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Lottery Rules/Information 2017-2018

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The Housing Office will be accepting applications on April 13, 2018 from returning Caltech Graduate Students for 2018-2019 on-campus housing assignments to be decided by random lottery process.

To apply for the GRADUATE HOUSING LOTTERY, apply online at Lottery Application, 2018-2019 ( "My Housing") by Monday, April 30, 2018.


To be eligible for the lottery, applicants must be returning Caltech graduate students who intend to be registered for at least first term, 2018-2019, and must submit their application by Monday, April 30, 2018. Student status will be verified with the Caltech Registrar and Dean of Graduate Studies prior to assignment confirmation. All housing fees must be paid up-to-date with the Caltech Bursar by August 1, 2018, in order to receive final confirmation of a 2018-2019 housing assignment.

Students with "Special student" status are not eligible for the lottery but will be considered for housing assignments if and when there is no Caltech student waiting list.

The deadline for anyone to make changes to their application form before the lottery is Monday, April 30, 2018. Any changes made to the application form after the lottery, but prior to when final room assignments are completed, are subject to the approval of the Graduate Housing Manager. Approval for changes to the application form will not be granted if that change will place any other applicant at a disadvantage.


Any applications from returning Caltech graduate students received after the lottery deadline will not be included in the lottery and will be added in chronological order to the end of the post-lottery waiting list.
Incoming new graduate students whose applications are received after the new student application deadline are not guaranteed housing, but are still given priority over returning graduate students who apply after the lottery application deadline.


The set bed space capacity for 2018-2019 on-campus graduate housing is 442. The number of on-campus bed spaces needed to house the 2018-2019 new graduate students who are guaranteed housing will not be available until the application deadline. This number is expected to be approximately 215. This leaves approximately 226 on-campus bed spaces available for returning students.

Bed spaces are distributed as follows: four-bedroom apartments: 152 rooms, two-bedroom apartments: 262 rooms, one-bedroom apartments: 28. Amenities and floor plans for each housing location type are available HERE.

Additionally, "off-campus housing" may be indicated as an additional housing preference on the 2018-2019 application form. These bed spaces are considered Off-Campus Contracted Housing and are not included in the on-campus capacity. Locations of off-campus housing bed spaces are not a set number and can change from year to year depending on other Institute needs. All off-campus housing is Caltech-owned and within walking distance of campus. The designated off-campus housing for 2018-2019 includes furnished single private rooms located at 1052 E Del Mar Blvd #11A, B, C & D and Off-Campus Single Room (singles); furnished single studio units located at 250 & 252 S Catalina Ave (singles/couples); unfurnished one-bedroom units at 180 & 188 S Catalina Ave (couples); and unfurnished two-bedroom units at 229 S Wilson Ave (families).


The following monthly rates will be effective September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019.

$605 Four-bedroom apartment (per room)
$715 Two-bedroom apartment (per room)
$1,430 Two-bedroom apartment (per unit)
$1,215 One-bedroom apartment (per unit)
Utilities not included in room rate.

$1,010 One-bedroom unit (couples only)
$1,350 Two-bedroom unit (families only)
Utilities not included in room rate.

$605 Four-bedroom apartment (per room)
$920 Two-bedroom house (per room)
$920 Studio apartment
Utilities not included in room rate.



There is one bed per student, or one bed per student and non-Caltech spouse/partner. There is one lottery number per student or group of student applications. Lottery odds are not the same for individual applications as for group applications. Individual applications will only receive one random number where as group applicants will pull the better random number with the best ranking from all members in the group.

  • All incoming new students are exempt from the lottery process and are guaranteed on-campus housing if their application is received by the deadline and they supply at least two housing choices on the application form.

  • All returning student applications received by the deadline are randomly assigned a number in the lottery process.

  • Lottery applications determined to be ineligible will be notified before they are removed from the assignment process.


  • All applicants will receive a random lottery number and the system will pull the best number to give your group a higher ranking.

  • Having a roommate gives you a better advantage of staying in your current location (as long as that building is not going to be shut down for rehab during the summer).

  • Being able to select a new location.


Applicants wanting to join the lottery as a group will be assigned one random number for the group. A group must consist entirely of Caltech graduate students and cannot exceed a total of 4 applications. It is the responsibility of all group members, prior to the application deadline, to insure that any group applications are mutually consistent and accurately reflect the intentions of all members. Being in a group does not guarantee all group members assignment to the same residence unless the group currently resides together in that residence. It is possible that single students or new groups may be split between residences or decide to be placed on the waiting list if there isn’t enough room in the requested location type or within a specific apartment for all members of the group.


