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Decisions about Second-Year Housing

September 23, 2021
To: 
Parents of First-Years
From: 
Robyn S. Hadley and Julie I. Caruccio, UVA Student Affairs

Dear UVA First-Year Families:

I hope your student is doing well and adjusting to college life after moving in just a few short weeks ago. Fall Break and midterm exams are less than three weeks away. What a difference a year makes!

One topic always seems to arise much too early in the first semester: housing for the second year. External marketing efforts, social media, and word-of-mouth among students have created a false sense of urgency to sign a lease for off-Grounds housing as early as September or October for the 2022-23 school year. The University offers attractive housing options for second-year students, and that process – which begins in October for residential colleges and language houses and runs through January – allows plenty of time for thoughtful decision-making. More information is available online about on-Grounds housing for second-year students as well as the Connect2Grounds program, a new program focused on the second year experience.

Information Session. To help new students understand the housing process better, the University is hosting a Housing Information Session this evening (Wednesday, Sept. 22) from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Alumni Hall. For those students who cannot attend, a recording will be available later in the week. Your student will continue to receive information throughout the fall semester about the on-Grounds housing process for 2022-2023. On-Grounds housing application deadlines are posted on the Housing website.

Points to Consider. The following are some important points to consider with your student:

  • Consider on-Grounds housing as an option. In addition to proximity and a sense of community, students find many benefits to living on Grounds. An additional year of living on Grounds helps many second-year students develop maturity and perspective, as well as gives them easy access and proximity to classes, dining options, recreational facilities, and libraries. Students know the outcome of their on-Grounds housing selection prior to Spring Break. If they wish to pursue other housing options after the on-Grounds process ends, the off-Grounds housing market still has many options. 
  • Advise your student not to sign an apartment lease until after consulting with you. Given the large financial commitment and the binding nature of a lease, it is important for you and/or a trusted advisor to be involved. Review the lease with your student and ideally visit the apartment or house with them, either virtually or in person, if possible. Assess building conditions and safety issues both inside and outside. Clarify all fees, security deposits, and what is included in the rent.
  • Costs and amenities can vary broadly, especially after adding in parking fees and costs for utilities in off-Grounds housing. Engage your student in the process of assessing costs and budgeting. Encourage them to seek information from other students or renters who have lived off Grounds.
  • Encourage students to take their time deciding with whom they want to live. First-year students need time to build relationships, and someone who is a friend in September may not be the best choice for an apartment-mate come May.
  • Be certain when you sign. Remember, signing a housing agreement with UVA is identical to signing an apartment lease – it is a binding, legal agreement.
  • Above all, remain patient and do not feel pressured to sign a lease in September or October. Unless your student has their heart set on one particular apartment or a single location, many choices will remain into the spring.

Housing Fairs. If you plan to attend Family Weekend (Oct. 22-24), Housing Fairs for both on-Grounds and off-Grounds locations will take place on Friday, Oct. 22. You and your student will be able to talk with Housing & Residence Life staff, and with representatives from several off-Grounds properties. You can register in advance for Family Weekend.

The Housing website also offers a wealth of information about upperclass on-Grounds housing options, along with contact information should you have questions that are not addressed on the website.

Sincerely,

Robyn S. Hadley
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

Julie I. Caruccio
Interim Dean of Students