By Megan McConnell, Academic Counselor, UAA Advising
Like all University of Washington students, transfer students have a wide variety of housing choices. Many transfer students from local community colleges stay put exactly where they already live and commute to campus. (For our article on commuting to campus published last issue, click here.) Students from the far reaches of the state or outside state borders, as well as many students from even neighboring communities, elect to move to the U District in order to pursue their studies and connect with the campus community here. What housing options are available near the UW-Seattle campus?
Besides the convenience of living close to classes and campus resources, campus housing offers a sense of community and connection with the UW that you can't find off campus. Whether you’re a single student interested in living in a residence hall or an on-campus apartment, or a married couple looking for affordable housing for you and your family, Housing and Food Services has accommodations set up with your needs in mind.
Residence Halls — The UW has 8 different residence halls around campus, each with its own culture and ambience. Students may request their own room or share with one or two other students (costs vary according to occupancy). The UW residence halls offer several special interest houses, which are designated floors in certain halls where residents with common interests live. The special interest houses which may be of interest to transfer students are the Engineering House, International House, and SAFE (Substance and Alcohol-Free Environment) House. More information on residence halls is available at:
Single Student Apartments — The Stevens Court communities are a good option for students 20 years of age and older. There are 4-bedroom and 6-bedroom floor plans, and the apartments are fully furnished and have fully equipped kitchens. Each apartment houses either all women or all men. Brett Wolfe, a transfer student from Seattle Central and Shoreline community colleges and current Stevens Court resident, says, “I love living four blocks from my classes. I am part of the College of Forest Resources, and it is literally a four-block walk on the beautiful Burke-Gilman Trail to Winkenwerder, Anderson & Bloedel Halls. Very convenient!” Wolfe also touts the proximity to Metro buses, although he is less sanguine about the fact that all the grocery stores in the U District are an uphill walk or bike ride for this non-car-owning student.
In addition to the Stevens Court communities, single students may be interested in three apartment complexes which are managed by a private property-management company but are available exclusively to UW students (and the UW verifies eligibility of students who apply).
Radford Court and
Nordheim Court, are all near to campus and offer a wide variety of amenities such as a fitness center and Ethernet connections. For more information about single student apartments, go to:
Married Student & Family Housing - Family housing apartments at the University of Washington are for registered full-time students at the Seattle campus who are married or are registered same-sex domestic partners, or who have dependent children living with them. Priority is given to families with limited financial resources. Family housing is very popular, so you should consider applying well in advance of when you need housing. There are three different locations for family housing—Stevens Court, Blakeley Village, and Laurel Village. The privately-managed apartments listed above are also a possibility. More information is available at:
While some students like the connectedness that living on campus provides them, there are others who prefer a little distance, or have other geographic commitments to which they seek proximity. There are a wide variety of privately owned houses and apartment complexes in the University District and surrounding communities. Local newspaper classified ads (like the Seattle Times and Post-Intelligencer, The UW Daily, The Seattle Weekly, The Stranger) and on-line sites (craigslist, rent.com, apartmentfinder.com) are one good way to get started in your search. Another is to check out the off-campus housing opportunities bulletin boards in the Student Housing Affairs office in the basement of the HUB (room G-20). There, people can list entire apartments or houses that are available, or they can seek roommates for an already rented apartment or house. There is an on-line database of these listings, as well, at http://housing.asuw.org, though access is limited to folks with a UWNetID. Finally, many UW students report that sometimes the best way to find housing in the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to the UW is simply to walk around and look for “For Rent” signs. Since the pedestrian population around the UW is so large, some landlords don’t find it necessary to advertise anywhere other than on their front lawn.
The Greek System at the UW is home to many different fraternity and sorority houses. Fraternities at the UW have an informal recruitment process and many are actively recruiting throughout the year, according to David Dill, Inter-Fraternity Council vice president for public relations. While the IFC does not track members by whether they were transfer students or not, Dill reports that 10-20% of new members each year are sophomores, juniors, or seniors. The best way to find out more information about recruitment into fraternities is to call the Greek Life office at 206-543-1800 or visit their website at www.uwgreeks.com/ifc.
Panhellenic, the organization of sororities on campus, recommends that women interested in joining a sorority participate in formal rush, which is a week-long series of events that happens during September before school starts. Some sororities do engage in informal recruitment, in which interested students can attend events and find out more about the sororities, but the formal recruitment process is preferred. More information can be found at:
Your choice of living arrangement can really augment or detract from you experience at the UW. Wherever you choose to hang your hat, we recommend that you think about your needs—proximity, cost, quiet, access to social activities and new friends, and whatever else may be relevant to you. Begin to plan your housing options as soon as possible after your letter of acceptance arrives. We wish you domestic happiness, wherever it may be!