Dear UVA First-Year Families:
It has been one month since move-in. I hope your student is feeling more and more at home at UVA. Fall Reading Days, now less than three weeks away, offer students a nice chance to catch up on reading and prepare for midterm exams.
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 2023-24 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 February – allows plenty of time for thoughtful decision-making. Read more about on-Grounds housing beyond the first year.
Tuesday, Sept. 20
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
UVA Alumni Hall
Please encourage your student to attend the Housing Information Session being hosted by Housing & Residence Life next Tuesday. For those students who cannot attend, similar content will be available by Oct. 1 at housing.virginia.edu/2023-2024-upperclass-housing. Your student has been emailed information about this session, and will continue to receive information throughout the fall semester about the on-Grounds housing process for 2023-2024. Application deadlines are posted on the Housing website.
Points to Consider
Look at on-Grounds housing as an option.
In addition to proximity and a sense of community, students can find multiple benefits to living on Grounds. Being on Grounds another year helps second-year students:
- Develop maturity and perspective.
- Maintain easy access to classes, dining options, recreational facilities, and libraries.
- Know the outcome of their on-Grounds housing selection prior to Spring Break.
If they want to pursue other housing options after the on-Grounds process ends (but before signing an on-Grounds agreement), the off-Grounds housing market still has many options at that time.
Advise your student not to sign an apartment lease until after consulting with you.
- Review the lease with your student.
- If possible, visit the apartment or house with them, either virtually or in person.
- 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 for off-Grounds housing.
- Engage your student in assessing costs and budgeting.
- Be sure to add in parking fees and utility costs.
- Encourage your student to talk with 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.
Friday, Oct. 28
11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Housing Fairs for both on-Grounds and off-Grounds locations will take place during Family Weekend (Oct. 28-30). You and your student will be able to talk with Housing & Residence Life staff, and with representatives from several off-Grounds properties.
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.
Robyn S. Hadley
Vice President and Dean of Students
Chief Student Affairs Officer