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.

Within days after the student is admitted: the student will get online access to the University Housing Contract. Domestic students will also have a hard copy of the University Housing Contract Guidebook and Contract mailed to them. We encourage that your mailing address is up to date on PAWS.

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 2023-2024 University Housing Contract header, click the link to select and complete your Contract.
  5. After you have submitted your Contract, save or print the confirmation page and email for your records.

University Housing will email you confirmation when your Contract is successfully submitted. A $100 deposit will be posted to your PAWS account within three business days after UWM’s receipt of your online Contract. This $100 deposit must be paid in full in your PAWS account 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. Online preferences will then lock on May 31/December 31. The results of the priority assignment lottery will be posted in the month of June and continue through August for Semester I, and 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? Start to prepare your budget by reviewing the 2022-2023 room and dining plan rates. The 2023-2024 official rates will not be published until spring 2023. The approximate average academic year cost of a double-occupancy room is $6,300. Add to that a dining plan at a minimum of $3,974, and you are looking at $10,274 as a ballpark academic year (August-May) 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 (and that is in addition to charges for tuition and fees).

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 2,300 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, etc.).

Dining Plan Preference

Let’s talk about food. You’ll also be able to select your dining plan within 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 Plan is the default for all residents. Residents may change their dining plan, or unenroll from the Anytime Dining Plan (if eligible), as detailed on the Housing Rates & Dining Plans page.

UWM Residency Policy

While UWM has a residency policy that 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.


May 2023

May 1, 2023: Priority deadline for completing your University Housing Contract. Realistically, this s 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.

May 1, 2023: 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, 2023: 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.

May 31, 2023: Early Cancellation Deadline for students to be released from their 2022-2023 Contract and still receive $50 of the deposit refunded to them. Cancellations received on or after June 13 thru August 27, 2023 will forfeit the entire $100 deposit.

June 2023

June 9, 2023: It is anticipated that the first round of Housing assignments for Fall 2023 will be released on the MyHousing site. 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

Periodically throughout the summer: Future rounds of Housing assignments for Fall 2023 are released on the MyHousing site. 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 assignment information is emailed out as assignments are made.

July 2023

July 2023: Details on Move-In dates and processes are published on the University Housing website.

July 1, 2023: Priority deadline for housing accommodation requests to be submitted for students needing an accommodation for medical reasons.

July 9, 2023: Deadline to submit a room change request using the Summer room change process. Final changes are made by July 21, when a two-month room freeze goes into effect. The next date for room change occurs September 18, 2023.

August 2023

August 1, 2023: 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).

August 1, 2023: 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 27, 2022: Last day to submit a request for Early Cancellation of Contract, and not face Standard Cancellation financial penalties. Costs of breaking a Contract after this date escalate quickly.


August 29-August 31, 2023: Assigned times for Residence Hall Move-In.