Frequently Asked Questions

Registering, Applying, Verifying:

Am I eligible for BSC Housing?

In order to become a member of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, you must meet our student eligibility guidelines as a full-time college/university student working towards a recognized academic degree.

Main page about Student Eligibility on bsc.coop

Academic Year Student Eligibility:
  • If you are not an officially registered UC Berkeley student OR a student enrolled in a minimum of half-time units as defined by the school.
  • You must be a UC Berkeley student to live at Cloyne, Convent, Rochdale and Fenwick during the Fall/Spring academic year. Please contact our office to be sure that you are eligible for membership.
  • Visiting Student Researchers (who are currently enrolled in a degree program and are working to obtain a degree) meet BSC student eligibility requirements.
  • Postdocs and Visiting Research Scholars (who have already obtained a PhD), however, do not meet BSC student eligibility requirements.
Summer Student Eligibility:
  • To live in the co-op during the summer, you must meet ONE of the following:
  • Full-time student at a college or university (UCB or another) during the Spring term, working toward a recognized academic degree OR
  • You will be a full-time student at a College/University (UCB or another) for the upcoming Fall term OR
  • You will be taking classes at UC Berkeley Summer Sessions OR
  • Enrolled full-time at another college/university during the Summer.
  • Visiting Student Researchers (who are currently enrolled in a degree program and are working to obtain a degree) meet BSC student eligibility requirements.
  • Postdocs and Visiting Research Scholars (who have already obtained a PhD), however, do not meet BSC student eligibility requirements.
How do I apply for Fall?

If you would like to apply for Fall housing, your first steps are to:

  1. Register as a BSC Member and pay the $25 registration fee.
  2. Add yourself to the Fall Waitlist through the BSC Member Portal by selecting “Add to Waitlist/Edit Housing Preferences.”
  3. Fill out your Housing Preferences in the BSC Member Portal to indicate which houses you would like to live in. You can read the descriptions of our houses and apartments on our website. The more Housing Preferences you list, the better your chances of receiving an offer. Apartment spots are very competitive; it is typically easier for new members to secure spots in our cooperative houses (expect a shared bedroom in these houses).
  4. Send us verification of the following (if you meet the requirements):
  1. Any waitlist priority categories you may be eligible for: EOP, DSP (let us know if you require housing accommodations), EAP, or transfer student status. These do not stack: if you verify one priority category, verifying others will not boost your relative waitlist ranking any further.
  2. Your status as a graduate student or ID showing that you are 25 or older (we only need these if you want to live in our graduate/re-entry houses, Hillegass Parker and Convent).

You don't need to verify your student status at this time. We will verify student eligibility approximately 4-6 weeks into the Fall term. If we are unable to verify your student status on the UC Berkeley student rolls, you will need to provide official documentation stating that you are either a UC Berkeley student OR a student enrolled in a minimum of half-time units as defined by the school. You must be a UC Berkeley student to live at Cloyne, Convent, Rochdale and Fenwick during the Fall/Spring academic year.

How do I apply for Summer?

We have a lot of availability over the Summer; as long as your Housing Preferences are reasonably flexible, you shouldn’t worry about getting a spot.

To apply for summer housing, your first steps are to:

  1. Register as a BSC Member and pay the $25 registration fee.
  2. Add yourself to the Summer Waitlist through the BSC Member Portal for either the Full Summer, First Half, or Second Half contract periods (see below for contract dates).
  3. Fill out your Housing Preferences to indicate where you would like to live. Consult the descriptions of Our Houses and Apartments to do so.
  4. Send us verification of your Summer student eligibility. To live with us over the Summer, you must be a full-time student, either at UC Berkeley or elsewhere, during either the Spring 24, Summer 24, or Fall 24 semesters, or you must be enrolled in any UC Berkeley Summer Sessions. You can find complete instructions in our Summer Housing FAQs .

We offer contracts for the Full Summer, First Half of Summer, and Second Half of Summer.