  • Two Caltech graduate students who are married or who reside together can submit either one “Couples” application for a one bedroom unit or as two separate applications as a “Group” if they want a one or a two bedroom unit.

    •  “Group” applications will receive 2 separate random lottery numbers (system will select the better number for ranking) and be on the Group/Individual list.

    •  “Couples” applications will receive 1 random lottery number and be on the Couples list.

  • One Caltech graduate student who is married or has a domestic partner can submit a “Couples” application for a one bedroom unit.


The lottery is done by a random process. Each application or group of applications is given a random number. That number, beginning lowest (1) to highest (500), will determine your ranking in the lottery. The lottery ranking results and guaranteed housing cut-off number will be posted on Friday, May 4, 2018. 


Residents who do not enter the housing lottery or who do not make the guaranteed housing cut-off will be required to vacate their campus housing by the end of the 2017-2018 housing contract (July 31, 2018). Residents who are graduating this June must advise the Housing Office at least 15 days before moving by submitting the Intent to Vacate/Room Move Form. There is no contract cancellation fee for residents vacating during the summer period (May 1 - July 31, 2018).


The lottery determines only the ranking order for a bed space assignment, it does not determine any specific housing assignment. The goal of the Housing assignment process is to fairly and reasonably house as many graduate students and their spouses or partners in the spaces available. Assignment policy is to give any returning residents who make the cut-off for guaranteed housing an opportunity to keep their current assignment. Remember that priority to remain in your current assignment is based on the roommate advantage. If you have not selected a roommate in your application there is the possibility that you will have to move. Residents who make the cut-off, but prefer to switch their assignment or are moving in from non-Caltech Housing, will choose their own new assignment as long as they have a preferred roommate, are a group, couple, or a family. If you are an individual with no preferred roommate, you will be asked to select a roommate. If you are not able to, the Housing Office will select one for you. These students will be contacted by the Housing Office and given an appointment for Tuesday, May 16, 2017 to choose the space they would like to move into from the available spaces. Married students and couples have priority for one-bedroom units. When available, a single student may rent a one-bedroom unit.


Students who are differently abled and/or have documented medical conditions are assigned housing first.


The Caltech Housing Office affirms and celebrates the identity of all individuals. It recognizes that the university community is comprised of students, faculty, and staff who represent diversity on many levels regarding beliefs, race, social economic status, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, culture, sexual orientation, or as differently abled. The Housing Office is dedicated to supporting all students and any specific needs they may have regarding their housing experience, while providing residential environments that honor human diversity and students as individuals. By choosing to live in Institute Housing, you agree to live by these community standards.


You may cancel your 2018-2019 housing reservation without penalty through June 15, 2018. From June 16th through August 31st there will be a $200.00 fee to cancel your housing reservation. On or after September 1, 2018 there is a $350.00 cancellation fee when a minimum of 15 days notice is given.  To cancel, please submit a Lottery Application Cancellation Form.


April 10th (8:00am-10:00am) Questions for the Housing Office? Central Catalina Recreation Room
April 13th (6:00pm-7:00pm) Roommate Mixer in the Central Catalina Recreation Room
April 30th
Deadline to submit 2018-19 graduate housing lottery applications to the Housing Office
May 5th by 5:00pm Housing Office will post lottery results and guaranteed housing cut-off number
May 6th (2:00pm-3:00pm) Roommate Mixer in the Central Catalina Recreation Room
May 1st – July 31st Notify Housing Office if vacating during the summer (Intent to Vacate Form)
May 16th Appointments with Housing Office to choose alternate or new assignment
May 31st
2018-2019 contracts due to the Housing Office, otherwise fall reservation will be forfeited
May 1st – July 31st No cancellation fee for current 2017-2018 housing contract
June 1st – Aug 1st Move period for residents with new housing assignments (when unit is available)
June 15th   Last day to cancel 2018-2019 housing reservation without a penalty fee
Jun 16th – Aug 31st There will be a $200.00 fee to cancel 2018-2019 housing reservation
July 31st by 12:00 noon End of 2017-2018 housing contract
Last day for residents without 2018-2019 housing assignments to vacate housing
September 1st Start of 2018-2019 housing contract
After September 1st If Resident terminates his/her contract with fifteen (15) days written notice to Housing Office without cause or for any cause other than a permissible cause as set forth in the grad contract, there is a fee of $350.00