Housing Process FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Rice Graduate Housing select residents from the housing applicants?
Incoming first year graduate students (including international students) are given the highest priority for Rice Graduate Housing facilities. This allows incoming graduate students the opportunity to better familiarize themselves with the surrounding area during their first year.
Can I apply to both RGA and RVA to increase my chances of obtaining a spot?
No, you can only apply for one housing location. A duplicate application will automatically result in cancellation of your housing request. In addition, your existing applications will be terminated and you will have to re-apply.
Is a room deposit required to reserve a space?
Yes. Applicants are required to submit a $400 security deposit and $35 application fee as part of the complete application process.
Can I pay my deposit/application fee with credit card, cash, or bank transfer (EFT)?
No. Acceptable payment methods are: checks, money orders or traveler’s checks made payable to “Rice University” only. All checks and money orders should be denominated in U.S. dollars. Electronic transfers are not accepted.
Note: A check can be referred to as a “demand draft”, which is a “Manager’s Check” issued by a foreign bank that is drawn on a U.S. bank. This is an acceptable form of payment.
Will I get my deposit back?
Yes. Your deposit will be returned when you move out. However, any apartment cleaning, repair charges or non-return of access devices will be deducted from your deposit.
How and when are housing offers and assignments made for new students?
You will be notified of your offer via email. Students have two weeks from the date room assignment and housing offer is received to accept the space. If you decide to accept the offer, roommate assignments will be sent in a separate email prior to your arrival. Room assignments will take into consideration an applicant’s building and floor plan preferences, as well as the questionnaire component of the application. Staff do their best to honor all floor plan preferences and roommate requests on a space available basis. Roommate requests based upon race, color, religion, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, and national origin cannot be accepted.
What if I decline my housing assignment within the two weeks? Will my deposit be returned?
Yes. Your housing deposit will be returned if you do not accept your space. Your deposit will be forfeited for the following reasons: failure to respond or accepting the housing offer and failure to occupy assigned apartment by the housing agreement start date.
What if I don’t receive a housing offer? Will you return my deposit?
Yes. Your room deposit will be refunded if you do not receive a housing offer.
May I choose my own roommate?
Prospective residents may request a specific roommate on their housing application. All mutually-requested roommates must have a complete housing application, including a deposit and valid offer letter to a graduate program at Rice University on file. Specific roommates cannot be guaranteed, but all efforts are made to meet requests made.
How do are roommates matched?
Requests for a roommate may be made on your housing application if both students make the same request and receive offers. RGA apartments are same-sex and RVA apartments may have co-ed occupancy (upon request). If you do not request a specific roommate, one will be randomly assigned. Requests based upon race, color, religion, sexual orientation, physical characteristics and national origin are not accepted.
What is a Housing Agreement?
A Housing Agreement is a contract between the landlord and the tenant that sets forth the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The Housing Agreement allows the tenant to occupy and use, for a specific period of time, both the land and permanently affixed structures. In return, the tenant pays a specified rent during the time of occupancy. Once both parties sign the Housing Agreement they are bound by its terms. You will be required to sign a Housing Agreement at the Rice Graduate Student Housing (RGSH) facility you reside at. RGSH’s Housing Agreements are unique. If you live in an off-campus apartment you generally are required to share responsibility for the entire apartment Housing Agreement. The Rice Graduate Student Housing Agreement, however, is individual; thus you will never be held responsible for your roommate’s rent. However, both tenants will be responsible for any damages or repairs in common areas that incur fees.
What will happen if I cancel my Housing Agreement before I move-in?
In the event that you accept an offer for a unit and then cancel your acceptance or fail to take occupancy, your deposit will be forfeited and the unit will be assigned to the next person on the waiting list.
What is the term of the Housing Agreement?
We offer a 9-month Housing Agreement (August – May) for the academic calendar year. Summer extension will be offered to residents during the Spring semester.
When can I check into my room?
The move-in dates change each academic year. If you would like to move in prior to the move in date, it must be requested on the application. You must check-in during business hours (9:00 am to 7:30 pm CST weekdays and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm CST weekends). Please make every effort to check in during business hours.
Is it possible to ship my belongings to my apartment before I arrive?
No. We do not have storage facilities to hold belongings for future residents and cannot sign for packages for non-residents. Any items that are shipped to RGA or RVA prior to move-in will be returned to sender.
How do I change information on my housing application?
Please email the specific property you are requesting with your updated information or housing preferences before the appropriate deadline.
Is smoking allowed?
All graduate apartment buildings are smoke-free communities. Smoking is strictly prohibited in the rooms, common areas and the hallways. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas of the facility.
Are pets allowed?
No. Pets are not allowed at any of the Rice Graduate Student Housing facilities. This includes all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, arachnids, insects and other non-humanoid life forms.