Incoming first-years


Live in residence, 100% guaranteed 


Living in residences means becoming part of a great community, with support to help make your transition to University life as smooth as possible. You have the choice of living in one of Waterloo Residences 5 first-year residences, or at one of Waterloo’s University Colleges.

At Waterloo, residence is guaranteed for all incoming first-year students who sign a contract for two terms (fall/winter or fall/spring) by June 1. What do you need to do?

The Residence Community Ranking Form is now closed. Incoming first-year students that missed the 100% Guarantee that would like to live with us for the 2020/21 academic year can still apply for housing through the Fall 2020 Vacancy Application. We will assign incoming first-year students on the vacancy list to residences starting in August. Vacancy list students are not guaranteed a residence assignment, but we will try our best to assign as many as we can based on available space.

COVID-19 update for fall 2020 applicants 

The housing deposit is typically non-refundable but if you are no longer able to come to campus, we will refund your $500 housing deposit. The deadline to request a refund is Friday, June 12, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Please note that requesting a refund cancels your residence guarantee for two terms and you will lose guaranteed space on campus in the fall and winter or spring. You are required to move into residence for the fall term in order to have accommodations in the winter/spring. If you do not arrive in the fall term, you will lose your space for winter/spring and remain financially responsible for the residence fees for both terms.

Interested in Winter or Spring Only Contract? Many students are asking if they can be guaranteed residence for winter only. A winter only application will be available on July 28th at 9 a.m. EDT. We will announce information about the Spring Only later on in the academic year If you are interested in residence for an upcoming term (winter or spring) we recommend the following:

  • If you submitted your $500 housing deposit and Residence Community Ranking Form by June 1st and have not notified us that you want to cancel your current application for a two-term contract, complete the form sent to your email on June 2 by Friday, June 12, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Students that are a part of the 100% guarantee are not eligible for a winter or spring-only contract.
  • The Winter 2021 First-Year Winter Only Application will be available starting Tuesday, July 28th at 9 a.m. EDT. You cannot apply to this application if you still have an active Two-Term application, Vacancy Application or have received a residence offer from us. If you would like to cancel your two-term application or vacancy application, please email us at subject line: I want winter housing. If you have received a residence offer, you would have to decline the offer and forfeit your $500 deposit if not on a study permit. 
  • Spring-only application is not yet available and will depend on public health guidelines and space availability. More information will be available later this academic year.
  • If you change your mind about fall term after requesting a refund, you may reapply to residence by submitting the first year vacancy applicationSpace is not guaranteed. 
  • We encourage you to check our website regularly for updates and as soon as we have information about winter and spring applications, we will post it here.

Get Ready for Residence Webinar

Did you miss the Get Ready for Residence Webinar? Watch the recording below!

Printable checklist


Move-in checklist July 20 update

Download our printable checklist to stay on top of key dates, then apply below.

*Checklist update July 20, 2020


The Road Home