Student Housing Process

Important First Step

Before jumping into the Contracting Process, please read the following information based on your student status with UWM. There are a few different ways students contract with University Housing, so make sure your starting point is the correct one.

New First-Year Students

University Housing is currently transitioning Housing Software Systems. Students will experience a new housing portal for the first time starting Spring 2024. 

Spring and Fall 2024 University Housing Contract processes are emailed once a student has been admitted.

Once admitted, regardless of your acceptance of UWM, you will be granted online access to a University Housing Contract. A copy of the University Housing Contract and Guidebook is available for download.

Before completing a University Housing Contract, read it (and the Guidebook) through completely to be sure you understand all terms of the agreement. Once you submit you Contract online, you are legally bound by the Contract and Guidebook, even if you don’t pay your Housing deposit. You will also be required to follow the Resident Handbook, which can be found at uwm.edu/housing/policies/behavior-process/.

UWM Residency Policy

While UWM has a residency policy that essentially states first-year students are required to live on-campus, we know that some students will want to live with their parents/guardians and commute, or have other extenuating circumstances which might necessitate them requesting an exemption from the policy. Those students will need to request an exemption by completing the Exemption Request linked in the main menu of the Housing Portal.

Housing Portal home page

Financial Commitment

Are you prepared for the financial commitment you’ll be agreeing to under the terms of the Contract? Start to prepare your budget by reviewing the most current Housing and Dining Plan rates. The official rates for any upcoming academic year will not be published until the Spring semester prior. For an approximate average academic year cost, use the price of a double-occupancy room. Add to that the base Anytime Dining Plan cost. There are rooms that cost more (or less), as well as alternative dining plans. However, because room assignments are made based on a random lottery that takes into account your preferences (and not on a first-come-first-serve basis), you should be prepared for a range of possible costs for your room and board (in addition to charges for tuition and fees).

Transfer Students

Spring and Fall 2024 University Housing Contract processes are emailed once a student has been admitted. 

Once admitted, regardless of your acceptance of UWM, you will be granted online access to a University Housing Contract. Students with a U.S. mailing address will also receive a hard copy of the University Housing Contract and Guidebook in the mail.

Before completing a University Housing Contract, read it (and the Guidebook) through completely to be sure you understand all terms of the agreement. Once you submit you Contract online, you are legally bound by the Contract and Guidebook, even if you don’t pay your Housing deposit. You will also be required to follow the Resident Handbook, which can be found at uwm.edu/housing/policies/behavior-process/.

Current/Continuing UWM Non-Resident Students

Continuing UWM non-resident students may request access to a University Housing Contract in person at our Business Office (Sandburg Hall, Rm C100), or by submitting this web form. This includes application for Semester 2 (Spring-only) occupancy.

Before completing a University Housing Contract, read through the University Housing Contract and Guidebook completely to be sure you understand all terms of the agreement. Once you submit you Contract online, you are legally bound by the Contract and Guidebook, even if you don’t pay your Housing deposit. You will also be required to follow the Resident Handbook, which can be found at uwm.edu/housing/policies/behavior-process/.

Considerations to Keep In Mind

We recommend reading the information that follows to make sure you know how your chosen Contract preferences will effect your room assignment. Take notes of your preliminary decisions prior to starting your contract request. This will make the process quicker and easier to navigate. There are a few choices that you can make even as a potential first-year resident and we want you to choose the best options for yourself.

Dining Plan Preference

Let’s talk about food. You’ll also need to select your Dining Plan while completing your Contract. Each resident is required to participate in an Anytime Dining Plan with the exception of residents in Cambridge Commons’ upgraded suites, RiverView, and Sandburg Hall’s East Tower.

The Gold Level package is the default for all residents. Residents may change, or unenroll from, their Anytime Dining Plan (if eligible), as detailed at Housing Rates & Dining Plans.

Living Learning Communities

Would you like to be a part of a Living Learning Community? (it isn’t required, but DOES make for the best college experience!) LLCs are areas in our buildings where students live together, grouped by a common interest or major. They yield stronger friendships and better grades than non-LLC floors, and are no extra cost to students. LLCs are a great opportunity, so they are the top priority when it comes to room assignments. If space is available, they will override any conflicting preferences you select (such as a room type that may not be offered in an LLC; or a roommate who isn’t eligible or hasn’t requested the same LLC). If you would like to be part of an LLC, you can select one as a preference on your University Housing Contract through your MyHousing portal.

Room/Building Preferences

What type of building/room do you want to be in? If smaller/tighter-knit communities are your thing – look at Cambridge Commons or RiverView Residence Hall. If you want to be in the middle of all the action with nearly 2,800 other residents but in an older building, then Sandburg might be a better fit. Remember – all of University Housing at UWM is done in suite-style accommodations, so you’ll always have suite mates living alongside you, sharing a private bathroom, regardless of your room’s occupancy. The preference for Single/Double/Triple refers to the occupancy of your particular bedroom, not the entire suite.

Roommate Preferences

Speaking of your room – do you want a specific roommate?

