College Archived Updates

Remote Learning and Housing Information

Dear Students in the College:

Since the University of Chicago’s announcement on Tuesday about plans for the 2020 Autumn Quarter, the College has been working with students on their plans related to remote learning and Housing options. I write to provide additional information to help answer common questions and further inform your preparations.

  1. Can students opt not to return to campus, and engage in all virtual learning instead? Any undergraduate student who is unable or chooses not to come to campus may attend the 2020 Autumn Quarter remotely. Most courses will be available virtually, and the University is working on virtual options for science labs. For more information, contact your Academic Adviser.
  2. Is virtual learning a quarter-by-quarter decision, or are students making a choice for the whole year? For example, if students attend Autumn Quarter remotely, may they attend the Winter or Spring Quarters from campus? Yes. Your choices for each quarter are separate. Enrolled students are permitted to attend Autumn Quarter remotely and Winter and Spring Quarters from campus. However, the availability of off-campus apartments may be subject to change.
  3. Is there enough off-campus housing for returning students who will not be in residence halls? Rental agencies have indicated that they currently have availability within one mile of campus, and they expect that additional units should become available in the coming weeks. An Off-Campus Apartment Guide is available through the University’s GoForward website. The University has compiled general advice for students looking for an apartment. Students also can email the University for guidance with off-campus housing at
  4. When will returning students know if they can be accommodated in on-campus housing? What else should inform their choices about off-campus housing? We will inform second-year students by July 10 whether they can be accommodated in on-campus housing; they must first complete the Housing Intent form on the myHousingPortal site by 11:59 p.m. CST on July 6. Third- and fourth-year students must apply through the portal to be placed on a waitlist. Rental agencies have indicated that off-campus apartments should be available after July 10. However, availability is subject to change and a student’s preferred apartment may not be available at a later date.
  5. Is there guidance for second-, third-, and fourth-year international students who may be returning to the U.S., but who were planning on living in the residence halls? The University’s Office of International Affairs website offers useful information for international students who seek off-campus housing. International students also can email the University for guidance with off-campus housing at
  6. When will students know financial aid amounts? For students who provided all application materials by our deadline of May 31, financial aid notifications will be sent beginning the first week of August. Notifications continue to be sent, as processing is completed. As the College has noted, financial aid packages for students living off-campus will include increased funding to reflect housing and dining expenses.
  7. Can students apply for extra funding for travel, moving, or emergencies? Each financial aid budget is constructed with an allowance for personal expenses, including travel.  If you need additional funding, the University offers an Emergency Assistance Program which may be able to help. 
  8. Does filling out the intent-to-return form obligate a student to accept a space in a residence hall this Autumn quarter? In an effort to be as accommodating as possible, Housing & Residence Life will not obligate a student to accept a space if offered. Given the limited number of bed spaces, however, students are encouraged to be thoughtful when completing the intent-to-return form or placing themselves on the waitlist.

I recognize registering for on-campus housing and securing off-campus apartments has proven challenging for some students. Please know that the University is here to support you.

For questions beyond the information provided, or assistance in navigating available resources for off-campus housing, please email

For general guidance, please visit the 2020 Autumn Housing & Residence Life website.


Richard Mason
Associate Dean of the College
Assistant Vice President, Housing & Residence Life
The University of Chicago