Renewing Your Contract in Graduate Housing

Some matriculated students are qualified to renew their contracts for the subsequent academic year in a simple, one-step process that bypasses the Lottery. If you aren’t eligible to renew, or if you want to move to a new residence for the coming year, you must join the spring Lottery. 

A student's degree program will be the guide for housing priority and will determine whether or not a student can renew.

Who is eligible to renew?

  • Doctoral students (PhD, DMA & JSD) who are living in housing during the Spring Quarter and have been in housing for fewer than six years.
  • MD students who are living in housing during the Spring Quarter and have been in housing for fewer than four years.
  • JD students who are living in housing during the Spring Quarter and have been in housing for fewer than two years.
  • Master's students with children who are living in housing during the Spring Quarter and have lived in housing for one year.

To qualify for contract renewal, you must:

  • Have at least one remaining year of housing assignment priority.
  • Remain in the same category of housing (i.e., single student, couple without children, or student with children).
  • Remain in your on-campus residence through summer and the upcoming year if you live in a residence that is open all year.
  • Be willing to accept any other housing assignment for the summer and following year if you live in an academic-year residence that is closed for the summer.
  • Be an enrolled, matriculated student in good academic and financial standing with the University through the year you are renewing.
  • Renew by the graduate housing first-round Lottery deadline in May.


If, while you live in University housing, your family size or status changes and exceeds the occupancy limit for your apartment, you cannot renew your contract. You must request reassignment to the appropriate type of housing.

If your status changes to non-matriculated student after you renew or have been assigned University housing, you must contact Housing Assignments immediately as you may no longer be eligible for housing.

If you are living in an academic-year residence that is closed for the summer, we are not able to offer you a renewal in place. In order to secure housing for the summer and following year you must apply for both summer and the next year on Axess during the Lottery and be willing to accept any other housing assignment that is open all year. You will be assigned in a special renewal process in advance of the Lottery.

If you are living in an off-campus subsidized apartment and applying for the same category of housing, you will not be able to renew your contract for the 2020-21 year, but will receive a special off-campus housing priority in the 2020 Lottery.

How to Renew your Contract

  • Log in to Axess before the first-round Lottery deadline.
  • Select Housing and Dining from the Student menu.
  • Select Renew Housing Contract and follow the prompts.
  • Use the housing contract renewal checklist if you currently live on campus with a year-round contract and want to renew.

Don’t wait until the last day to renew! Axess allows only a limited number of students to log on at one time, and the system can slow down during periods of heavy use.

Renewing with a Group

Even if you renew your contract, you can be part of a group of students who are participating in the Lottery. If group members are assigned to the same type of housing that you occupy, you can contact your Housing Front Desk to request to move to the same apartment.

Vacations and Sublicensing

When you renew, you may apply for one vacation quarter during the academic year. Most students are not enrolled for the summer, but you can apply for a Vacation Quarter during a different quarter if you were enrolled for the previous three quarters (including summer) and plan to take a one quarter leave. During this time you may remain in your residence without registering for courses. Or, if you plan to be away from campus or register in absentia during your vacation quarter, you may be able to sublicense your room or apartment to a Stanford affiliate. There are very specific conditions under which you may sublicense your apartment and your sublicense agreement must be approved by Housing Assignments. It is important that you read the Vacation Quarter petition and sublicense information so you do not jeopardize your eligibility for housing.

Misrepresentation of Facts

The University, with cause, may ask you to provide certifiable documents of facts detailed in your housing application or on your signed Residence Agreement. Any misrepresentation of facts for housing purposes is considered a violation of the Stanford University Residence Agreement and the Fundamental Standard of Student Conduct and may result in the loss of housing privileges and/or possible University disciplinary action.