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 whereas group applicants will pull the better random number with the best ranking from all members in the group.
Application Information and Process
- All incoming new students are exempt from the lottery process and are guaranteed campus housing if their application is received by the deadline.
- Returning student applications received by the deadline which have supplied at least two housing choices on the application form will be randomly assigned a number in the lottery process. Returning students are not guaranteed a housing space.
- Lottery applications not submitted correctly or determined to be ineligible will be notified to update their application before the lottery application deadline.
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 the Housing website by Friday, May 13, 2022.
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 as possible in the spaces available. Assignment policy is to attempt to give any returning residents who make the cut-off for guaranteed housing an opportunity to keep their current assignment.
To be eligible for the lottery, applicants must be returning Caltech graduate students who intend to be registered for at least first term, 2022-2023, and must submit their application by Sunday, May 1, 2022. Student status will be verified with the Caltech Registrar and the Dean of Graduate Studies prior to assignment confirmation. All housing fees must be paid up-to-date with the Caltech Bursar by August 1, 2022, in order to receive final confirmation of a 2022-2023 housing assignment.
Visiting Students 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 is before Sunday, May 1, 2022. Any changes made to the application form after the lottery, but prior to when final room assignments are completed, are subject to approval by emailing the Graduate Housing Office. Approval for changes to the application form will not be granted if that change will place any other applicant at a disadvantage.
Additional Application Information
- To ensure that the greatest number of students are able to secure Caltech housing, each student applicant will receive a random lottery number. Caltech will assign the highest-selected number to each "lottery group" application.
Applicants wanting to join the lottery as a "lottery 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 submit an application and ensure that any group applications are mutually consistent and accurately reflect the intentions of all members.
- 2 person group applications are able to select a 2 or 4 bedroom apartment and 4 person group applications are only able to select a 4 bedroom apartment.
- If you sign up as a "Group" with a guaranteed roommate or you are guaranteed housing or you do not wish to be part of a "lottery group" you will select "No" to "is this a lottery group" on your application. All guaranteed students do not qualify as a "lottery group" but can still be part of your "Group" on your application as a preferred roommate.
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.
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.
- May 1st - July 31st - No Cancellation fee for current housing contract.
- June 12th - Last day to Cancel 2022-2023 housing reservation without a penalty fee.
- June 13th - August 31st - There will be a ($200) fee to cancel 2022-2023 housing reservation.
- After September 1st - If Resident terminates their housing 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 housing contract, there is a fee of $350.00
To cancel, submit the Housing Cancellation Form.
The set bed space capacity for 2022-2023 on-campus graduate housing is 438. The number of on-campus bed spaces needed to house the 2022-2023 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 223 on-campus bed spaces available for returning students.
Bed spaces are distributed as follows:
- Four-bedroom apartments: 148 rooms
- Two-bedroom apartments: 262 rooms
- One-bedroom apartments: 28
Additionally, "off-campus housing" may be indicated as an additional housing preference on the 2022-2023 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. Our designated off-campus housing includes furnished single studio units located at 250 & 252 S Catalina Ave; unfurnished one-bedroom units at 180 & 188 S Catalina Ave; and unfurnished two-bedroom units at 229 S Wilson Ave.
More information is available on the Lottery Properties page.
If you would like to have your own private bedroom here are your options when submitting your "Individual Student" application:
- Catalina 2 Bedroom Furnished (you are renting one room with a roommate in the other bedroom and sharing common apartment spaces)
- Catalina 4 Bedroom Furnished (you are renting one room with 3 roommates in the other bedrooms and sharing common apartment spaces)
- Off Campus Studio Furnished (you are renting the studio alone)
- Two Caltech graduate students who are spouses or partners can submit either one "Individual Student with spouse or partner" application for a Catalina 1 Bedroom Furnished unit or an Off Campus 1 Bedroom Unfurnished unit or as two separate applications as a "Group" if they want a Catalina 2 Bedroom Furnished unit.
- "Group" applications will receive 2 separate random lottery numbers (the system will select the better number for ranking) and be on the Group/Individual list.
- A Caltech graduate student who has a non-Caltech spouse or partner can submit an "Individual Student with spouse or partner" application for a Catalina 1 Bedroom Furnished unit or an Off Campus 1 Bedroom Unfurnished unit.
- "Individual Student with spouse or partner" applications will receive 1 random lottery number and be on the Individual Student with spouse or partner list.
- A Caltech graduate student with at least one dependent child can submit a "Student with at least one dependent child" application for an Off Campus 2 Bedroom Unfurnished unit, or an Off Campus 1 Bedroom Unfurnished unit or a Catalina 1 Bedroom Furnished unit.
- Applications will receive 1 random lottery number and be on the Student with at least one dependent child list.