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 your application on time!

The 2017 Draw deadline is Monday, May 8th at 6:00 p.m. PST.

2. Be careful with “Any” options.

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

3. Keep your housing guarantee.

If you are guaranteed housing, you must select “I am willing to accept any other assignment” as your final choice in order to preserve your housing guarantee.

4. Save the application.

Be sure to hit the submit button after previewing your application. You will receive a confirmation email at your Stanford account once it has been submitted.

5. Use Group Retention.

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

6. Make a robust list of choices.

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

7. List where you 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. List where you want to live!

8. Copy your group leader’s choices.

You can use the “Copy My Group Leader’s Choices” button located at the top of the Residence Choice list to make sure everyone in your group has the same choices in the same order. If your group leader changes his choices after you have copied them, be sure everyone in your group copies the choices once again. Only you can update the choices on your application.

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

In order to stay with your group, select the same residence choices in the exact same order. Once you list a choice that is different from your friends, the Draw program is unable to hold you with your group mates.

10. Select the correct quarter.

Be sure to select the correct start quarter on your application. Students who apply for Winter or Spring Quarters aren’t assigned until later in the academic year. If you need housing for Summer Quarter 2017 in addition to housing during the 17-18 academic year, fill out two applications: one for Summer Quarter, and one for housing beginning in Autumn, Winter, or Spring Quarter.