Summer 2023 contract dates are:
  • First Half (Period 1) begins Sunday, May 18, 2024 and ends Saturday, June 28, 2024.
  • Second Half (Period 2) begins Sunday, June 29, 2024 and ends Saturday, August 12, 2023.
  • Full Summer contracts are Sunday, May 18, 2024 through Saturday, August 9, 2024.

Priority Categories:

If you identify with any of these categories, you are given waitlist status priority, or priority in other regards:
  • An EOP student: verifying your EOP status also lowers your security deposit from $250 to $175
  • A transfer student
  • A Graduate student actively pursuing a degree/A re-entry student (or age 25+): grants eligibility to live in Hillegass Parker (HiP) or Convent
  • A DSP student: grants eligibility for accommodations
  • A participant in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP)

Please note that verifying multiple forms of waitlist priority does not grant higher priority than verifying just one: for example, a student who verifies both DSP and EOP priority will have the same level of priority as a student who just verifies EOP priority.

Verifying your priority status:

How do I verify my EOP status?
  • UCB students:
    In order to verify EOP, you will need to ask the UC Berkeley EOP office ( advising@berkeley.edu ) to add you to their list of BSC members in the EOP program. After they confirm that you're on the list, you will need to call or email our office to notify us. Your security deposit will be lowered from $250 to $175 if we can verify your EOP status. Verifying your EOP status will move you up all waitlists, but we do not guarantee housing.
  • Non-UCB students:
    We need confirmation from a representative of your school in order to verify your participation in an EOP program. Ask them to email us at housing@bsc.coop . Your security deposit will be lowered from $250 to $175 if we can verify your EOP status. Verifying your EOP status will move you up all waitlists, but we do not guarantee housing.
How do I verify my transfer student status?

In order to verify your transfer student priority, email us a PDF copy or screenshot of your transfer admission letter, or email us a screenshot of your "My Academics" page on CalCentral showing that you've transferred 60 or more units from a community college.

How do I verify my DSP status or get housing accommodations?

If you require any DSP housing accommodations log into the portal and click the link that says update my DSP information and click through the steps to print out accommodation form. Next, you will need to take the form to a qualified medical professional to outline the specific accommodations being requested. Finally, you will need to email the form to Giovanni Housing Supervisor Gsmith@bsc.coop . Giovanni makes all DSP accommodation assignments.

How do I verify my UCEAP status?

You can verify your participation in the UC reciprocal Education Abroad Program by forwarding us the acceptance letter you received from the University. Your acceptance letter should include your first name. The letterhead looks like this:

After you add yourself to the waiting list, there are no additional documents required of you. Be aware that we verify student eligibility approximately 4-6 weeks into the term. If we encounter difficulties when verifying your student status on the UC Berkeley student rolls, you will need to provide official documentation proving that you are a UC Berkeley student.

How do I verify my Graduate/re-entry student status?

To verify your graduate student status, send us either an acceptance letter from your graduate program, or a screenshot of your CalCentral "My Academics" page indicating that you are in graduate school. You can verify your re-entry status by sending a photo of official ID (Driver's License, passport, etc.) to housing@bsc.coop . It must show that you are currently 25 or older. Verifying either Graduate or re-entry status will make you eligible to live in our graduate/re-entry properties, Hillegass-Parker and Convent.

The Waitlist:

How we order Waitlist positions

Members' waitlist positions are determined by (in descending order of importance):

  1. BSC seniority points (1 point granted for living with us each Fall or Spring, 0.75 points each Summer).
  2. Waitlist priority categories.
  3. The date members paid the $25 registration fee to become BSC members.

None of the above changes from one waitlist to another. The only thing that would change your relative position would be different numbers of people ahead of you on the other waitlist.

How we make Waitlist Assignments (by housing preferences)

We make housing offers in descending waitlist order, depending on members Housing Preferences.

For example, if there's a vacancy at Davis House and the #1 person on the waitlist has Davis at the top of their preference list, they will be offered that spot. If the #1 person doesn't want the spot at Davis (or if they have another available co-op listed higher than Davis), we check if the #2 person wants it. We keep going down the list like this until we've assigned all of our open spots.

Where am I on the waitlist?

