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: 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. Please note that requesting a refund cancels your residence guarantee for two terms and you will lose guaranteed space on campus in the winter or spring. Failure to arrive in residence in the fall will result in the cancellation of your residence booking and your winter/spring accommodations. Your initial payment will be forfeited, and you will be held financially responsible for your full (both terms) residence fee. A deadline date to request this refund will be communicated once decided.  As part of the residence contract, you are required to live in residence for the entire fall term in order to be continuing to have accommodations in the winter/spring.

Interested in Winter or Spring Only?  Many students are asking if they can be guaranteed residence for winter only.  A winter only guarantee is not an option currently.  To guarantee winter housing all students must:

  • Complete the RCRF prior to June 1
  • Compete the residence process  and pay all fees
  • Move into residence in September.

Please do not fill out the Residence Community Ranking Form if you do not plan to live in residence in the fall. There will be a separate non-guaranteed application process for first year students who are only interested in single term accommodation in winter or spring.


Printable checklist


Updated 2020 incoming first year checklist.

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


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