COVID-19 Information

For Campus Housing

COVID-19 image

For important updates on UC Santa Barbara's campus safety precautions and associated information from county, state, and federal public health officials, please visit UCSB's COVID-19 information page and the CDC's COVID-19 website. The information below represents our current plans and is subject to change. 

(Updated September 28, 2021)

UCSB Residence Halls & Apartments 

We understand how difficult this uncertainty has been for you and your family, and we are grateful for your patience as the campus works to find solutions. The pandemic situation remains very fluid and accordingly, our current plans continue to evolve and are subject to change.

  • The university has maximized our housing and as of September 20, 2021 we have so far been able to offer housing contracts to every undergraduate who applied for a housing contract. We have also offered housing contracts to all graduate students who applied for housing, although, like previous years, there are still a handful who are waiting for family housing units to become available. Altogether, the University is providing more on-campus housing than was available prior to the pandemic.
  • The challenges of the pandemic and the tight Santa Barbara and Goleta rental/housing market have resulted in a higher than normal number of students reporting difficulty in finding available off-campus housing for the fall 2021 quarter. Changes in leasing patterns in Isla Vista and other college communities due to the pandemic have made the task of securing housing in the local area more challenging for many students. This was addressed in a memo to the campus community on September 24, 2021.
  • To accommodate students who informed the University in late August and September that they still hadn’t secured housing, the University has contracted with local hotels on or near MTD bus lines to make rooms available to students. These accommodations are temporary, and are intended to give students more time to find permanent housing or until spaces open up in University housing.
  • To inquire about temporary hotel options and applying for housing, please send an email to housinginfo@housing.ucsb.edu, including both your name and perm number.
  • We encourage students to continue to explore community options by using our Rental Listings site, and this general housing Facebook group. LGBTQ+ students might also want to join this LGBTQ+ housing Facebook group.
  • Students who have signed a contract or have applied for housing that have made other plans should be certain to cancel with us. Please note there is a $350 cancellation fee if you have already signed a contract.
  • We know that you have been previously informed of the September 9 campus deadline to upload vaccination records or request an exemption or temporary deferral in order to attend in person classes. However, students moving into university residence halls or undergraduate apartments needed to upload their vaccination records or request an exemption or temporary deferral through their Student Health patient portal by August 16, 2021 in order to receive their room and roommate assignment and be cleared before move-in.
  • The temporary deferral process includes students that will be partially vaccinated by August 16 and international students that will get vaccinated once they arrive in the United States. Students receiving a temporary deferral will be able to get their room and roommate assignments.
  • Students who have received an exemption or deferral of vaccination will need to test upon move-in, and then sequester for a minimum of seven days until they receive a second negative test result.
  • Sequestration is defined as minimizing in-person interactions among students, faculty and staff, whether in the residence halls, dining facilities, or other campus locations where students congregate, or off-campus for those students who live at home or in off-campus housing. Students who are sequestering should leave their on- or off-campus residences only to participate in essential activities (e.g., attend class or work, purchase food, participate in low-risk outdoor recreational activities, or obtain health care services).
  • Students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to have weekly COVID tests, complete daily health screenings, wear a mask and maintain social distance. Failure to comply with the campus COVID protocol will result in a review by the student conduct system which could result in cancellation of your housing contract.

FAQs about Fall 2021 Housing & COVID-19

Please keep checking our FAQs as we are adapting to changes daily while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you.

