Information on COVID-19 and UCSC student housing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) »

The emergence of COVID-19 is presenting unprecedented challenges for communities all across the country. As COVID-19 mitigation actions escalate across the country, our campus is making changes to our operations.

In order to dramatically and immediately reduce the number of people living on campus, we strongly urge all students who can possibly make alternate housing arrangements to do so for the remainder of the academic year. Santa Cruz County’s Shelter in Place order specifically allows for essential travel, which includes travel to return to a place of residence.

While students may remain in residence this spring if they fall into one of the categories outlined below (see About Staying), there are operational impacts that will be experienced given the situation with COVID-19.

  • If you intend to leave campus, complete the Intent to Vacate form to indicate your intention to move-out of university housing.

Based upon the current public health information available, the following describes the conditions we anticipate in our residential buildings during spring quarter. Please keep in mind that this is an evolving situation and circumstances may change further.

  • We are doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, the virus has already become so prevalent that public health authorities believe that if testing were more widely available, it would reveal that many of us, including UCSC students and employees, have already been exposed to this virus.
  • The primary public health strategy is mitigation: reducing exposure by rigorous compliance with physical distancing recommendations, regular handwashing, and extra care to avoid unnecessary contact with our most vulnerable populations. This is most effective when followed by all of us as individuals. However, we want to prepare you for the reality that some people living in and supporting campus housing will inevitably become ill with COVID-19.
  • It is also inevitable that students who become sick with COVID-19 but are not ill enough to require hospitalization will need to self-isolate in campus residences. Students who are exposed to the virus before they realize it will be living in some proximity to students who are well, increasing the potential for the infection to spread.
  • We will close several of the residential buildings and relocate any students residing there, as well as adjust our housing and dining operations to improve physical distancing.
  • Any resident who remains on campus for spring should be prepared to be relocated (possibly more than once) so that we may create spaces for isolation as well as quarantine.
  • Dining Services will be limited to take-out only meals.

Frequently Asked Questions:


About Moving Out

When is the latest date I can move my belongings out of my room?

Students living in single-student undergraduate housing who complete their move-out (i.e. remove all belongings, complete the Intent to Vacate form online, and return any university keys) by April 19 will be eligible for a full refund of any housing and dining fees paid for spring quarter.

Anyone who is still in residence after April 19 should plan to be reassigned to a new residential location. Additionally, anyone who is still in residence after this date, or whose belongings remain in residence, will be charged from the start of the quarter to the date their move-out is completed. If necessary, students may also be subject to an additional fee of up to $500 to have belongings packed and shipped. In order to be eligible for a full refund of any spring housing/dining charges, students must have vacated their rooms by 4/19.

If you have already left campus and are unable to return to retrieve your belongings personally, you may need to contract with a personal moving service to pack your belongings and ship them to you. Many services are available, and focus on university students who need their rooms packed and their belongings shipped or stored. One option for shipping and/or storage of your belongings is Dormbox*, though there are other moving companies and you are encouraged to research your options.

A local Santa Cruz business that offers similar services:

Leibbrandt Transport Moving & Storage*
Website: https://santacruzmovers.com/
Office: 831-457-9520
Cell: 831-359-6290
Email: Leibtrans@comcast.net

* Disclaimer: Any reference obtained from this site to a specific product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by UC Santa Cruz or the University of California of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. Neither UC Santa Cruz, the University of California, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, or assumes any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information from the links from this site, or the product, process or service or its producer or provider.

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I previously submitted an Intent to Vacate saying I’d leave on X date, but I need more time. Is that okay? How do I change my checkout date? Do I need to fill anything out?

Please complete a new Intent to Vacate form with the new date of your checkout. Remember, in order to be fully refunded for housing and dining you must have vacated your room and your belongings no later than April 19, and return any university keys (if applicable).

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I tried using the USPS link on the housing page to update my mailing address, but it didn’t work. What should I do?

Due to mail regulations, USPS will not forward UCSC mail or packages to another address. Also, USPS first class letter mail, along with packages from USPS, FEDEX, UPS, DHL, OnTrac, etc are not forwarded. Mail unable to be delivered, due to a student no longer living on campus, will be returned to sender.

Note: magazines, junk mail, and standard mail are recycled if you have moved away from Santa Cruz and are unable to pick these items up from your campus mailbox.

It is imperative that you do the following:

  • directly contact anyone that you are receiving mail from and inform them of your address change
  • inform wherever you have your campus address on file to change that information to your new/current address
  • make sure that your permanent mailing address is correct in your my.ucsc.edu portal so that any UCSC mail gets routed to you correctly.

