Housing Options for Fall

Curious to see if any other incoming freshman students received an e-mail offering housing in the themed dorms of Arroyo Vista. We’d assumed our student would be staying home in the fall, since most classes will be online. Housing in the Middle Earth/Mesa halls is more expensive this year, as they’re offering only single or double options due to social distancing (we’d budgeted for a triple or quad).

The Arroyo Vista option is much more attractive financially, but I’ve yet to see any mention of it anywhere in other social media, or even on the UCI housing page (which provides precious little info or updates, anyway). The email is an offer for the “Camp STEM” theme, but I assume there will be other themes, based on different majors.

Note that I’ve learned AV is usually for continuing or transfer students only, but looks like this year, due to lack of space, they’re providing an option here for freshman.

Waiting on housing options also! Haven’t heard a peep yet - @SoCalKel , when did you receive this email? My daughter is coming from Norcal, and it sounds like you are SoCal - I had thought maybe they would offer housing for out of the area students first, but perhaps there is no rhyme nor reason…would love to hear if others have been offered housing as well.

@2020CPMom, my daughter put down the $20 fee to be placed on the housing list back in April. It was an email regarding housing, sent through her UCI portal. Earlier this month she received her official housing offer to dorm in the on-campus residence halls (Mesa or Middle Earth). Then a couple days later, she rec’d the email about Arroyo Vista, which is not typically offered to freshman, but seems to be this year.

The AV interest list is different than the official offer from UCI housing, and it’s not clear how that works, which is why I posted & asked about it here.

If your daughter is a regular admit, she should have received an email. If transfer or waitlist, I think that’s a different timeline for housing, but not 100% sure.

@SoCalKel , thanks for the response. She is a regular admit and we also paid the fee for housing back in April, and she’s confirmed it went through, but we’ve received no email.

@Gumbymom - can you provide any insight? We are concerned there will be limited housing, her chosen roommate (who is out of State) has not heard either, and both are starting to have second thoughts about the dorms due to COVID. I called the ACC apartments, but they don’t take Freshman. The girls both want to leave home, and we are ready to let them :)!

Any insight appreciated!

@2020CPMom: Unfortunately, I cannot provide any insight into the housing situation since it continually changes. All I can suggest is to contact UCI housing and hopefully they can give you some updated information.

Thanks @Gumbymom! Was able to get someone on the phone at Middle Earth who was just so helpful and it sounds as if any Freshman who want it will be able to have a bed, and that there will be plenty of open spots at that, based on what he was seeing from current housing contracts. I had been emailing housing, with little luck at response, and didn’t realize you could call each dorm directly and get a live person. FYI to other parents who may be trying to figure this piece out as well. Good luck all with decisions on whether to stay at home or go anway (hopefully safely!).

@2020CPMom, have you tried calling the main housing number, (949) 824-6811? I called last week and was surprised to get through on the first try. They are the ones who would be able to give you more info on contracts/offers. Also, have you checked your daughter’s housing portal?

@StillLotsToLearn - yes, I’ve tried a number of times, but did finally get someone by calling Middle Earth, who was super helpful. He called someone at housing for me, and they confirmed that my D’s application was good, they had all they need, and that she was being offered housing but that they aren’t releasing housing assignments until July 15, rolling out through September. THe housing portal just says that they have all they need, but no actual assignment. Has anyone else received a specific tower/dorm/room/roommate assignment?

So, I guess we just wait to see if what type of housing she will be offered. I’m not feeling great about the communal bathroom in COVID.

ACC apartments don’t rent to Freshman, although that may change this year. Had a confusing convo with them, where they appeared to say that they had a long waitlist, which they currently have not released/made assignments as they are waiting for the UC to issue it’s own assignments first. There is a possibility that there will be open spots for Freshman given the low number of contracts received.

One final note is that the person at Middle Earth told me that overall UCI had very few housing contracts and they felt all who wanted would be offered housing and that there would be plenty of empty rooms for social distance purposes.

I would love to hear what others are thinking/feeling in terms of housing. Are you staying at home? Going to the dorms? Off-campus? Any tips? We’d prefer a furnished apartment within campus but that dream seems to by dying…

Be well everyone!

@2020CPMom, I have a continuing student, but here is some info that might be helpful to know:

  • The offers that were sent out already are due on July 15. The deadline was extended from the original date of June 29. I don't know if this also applies to freshmen, but my son had to fill out another application (by July 8) in order to have the deadline extended. More offers will probably be sent out after they get the responses from the first wave.
  • For this year only, you can cancel your contract by Aug 31 with no cancellation fee. If you cancel from Sept 1-Sept 25, there is a $250 cancellation fee. After that, you are bound by contract to pay for the full year.
  • You will not receive your specific room/roommate assignment until early September.

@StillLotsToLearn - Thank you so much!

Hmm, that makes it tough to decide given room assignments won’t be out until late Sept. We won’t know what the situation will look like (i.e. communal bath or semi-private). I’d love to know what others thoughts/plans are?

Pros for Dorms = connections with RA’s possibility for internships/research opportunities since the population will be so low; connections with others/college experience (COVID-like)

Cons = Cost, possible isolation, obviously COVID exposure

Add to the list all - let’s share thougths!

My daughter finally talked to someone at Arroyo Vista, who told her that they were already full for the STEM-themed housing. She may possibly be on a wait list, should something open up. This is all just as well, given the current state of things, but bittersweet, too. She was hoping to try for some version of on-campus life.

@SoCalKel, did you daughter receive an actual housing contract offer, or was it an email with information about Camp STEM in AV? My son just tried to submit his contract and got an error message. I am confused since in the past receiving a contract offer meant that there was a space available for you as long as you accept by the deadline.

Okay, after a few more tries, the contract was submitted. I guess it was a server issue. Now finance is down for maintenance, so he can’t submit the reservation fee until tomorrow.

@StillLotsToLearn, she received an offer/contract for the traditional dorms (Middle Earth/Mesa), but only an e-mail about the Camp Stem at AV. Though I never saw mention of it on my social media, daughter says there was some chat about the AV housing on Discord w/ other freshmen who rec’d the same email.

Is your son going for ME or Mesa? Good luck & hope he gets in. :smile:

@SoCalKel, thanks – contract was submitted successfully. My son is a continuing student in AV. I was following this thread since you mentioned AV. My son has lived in a Middle Earth classic before.