April 21, 2017.
Doctoral, MD, JD students and master's students with children (families) are eligible to apply for the housing Lottery beyond the priority years that are commensurate with their degree program, and will be assigned with low priority if if space is available. The amount of space available each year will vary depending upon how many students renew and how many new students apply for housing.
Master's singles/couples students are guaranteed housing for the first year in their program. Beyond the first year they have no guarantee for subsidized housing. They are eligible to apply for the housing Lottery and will be assigned with low priority if if space is available. The amount of space available each year will vary depending upon how many students renew and how many new students apply for housing. This would also apply to master’s students who have never lived in subsidized housing (on or off campus).
Yes, students in off-campus subsidized housing who are eligible to renew may renew in place, but must maintain a 12-month lease for the space. The ability to renew in place for future years will depend upon Stanford's continued lease with the property owners. Students with priority years in off-campus subsidized housing who choose to renew are also able to submit an additional application for reassignment (in a separate process) to on-campus housing if they are interested.
ON CAMPUS – Yes. Housing Assignments can assist you with the proper documentation to sublicense your space in accordance with our lease agreements. Sublicense rents must be consistent with the rent rate in your contract as listed in the chart of subsidized rates for your housing type. You will be responsible to Student Housing for payment of the rent as dictated by your lease agreement through the term of the contract. You must also meet all other terms of the sublicensing program in order to sublet. More details can be found at http://sublease.stanford.edu
OFF CAMPUS – No. Students in off-campus subsidized housing may not participate in the sublicensing program as it is not in keeping with our off-campus lease agreements.
Consideration of special circumstances for university subsidized housing will be handled by petition to Housing Assignments on a case-by-case basis.
The provost has established subsidies to assist graduate students who will be living off campus. Students living in off-campus subsidized housing or local market rentals are able to apply for the resources below:
- Housing Loan Program for those living in off-campus unsubsidized housing is available for graduate students to borrow up to $6,000 (all at once or in increments over several years); there are no fees and no interest if repaid within six months of graduation - http://financialaid.stanford.edu/grad/funding/emergency
- Free Caltrain Go Passes for graduate students living in subsidized or unsubsidized off-campus housing (must live in eligible zip codes) until the new graduate housing opens.
- Housing Assignments staff will continue to assist students who are moving off campus through the Community Housing website, which provides information on rentals and how to navigate the rental process.
- The Financial Aid Office has a need-based emergency grant-in-aid program for unanticipated expenses for which any graduate student may apply.