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Room Selection Lottery

Take the UC Santa Cruz Room Selection Quiz

The Room Selection Lottery Planning Guide can help answer your questions.

The 2024-25 Room Selection Lottery takes place in a series of passes. For each pass, a randomized lottery will determine the order eligible students can access the room selection process. Lottery times will be emailed to participating students in advance of each pass.

The housing lottery is based on availability at the time a student logs in, with spaces becoming more limited as other students complete their selections. Unfortunately, space availability is not certain, and some students will not be able to make a selection during the lottery.


Eligible students can participate as individuals or as part of a group. To be eligible for the Room Selection Lottery you must meet both of the following conditions:

  1. Continuously live in university housing during Winter 2024 and Spring 2024 quarters.
  2. Re-apply for Fall 2024 university housing during the housing application period (Feb. 26 - March 4).

red and yellow graphic to highlight the importance of increasing your chance to participate in 1st Pass


Depending on availability, all passes may not take place at every college/community. If lottery spaces have been filled at a community, no additional passes will be held there. Because of this, taking part in 1st Pass will afford your best chance of securing housing.


Apply to:

1st Pass

2nd Pass*

3rd Pass*

Your affiliated college

The Village or University Town Center

A different college


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March 5 - April 3

Prior to the Room Selection Lottery, housing staff assign:

  • Resident Assistants (RA) and Neighborhood Assistants (NA) who are required to live in a specific location.
  • Students accepted into campuswide theme options: ABC Themed Housing, the International Living Center (ILC), Trans-inclusive Housing, and Substance Free Recovery Housing.
  • Students with DRC accommodations for a specific type of housing: If you have a disability-related housing need, you must submit a Housing Accommodation Request in addition to completing a housing application. Visit drc.ucsc.edu for information. A new accommodation request is needed each year. More about DRC accommodations »


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1st Pass

April 9 - 10

Lottery times emailed: April 4

Who will receive a lottery time for 1st Pass?

Eligible students who applied to live at their affiliated college, University Town Center, or The Village. College affiliates can pull non-affiliates into their group if they applied to the same college. However, only the affiliates will receive lottery times.

Important: During 1st Pass, a student/group must be able to fill all available spaces in a room or apartment to complete a selection. 

Which housing spaces are included in 1st Pass?

  • Available spaces at the college/community you applied to (i.e., your affiliated college, University Town Center, or The Village).
  • For groups: Any available space that exactly matches the size (and gender makeup) of your roommate group. For example, a 6-person apartment for you and five housemates.
  • For individuals: Any available single residence hall room.

If you receive a lottery time for 1st Pass, but don’t select a space: You will receive a lottery time for 2nd Pass if spaces remain available for the Room Selection Lottery (can vary by college/community).


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2nd Pass

April 15

Lottery times emailed: April 11

Who will receive a lottery time for 2nd Pass?

All unassigned students who applied to the college/community (affiliation doesn’t matter). For example, if you are a Rachel Carson affiliate but applied to live at Porter, you could be invited to 2nd Pass.

Which housing spaces are included in 2nd Pass? 

  • Any available space at the college/community you applied to.

Important: 2nd Pass will only take place at colleges/communities where space remains available after 1st Pass. If held, be aware that only small group and individual spaces are likely to be available.


3rd Pass graphic

3rd Pass

April 18

Lottery times emailed: April 16

Who will receive a lottery time for 3rd Pass?

All eligible students who have not yet been assigned housing. Affiliation or where you applied for housing does not matter. 

Which housing spaces are included in 3rd Pass?

  • Any available space, campus-wide.

Important: 3rd Pass will only take place if space remains available.

If you receive a lottery time for 3rd Pass, but don’t select a space: Your application will remain on the housing waitlist.


Waitlist information

At the conclusion of the Room Selection Lottery, any student who has not selected a room will be placed on the continuing student housing waitlist. While housing staff will work throughout spring and summer to accommodate as many students as possible, all students on the waitlist are strongly encouraged to also begin looking for off-campus housing as soon as possible.

Learn More »


Roommate Groups and Room Selection

Eligible students can participate in the Room Selection Lottery as an individual or as part of a group. The lottery process is designed to give groups the earliest opportunity to select a space, so forming a group can be a great option. Be sure you and your group members read the following information carefully.

To be able to form a group for Room Selection, ALL group members must:

  • Apply during the February 26 - March 4 Application Period
  • Apply to live at the same college/community
Step 1: Create your roommate group in the Housing Portal. Once all group members have applied, you can create your group or 2 or more.
  • Click on the Roommate Request icon in the Housing Portal.
  • Select the option to create your group.
  • Search for your friend(s) by entering their UCSC email, and invite them to join your group.
  • Tip: Remember to select “Include me in Roommate Search Results” in your housing application. Otherwise you will not be visible to your group members!


Step 2: Make a plan – and back-up plans! Housing options for groups (especially larger groups) are likely to go fast during room selection, so it's important to be prepared.
  • Learn about housing options at the college/community your group applied to that would work for your group. Remember to take into account your group's size and gender(s).
  • Talk about what types of rooms each person is willing to accept and who will share a room with whom.
  • Make backup plans! If a space is not available for your group to select during room selection, have a plan to reduce the size of your group or participate as individuals.


Step 3: Appoint the person with the earliest lottery time to be your group leader. This person will be the one to log in and search for available housing.
  • The group leader will be responsible for selecting housing on behalf of all group members.
  • Tip: If possible, plan for all group members to be available during your leader's lottery time. 
  • During room selection, if your group's preferred space isn’t available, move on to your back-up plans.


red and yellow graphic to highlight the important information about roommate groups


  • Creating a roommate group does not ensure there will be a space available to accommodate your group size and/or gender(s).
  • By agreeing to join a group you are authorizing your group leader to select housing on your behalf, and to accept that person's decision as final.


Gender and Room Selection

The spaces available to a student during the Room Selection Lottery are based on the student's gender. In the case of a roommate group, the size and gender make-up of the entire group will impact which spaces are available.

Learn more about gender and room selection »


Have questions?

Visit our FAQ page for additional information »


Group of happy students
Group of happy students