Tomorrow morning, returning UCSB students will get their opportunity to vie for a spot in university-owned housing for next year, as UCSB Housing and Residential Services opens its online housing application process.

Housing and Residential Services will accept applications on its website,, starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow. The department will place the first 1,000 applicants in on-campus residence halls and will hold a lottery for the 652 spaces available in the university-owned off-campus apartments on El Colegio Road, including El Dorado, Santa Ynez and Westgate. The application period closes Feb. 15 at noon. Students will learn whether or not they have received a housing contract by March 1.

Two hundred fifty spots in university-owned apartments will be reserved for new transfer students, incoming graduate students and Education Abroad Program participants, who can apply online from April 1 to June 1.

Cathe Hedrick, assignment services representative for Housing and Residential Services, said 1,000 of the 3,000 students who applied to live in on-campus residence halls were awarded housing contracts last year. She said she thinks this year’s application process will be just as competitive.

“It would be hard to tell how many students would apply, but we expect about the same,” Hedrick said.

Students who do not receive a housing contract through Housing and Residential Services will be placed on a waiting list according to the order in which their applications were received, Hedrick said.

According to the UCSB housing website, all continuing students may apply for on-campus housing. However, only juniors and seniors may apply for a contract in the university’s off-campus apartments. Apartment Assignments Coordinator Zuag Yang said students who have lived in university-owned apartments before or have higher class-level standings than the other applicants are given priority in off-campus apartment lottery.

The cost of living in an on-campus residence hall, according to the website, ranges from $9,990-$10,250 for a double room, and $11,131-$11,389 for single, depending upon which meal plan a student selects. The fully furnished university-owned apartments, which each have two bedrooms and house four residents, cost $420 per month. A one-bedroom apartment, shared by two students, costs $544 per month. Meal plans are not included in off-campus apartments.

According to the housing website, full-time students seeking for family housing may apply at any time. Families with children usually receive housing within three to seven months, while those without children usually receive a contract within two years. Family apartments range from $657 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the West Campus complex, to $966 per month for a two-bedroom residence in the Storke II Apartments complex.

Last year, technical problems with the Housing and Residential Services website delayed the application process for two days. Hedrick said Housing and Residential Services has conducted multiple tests to ensure that last year’s problems are not replicated.

“We have done extensive testing to make sure the process will be up and running and available to all the students,” Hedrick said. “We have tested to the best of our abilities.”