If so, there are some things you will want to do. First, you and your roommate need to request each other by your UWM ID numbers (start with a #99-). Second – you need to have a preference for the same LLC (or both have the same preference for No LLC; the point is we can’t mix and match students as roommates if they aren’t looking for the same LLC experience). Third – the best practice is to not request a single room (requests for single rooms and roommates are conflicting for our computer system).

If you don’t want a specific roommate (or just in case your specific roommate request is unable to be assigned to you), we will also ask you some questions about your personal habits/preferences so that in the event of a random roommate pairing, we can try to put you with someone who is at least somewhat compatible with your preferences (sleeping, studying, socializing, etc.).

Contract Access, Completion & Submission Instructions

To access the online contract:

(Current UWM non-residents must request access first. See information above under Important First Step.)

  1. Go to uwm.starrezhousing.com/starrezportalx and log in using your e-Panther ID and password.
  2. On the top menu bar, find the Housing Contract link, click to see a list of accessible contracts.
  3. To choose a contract, click the yellow “APPLY” button to the right of the correct semester or academic year contract.
  4. After submitting your Contract, save or print the confirmation page for your records.
  5. You will receive an email from University Housing confirming successful submission of your Contract. Save this for your records, as well.

A $100 deposit will post to your PAWS account within three (3) business days after UWM’s receipt of your online Contract. This deposit must be paid in full or your Housing assignment may be withheld. Your PAWS Housing to-do list should be completed prior to attending New Student Orientation.

May 1/December 1 serves as the priority deadline for contract submission to be part of the initial lottery assignment run. Contract preferences will then lock on May 31/December 31. Results of the initial housing assignment lottery will begin posting to Housing Portals in June and continue through August for Semester I, and will post in January for Semester II.

If you have any questions about your University Housing contract, email the University Housing Office at housing@uwm.edu.

Contract and Assignment Timeline

(What follows is a typical timeline for an incoming first-year student. Dates may vary, based on individual application, admittance, and acceptance. Static dates/deadlines will be listed. Others vary and need to be checked closer to time frames given.)

May

May 1: Priority deadline for completing your University Housing Contract. Realistically, this is also the deadline for anyone who will have roommate and/or LLC requests, as it is very difficult to accommodate those requests after the May 1 Contract group.

Payment deadline for the Housing deposit of $100. This should be paid prior to attending New Student Orientation (the sooner, the better!). Contracts submitted after April 15 will have a due date of two weeks after Contract submission date. Please review your PAWS account for your confirmed payment due date. Housing assignments may be withheld if the deposit is not paid in full.

May 31: This is the priority deadline for finalizing any preferences made in a previously-submitted University Housing Contract, including roommate, LLC, room type preferences, and dining plan selection.

Early Cancellation Deadline for students to be released from their upcoming Fall Contract and still receive $50 of the deposit refunded to them. Cancellations received on or after May 31 will forfeit the entire $100 contract deposit.

June

June, first week of: It is anticipated that the first round of Housing assignments for Fall will be released on Housing Portals. Students log in to see their room location and roommate/suitemate names. Roughly 80-90% of students will get their assignments at this time. Summer room change request form opens up for students who would like to be considered for a different Housing assignment (in cases of unmatched roommate requests).

Periodically Throughout Summer

Future rounds of Housing assignments for Fall are released on Housing Portals. Students log in to see their room location and roommate/suitemate names. We suggest students log in once a week on Fridays to see if they have been assigned. Students should continue to monitor their UWM email account as well, as information is emailed out as assignments are made.

July

July: Details on Move-In dates and processes are published on the University Housing website. A Move-In Guide, via email and USPS, with instructions for Move-In will be provided to each student with a completed contract.

July 1: Priority deadline for housing accommodation requests to be submitted for students needing an accommodation for medical reasons.

July, first week of: Deadline to submit a room change request using the Summer room change process. Final changes are made by the middle of July, when a two-month room freeze goes into effect. The next date for room change occurs in September.

August

August 1: Deadline for Early Arrival Requests (for those student-employees, student-athletes, student-leaders, and other residents who need to be moved in prior to official Move-In times).

Deadline for loft requests to be submitted in order to have the equipment waiting in-room at Move-In. Requests after this date may result in a delivery delay.

August, last week of: Deadline to submit a request for Early Cancellation of Contract, and not face Standard Cancellation financial penalties. Costs of breaking a Contract after this deadline escalate quickly.

Other Housing Options

Admission to UWM does not guarantee on-campus housing. You are not guaranteed housing until you receive a contract, return it with a deposit, and receive an acceptance letter from University Housing. Some students may choose to live off-campus. This option is available to anyone who has already satisfied the terms of the UWM Residency Policy.

If you are eligible and choose to live off-campus, The Off Campus Resource Center can assist you in finding rentals and roommates.

Non-Discrimination Policy

University Housing accepts contracts and assigns rooms without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee does not discriminate on the basis of sex in admission to any educational program or activity administered by this institution. The policy extends to employment as well as such programs and activities.