Ten Tips to Navigate the Draw

The Draw is designed to give students as much control as possible when choosing where they want to live. With so many options, The Draw can be confusing. Follow the steps below to maximize your chances of getting the housing you want. 

1. Submit the application on time!

The 2018 Draw deadline is Monday, May 7 at 6:00 p.m. PST.

2. Be careful with “Any” options.

If students are assigned through an ”any” choice, such as “Any Branner,” they are assigned the last space in the house because they are willing to accept “any” choice in that house. Students should be sure to list specific choices such as “Branner single” or “Branner two-room double” before listing an “any” choice.

3. Keep the housing guarantee.

If a student is guaranteed housing, they must select “I am willing to accept any other assignment” as their final choice in order to preserve their housing guarantee.

4. Save the application.

Students should be sure to hit the submit button after previewing their application. They will receive a confirmation email at their Stanford account once it has been submitted.

5. Use Group Retention.

When a student applies as part of a group, they are asked through how many residence choices they would like to stay with their group. If they set it to 1, the Draw program will only try to keep the group together through their first choice. In order to stay together through all of their residence choices, they should set group retention high enough to cover all of those choices. If, after submitting their application, they go back in and change their residence choices, they should be sure to double check their group retention level.

6. Make a robust list of choices.

No matter what tier they are using, students should make a robust list of choices! They should keep ranking choices until they have no preference between the choices they have left unranked. That is when they know they have ranked enough choices. If a student is guaranteed housing, they must select “I am willing to accept any other assignment” as their final application choice in order to preserve the guarantee. If we cannot assign them to one of their residence choices and they are assigned out of this final choice, they will be assigned at the end of the Draw, after all other students have been assigned.

7. List where they want to live.

Sometimes students will not list residences they want because they believe their Draw number will not be low enough to get into those houses. Every year cut-off numbers for residences change. Students should list where they want to live!

8. Copy the group leader’s choices.

Students can use the “Copy My Group Leader’s Choices” button located at the top of the Residence Choice list to make sure everyone in the group has the same choices in the same order. If the group leader changes their choices after the other group members have copied them, the other group members should be sure everyone in the group copies the choices once again. Only the student can update the choices on their own specific application.

9. Applying as a group? Select the same residence choices.

In order to stay with their group, students must select the same residence choices in the exact same order. Once a student lists a choice that is different from their friends', the Draw program is unable to hold them with their group mates.

10. Select the correct quarter.

Students should be sure to select the correct start quarter on their application. Students who apply for winter or spring quarters aren’t assigned until later in the academic year. If they need housing for summer quarter in addition to housing during the academic year, they must fill out two applications: one for summer quarter, and one for housing beginning in autumn, winter, or spring quarter.