Image Credit: University of Exeter/flickr
By now, many of you will be thinking about where you would like to go to university, and clicking the ‘firm choice’ box in your UCAS application. One you’ve decided where you’d like to go, you can start to think about applying for where you’d like to live.
Having made this confirmation, they’ll send you an form (probably via e-mail or their application system) which you’ll have to fill out to receive accommodation.
Applications for accommodation at different universitied might work in different ways. Some might ask for a list of your preferred halls and then accommodate you in one of those (where possible). Others might ask for your preferences, e.g. en-suite vs. non-suite, catered vs. self-catered and accommodate you in the most suitable hall. For more information regarding what to think about when choosing your halls, see here.
For most universities, if you fill in your accommodation form by their deadline (often in August) you’ll be guaranteed a place if the university is your firm choice. However, the quicker you get your form in the more likely you’ll get your preferred accommodation, and the accommodation office will fill up the rooms as they go along.
Alongside this information, you might also be asked about your personality traits, for example whether you are a party animal or prefer the quieter side of life, so that they can pair you with similar people who will hopefully become lifelong friends.
Once you’ve sent off your forms, your chosen university will then send you confirmation of a provisionally booked room. You need to confirm this as well as fill in your accommodation agreement. They will also let you know who much you’ll need to pay and when. It may be that you’ll need to pay rent in advance or a deposit - this will depend on your halls.
Your university will then confirm they’ve got all your forms and deposits and a room will be ready for you when you arrive at university. Yay!
As the contract is binding, if you decide not to go to university you’ll be responsible for all the accommodation charges, and you won’t be able to receive a refund on the down payments you may have made. However, in the unfortunate situation that you fail to achieve the grades needed, the accommodation offer will be withdrawn and given to someone else.