Frequently asked questions

Do you have questions? We have answers! Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for living in Renison Residence.

Renison University College? What exactly is a university college?

Good question! University of Waterloo has four university colleges that are affiliated with it, including Renison. The colleges are separate institutions that have an agreement to work alongside the university. If you are enrolled in a university college, you will still be earning a degree at the University of Waterloo, but will take courses at both the university college and Waterloo! 

Okay, so how is Renison different from the other residences on campus?

Each college has a unique residence system and atmosphere. There are differences in room setup, student life activities, and even meal plans. Renison offers a small, intimate and diverse community. Students living at Renison are studying in programs from all across campus and since we have upper year residents they can be in any term of study.

I really want a single room. Does Renison have single rooms?

Renison has a limited number of single rooms. They are generally available to upper year students, but are assigned by lottery so first-year students may be assigned to a single room.

I like to eat a lot. What is the largest meal plan I can get?

Along with the other University Colleges, Renison's meal plan is the largest meal plan in residence at Waterloo. When you live at Renison your meal plan is included with your room. You are permitted six passes through the cafeteria each day.  There is plenty to eat with many healthy options. 

Our kitchen staff can accommodate many dietary restrictions.

I want to live in a fun residence. What is there to do at Renison?

There is always something going on at Renison! Each floor has a Don, an upper year resident in charge of the safety and well being of the floor. This includes running lots of fun activities to make sure that you get the most out of your experience. Residents also have Renisix, the residence student council. There are over a dozen positions on the council including a representative from each floor.  We encourage you to check out our Events and Workshops page to get an idea of all the great things happening each month in Residence. 

I am an upper-year student. Can I still live at Renison?

Yes, you can! We have limited space for upper-years but we do love having senior students a part of our community. You do not have to have lived with us before to be eligible. 

Submit an online application form if you are an upper-year student and want to live at Renison.

What does upper year student mean?

The term upper year refers to anyone who has already done at least one year of schooling at Waterloo or another post secondary institution. If you already have university courses under your belt, then you are an “upper year” student.

Can I pick my roommate at Renison?

We will gladly match you up with a specific roommate of your choice. On your eRezLife Profile, you will be able to identify a roommate preference. If your friend does the same, the match will happen.  


  • Consider having the College select a roommate for you. You may find a more compatible person to spend time with and still have your friend in the College. You would benefit by expanding your social network right away. In essence you could double your friend base on Move In Day!

Do I have to be registered through Renison to live in residence at Renison?

Renison is the home to students from all Waterloo programs. It's a fantastic blend of all kinds of students, just not those registered at Renison. We do give preference for space to those students who are registered with us, but all are welcome.

What programs can I be registered for at Renison?

Honours Arts, Honours Arts and Business, Social Development Studies (SDS), Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Masters of Social Work (MSW), English Language Institute (ELI). Just remember you do NOT have to be in one of these programs to live in Residence. All University of Waterloo students are welcome! 

Do I need to belong to a specific religion to live at Renison?

Definitely not! Renison is a welcoming community for students of all religions and faiths, as well as students of no faith. We have the benefit of having a Chaplain at Renison to support students with their spiritual questions, but one of the best parts of Renison is its inclusive space for all students.

Renison does offer a multi-faith prayer space as well as our St. Bede's Chapel for students who wish to practice their faith.  

I love to get involved and be a leader. Can I do that at Renison?

There are lots of ways to get involved with student life at Renison – whether it’s becoming a member of one of our student councils or giving tours as a Renison Ambassador, you can definitely find something that suits you. Check out our Leadership Opportunities page for more details.

I am an English Language Institute student. Do you have housing available to me?

If residence at Renison is full, are there other on campus accommodations?