New Student Housing Process

Congratulations on your choice of UWM! We’re excited to become your new home!

What follows is a typical timeline for an incoming first-year student. Some dates vary, based on the student’s individual timeline of applying, being admitted, and selecting UWM as their school. Some dates are set in stone as universal dates. For simplicity, variable dates will be in italics. Universal dates will be in bold underline.

Two weeks after the student is admitted: the student will get online access to the University Housing New Resident Contract. The student will also have a hard copy of the Residence Hall Contract Guidebook mailed to them.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Impact

Due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the Housing Priority Deadline has been deferred to June 1 (instead of the May 1 date indicated in most campus publications) for Fall 2020 admits. For spring 2021 admits the priority deadline will continue to be December 1.

In addition, the UWM Residency Requirement is waived for all students entering in Fall 2020.

Pre-Completion Considerations

Contract Access Instructions

To access the online contract:

  1. Visit
  2. Log-in using your E-Panther ID and password.
  3. Complete your Emergency Contact Information (link in left side menu).
  4. Under the 2020-2021 Residence Hall Contract header, click the link to select and complete your contract.
  5. After you’ve submitted the contract, print the confirmation page.

University Housing will make contact with you via e-mail when your online contract has been accepted. The $100 deposit, of which $50 is non-refundable, must be paid in full prior to registering for New Student Orientation. Your pre-payment/deposit charge can take 3-5 business days to post on your PAWS account from the date your contract is submitted. We manually upload the charges after you submit the contract, not before.

May 1st June 1 serves as the priority deadline for contract submission to be part of the initial lottery assignment run. Online preferences will then lock on May 31, 2020. The results of the priority assignment lottery will be posted in the month of June and continue through August for Semester I and late December through January for Semester II. University Housing assignments will be posted to your MyHousing account for your review. More details will be provided on our website regarding the check-in process as we get closer to move-in.

Financial Commitment

Are you prepared for the financial commitment you’ll be agreeing to under the terms of the contract? While official rates won’t be set until Summer of 2020, we can use 2019 rates to give you a snapshot of what to expect. The approximate average academic year cost of a double occupancy room is $6,300. Add to that a meal plan at a minimum of $3,404, and you are looking at $9,704 as a ballpark academic year (Aug.-May) cost. There are rooms that cost more (or less), as well as alternative meal plans. However, because room assignments are made based off 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 (and that is in addition to the charges you will face for tuition and fees).

Living Learning Communities

Do you want to be in a Living Learning Community? LLCs are areas in our buildings where students live together, grouped by a common interest or major. LLCs yield stronger friendships and better grades than non-LLC floors, and there is no extra cost to living in one. LLCs are a pretty great thing – so they are our top priority in terms of assignments – if space is available they will overrule any conflicting preferences you may make (like for a room type that may not be offered in an LLC – or for a roommate who isn’t in the same LLC). LLCs are not required. We just know that LLCs provide you the best possible experience. If you’d like to be part of an LLC, you can make that request within your basic housing contract is complete.

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 2300 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 some suitemates you are living with and sharing a private bathroom with, regardless of your room’s occupancy. When you see single/double/triple, those are preferences for 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 preferences).

Meal Plan Preference

Let’s talk about food. You’ll also be able to select your meal plan level in the contract. Meal plans at UWM are set up like a debit account, where you buy food items on an a-la-carte basis. So if you only want a bowl of cereal, you only pay for that, and not an all-you-can-eat breakfast where you waste a much higher cost for only a bowl of cereal. Most students will want to choose meal plan 1, 2, or 3. If you are preparing to live in a suite that includes a kitchen in the suite, (Cambridge Upgrade Suites, all of RiverView, all of Sandburg East, all of Purin Hall) you may also select No Plan. But between the Level 1, 2, and 3, all you are picking is how much you want to commit to up-front. Leftover money rolls onto the spring semester, or gets refunded back to you at the end of the academic year (less a $10 service charge). If you were to run out of money, you can always add more money into the account. As a tip: meal plan level 2 is about the 50/50 line. About half students on a level 2 will have money refunded back and about half will have to add money during the year.

UWM Residency Policy

While UWM has a residency policy which essentially states we expect our first-year students 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 Form and submitting documentation to support their rationale.

UPDATE: Students entering in Fall 2020 will have the residency requirement waived. Those students may choose to sign a contract, or may find alternative housing arrangements, including at family member’s home or an off-campus apartment.


May 31, 2020

May 31, 2020: This is the priority deadline for finalizing any preferences made in a previously submitted University Housing Contract, including roommate, LLC, or room type preferences.

May 31, 2020: Cancellation Deadline for students to break their Fall 2020 contract and still have $50 of the deposit refunded to them. Cancellations received on or after June 1, 2020 thru August 26, 2020 will forfeit the entire $100 deposit.

June 1, 2020

June 1, 2020: 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 June 1 contract group.

June 1, 2020: Payment deadline for the Housing deposit of $100. This must be paid prior to the student being eligible to register for New Student Orientation (the sooner-the better!)


TBA: First round of housing assignments for Fall 2020 is released on the MyHousing site. Students login to see their room location, roommate and 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).

Occasionally Throughout Summer

Periodically throughout the summer: Future rounds of housing assignments for Fall 2020 are released on the MyHousing site. Students login to see their room location, roommate and suitemate names. We suggest students login once a week on Wednesdays to see if they have been assigned.

July 1, 2020

July 1, 2020: Details on move-in dates and processes are published to the University Housing website.

July 1, 2020: Priority deadline for housing accommodation requests by students with medical considerations.

July 2020

July 12, 2020:Deadline to submit a room change request using the Summer room change process. Final changes are made by July 24, when a two-month room freeze goes into effect. Next date for room change occurs: September 14, 2020.

August 1, 2020

August 1, 2020: Deadline for Early Arrival Requests (for those student-employees, student-athletes, and student-leaders, and other residents who need to be moved in prior to official move-in times).

August 15, 2020

August 15, 2020: Deadline for loft requests to be submitted on MyHousing to have the equipment waiting in-room at Move-In. Requests after this date may result in a delivery delay.

August 26, 2020

August 26, 2020: Last day to cancel a contract, and not face termination penalties. Costs of breaking a contract after this date escalate quickly.


August 28-31, 2020: Assigned times for Residence Hall move-in.