  • There is a "room change" process that residents can utilize if they wish to change roommates/rooms. For Fall 2021, room change requests will begin on October 1, 2021. This allows time for all assigned residents to check-in and to verify occupancy.
  • If you would like to reach out to other students that may be interested in swapping spaces with you, please visit our Rental Listings site and click on Room Switch at the top of the page. 
  • If you would like to cancel your contract, you may do so here. Please note there is a $350 cancellation fee.
  • You may make meal plan changes at this link.
  • We are working on logistics regarding break housing. We will update our website with this information when it’s available.
  • The number of active housing applications we have is constantly changing. Students are cancelling contracts as well as applying for housing on a daily basis. 
  • To inquire about applying for housing, please send an email to housinginfo@housing.ucsb.edu, including both your name and perm number.
  • We encourage students to continue to explore community options by using our Rental Listings site and this general housing Facebook group.
  • LGBTQ+ students may also want to join this LGBTQ+ housing Facebook group.
  • We are adding options daily, such as rooms in private homes, to our Rental Listings site.
  • If you search for housing on social media and Craigslist please proceed with caution. Anything too good to be true most likely is.
  • If you have any questions about a listing please check with us at housinginfo@housing.ucsb.edu prior to sending money or signing anything.
  • Students are still able to apply for housing. To inquire about applying send an email to housinginfo@housing.ucsb.edu, including both your name and perm number. Please continue to check your UC Santa Barbara email and spam folder daily to ensure you do not miss any updates​.​
  • We are asking students who already have housing, but have applied for housing with us, to inform us as soon as possible, so that we can prioritize those students who currently are without other options.
  • Students can also contact University & Community Housing Services to inquire about off-campus housing opportunities. However, the Santa Barbara rental market is quite impacted.
  • As referenced in the Chancellor's message to the campus community on August 27, 2021, the university negotiated with local hotels to accommodate students who haven't secured housing.
  • The hotels the University contracted with are on or near MTD bus lines. These accommodations are temporary, and are intended to give students more time to find permanent housing or until spaces open up in existing housing.
  • To inquire about temporary hotel options and applying for housing, send an email to housinginfo@housing.ucsb.edu, including both your name and perm number.
  • The University is working to accommodate the housing needs of our students.
  • Students who are unable to attend UC Santa Barbara may choose to take a leave of absence.
  • Undergraduate students are not required to attend continuously. They may be absent from UC Santa Barbara for one or more quarters without petition. Prior to returning, students must submit a Request for Undergraduate Readmission or Reinstatement well in advance of the quarter of return.
  • Some students may need to petition for withdrawal prior to their leave if they are:
    • Seeking to leave during a current quarter,
    • Requesting a refund of paid fees for the coming quarter, or
    • Have signed a deferred payment agreement with the Billing Office.

Completing the UCSB Daily COVID-19 Screening Survey is required for all students living in campus housing and/or accessing campus buildings. This daily screening asks questions about any COVID symptoms, contacts and test results you’ve had. Depending upon your answers, you will either receive an online badge to be cleared for entry into campus facilities or not. You should already be receiving a daily email with a link to the daily screening survey. You should start taking the daily screening the day you arrive. Please visit UCSB’s COVID-19 page for information regarding return to campus requirements.

  • If a student suspects they have COVID-19 or has received a positive result from an “at home test”, they should contact the COVID Response Team at Student Health Services by emailing ucsb-covid19@ucsb.edu, or during working hours through the Student Health “Join a Line” option for immediate service. A medical professional will assess their case and determine next steps.
  • Students in campus housing who have a positive test result from the UC Santa Barbara Testing Center will be called to discuss isolation, and will be required to isolate. Students will work with a Quarantine/Isolation manager to assess what options exist for their specific situation.
  • A single confirmed COVID-19 case in a Housing residence would only require isolation for the positive case. Our COVID Response Team will promptly interview the case to identify any close contacts that may need to be tested and/or quarantined, which depends on their COVID-19 vaccination status and whether they have any COVID-19 symptoms or not.
  • More information about UCSB’s approach to positive cases can be found in the “Health and Wellbeing” section of the UCSB COVID-19 Information pages.
  • Multiple COVID-19 cases in a Housing residence might require a different approach, but each situation is different depending on the environment and the risk involved. The UCSB COVID Response Team would work closely with Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to determine the next steps, but it is very unlikely that an entire residence hall would be involved.
  • The university has identified several campus options for quarantine and isolation space available for students in campus housing.
  • Students living in private residences will need to isolate or quarantine in their off-campus residences.
  • Please see the information that is posted on the UC Santa Barbara COVID-19 Information pagesHealth and Wellbeing” section.
  • Students who obtain a positive COVID-19 test through campus testing will be contacted by a clinician from the COVID-19 Response Team, who will provide medical advice. Students may also obtain medical care at UCSB Student Health.
  • If a student obtains a positive COVID-19 test result from another source, they should inform the team by emailing ucsb-covid19@ucsb.edu, or during working hours through the Student Health “Join a Line” option for immediate service.
  • Students in isolation or quarantine should contact their professors to determine how to keep up with their coursework.
  • The Academic Senate has reminded faculty to provide flexibility to allow these students [in quarantine and isolation to continue to make progress in their studies, as they would for any student experiencing a temporary illness during the academic quarter.