However, if you fill out this form with your new address and other required info, mail room staff will, for up to 90 days, hand-write your new address on your mail so that when your mail is received by the sender, they can be reminded of your new address.

Please note: It can take up to 4 weeks for mail that you received at your college to be re-routed to your new address.

Feel free to contact your college mail room with any questions.

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About Billing

When will I receive my refund?

We are processing housing cancellations in the order they are recorded. Due to the large volume of students vacating, it will take some time to process all cancellations. Though we cannot say precisely when a student's account will be adjusted, we are advising students to monitor their university account (my.ucsc.edu) to see when the adjustments have been made. We ask for your understanding and appreciate your patience during this time.

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Why am I still being billed? I filled out the Intent to Vacate and I moved out already.

As mentioned above in the answer to “When will I receive my refund?”, until your housing contract cancellation is processed by the central housing office, charges for housing and dining will still appear on your student account. Do not worry about this. As soon as the cancellation is processed, those fees will be removed from your account if you complete your move-out by April 19. Please, if you have cancelled your contract, DO NOT pay any housing/dining related fees. You will not be assessed a housing late fee while your account is waiting to be adjusted.

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I submitted my Intent to Vacate form, moved out, and turned or mailed in my keys. Is there anything else I need to do to get my refund?

No, but understand that given the vast numbers of housing cancellations in progress, there is a delay in processing refunds as described above in response to “Why am I still being billed?”. We appreciate your patience during this time and advise that you closely monitor your university account (my.ucsc.edu) to see when your charges have been adjusted.

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How can I get a refund for my Slug Meals?

Unused Slug Meals typically expire at the end of the academic year. As an exception, UCSC Dining is offering a refund of Slug Meals that you may not be able to use if you are not on campus during spring 2020. Request a refund of any unused Slug Meals by completing this form. (Note: you must be logged in to your UCSC Google account to complete the form). Refunds will be processed in a timely fashion. Questions? Contact dining@ucsc.edu.

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How can I get a refund for my Flexi Dollars?

Unused Flexi Dollars automatically roll over from quarter to quarter and to the next academic year. If you prefer to request a refund of your unused Flexi Dollars please submit a request at studenthousing.ucsc.edu.

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I lived in a campus apartment or off-campus. How can I get a refund for my voluntary meal plan?

Apartment and off-campus residents who purchased voluntary 7-day or 5-day meal plans may cancel those plans by contacting meals@ucsc.edu.

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About Staying

Can I stay on campus during spring quarter?

Students may remain in university housing during spring only if one or more of the following conditions apply:

  • Do not have access to alternate housing
  • Financial resources do not enable a return to their permanent residence
  • Personal health or safety considerations prohibit relocation
  • Permanent residence is in an area highly impacted by COVID-19
  • Permanent residence does not have, and cannot obtain the infrastructure needed to support remote learning
  • Other extenuating circumstances

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Why is the university relocating some students?

First, please understand that these plans are being made in a very fluid environment. We assure residents that if we can decrease the number of students needing to be relocated, we will. These relocations will, in the majority of cases, require advance planning and you should receive advance notification.

The university must proactively take action to prepare for the potential needs of isolation, quarantine, and expanded medical service locations. To accomplish this, whole buildings must become vacant so that they may be thoroughly cleaned before converting their use to service for the greater good.

Our goal is to house every student in their own room—whether in a residence hall, or within an apartment—to better ensure physical distance guidelines.

Each student will be charged the triple room rate regardless of their accommodation.

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I have a group of friends I’d like to live with. Can I request housemates/floormates for my relocation to Colleges 9 & 10 or Crown/Merrill?

Absolutely. Efforts will be made to accommodate requests by students wishing to remain in proximity to each other. Please understand that the urgency under which the university is operating may not always allow for this flexibility, but we’ll do our best.

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I live in a Res Hall, can I move to an apartment during consolidation?

Availability will differ location to location, where this is possible, it will be encouraged, possibly at your current sister college pair.

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Housing for Fall Quarter

When are the priority housing sessions going to happen, and how are they going to be facilitated? When will I know?

The Priority Housing Application Period will take place April 13-20, 2020. More info soon.

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Housing Guarantees

Will I lose my housing guarantee if I cancel my spring 2020 housing?

We will not be voiding housing guarantees for students who cancel their university housing for spring 2020. Therefore, if a student has a housing guarantee that extends beyond spring 2020, they will retain that guarantee as long as they apply during the April 13-20 Priority Housing Application Period.

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You can find additional information on the following sites:

UCSC Main Site: ucsc.edu/coronavirus/

Dining: dining.ucsc.edu/covid-19/