Unfortunately it is very hard to estimate waitlist position, as the waitlist fluctuates often and is very nuanced in nature. Our waiting lists are dynamic: people can add and remove themselves at any time. It is common to find yourself moving up or down the waiting list. During the first week of July, our Summer residents who are on the Fall waiting list will earn seniority points and bump everyone down the list too. For this reason, we are unable to give you a direct estimate of what position on the waitlist would be in your favor.

​In order to better your chances of receiving an offer, you should ensure that you have listed as many residences as you feel comfortable living in. ​

What are my chances?

The fall housing is very competitive. The earlier you add yourself to the Fall Waitlist, the better. Additionally, the more flexible you are with your housing preferences, the better your chances are of receiving a Fall housing offer. However, we do not guarantee housing. WWe typically begin making Fall assignments in March, but we will continue to make Fall housing offers through the Summer and even into Fall as we process cancellations.

If you are eligible for any of the following priority send us verification:

  • Any waitlist priority categories you may be eligible for: EOP, DSP (let us know if you require housing accommodations), EAP, or transfer student status. These do not stack: if you verify one priority category, verifying others will not boost your relative waitlist ranking any further
  • Your status as a graduate student or ID showing that you are 25 or older (we only need these if you want to live in our graduate/re-entry houses, Hillegass Parker and Convent).

There is no hard application deadline, but the sooner you add yourself to the waitlist the better. People generally apply about 1 year in advance for fall. We are sometimes able to house applicants who are very flexible in which co-ops they will live in.

If it does not work out this Fall and you think you will be interested in Spring, summer or Fall of 2024, then you should register now. We order all waitlists based on the date the registration fee is paid, so the sooner a person registers, the more co-ops they will live in (we have 20) , and the longer they remain on a waitlist, the better the chances of receiving an offer. We will begin to make Spring only assignments in late October.

Houses, Apartments, and Room Assignments:

House Tours?

The availability of house tours varies from house to house; you can contact our House Managers to request one.

Our website also has virtual tours of most of our co-ops! You can find videos by clicking "Read More" on the Our Houses & Apartments page.

Room Assignments and Bids

Members should expect a shared bedroom in ALL units except Rochdale, Fenwick, Convent and Hillegass Parker. Room assignments (single, double, triple, quad) are made at the unit level during the room bid process after you move in. The BSC Central Office Housing Department is not involved in the unit-level room bid process.
Studio and 1 bedroom apartments are only available through the bidding process during the Fall/Spring Academic Year. Generally, you need a lot of co-op seniority points to win a studio or 1 bedroom apartment. The BSC Central Office Housing Department will email all eligible members if a studio or 1 bedroom apartment becomes available for bid during the academic year.

Please see the official BSC policy on room assignments and bids .

What will my room include?

All rooms in the houses and apartments come with a desk, chair, bed, mattress, and dresser. Please bring your own bedding: our mattresses are 38"x80" (Twin XL) or 60"x80" (Full).

If you are moving into a house, you do not need to bring your own dishes, utensils, or kitchen equipment - these are all provided.

Rochdale, Fenwick, and most houses also have "free rooms" with clothing and supplies left behind by residents who have moved out.

We also recommend that you bring shower sandals.

House Transfers email (Fall)

Although transferring to a different unit is possible, it is not guaranteed and cannot be done immediately. We do not consider transfer requests until August 19, so if you sign a contract for a house now, you should expect to move in there at the beginning of the semester. You could then request a transfer elsewhere; these transfers are based on BSC seniority, and you would also be on a waitlist against members without a current house assignment.

We also have a process through which Fall members can transfer to a different house in the Spring, although transfers are still not guaranteed. Instructions for this are issued in September.

In general, you should not sign a contract for somewhere you actively don't want to live, as it is possible you won't be able to switch houses.

You can be considered for other co-ops immediately if you cancel/refuse your current contract; you would then need to ensure that you are returned to the waitlist by emailing us. This is a risky option. Fall housing is very competitive and we have filled most of our spots already, so there is no guarantee you would secure a spot anywhere. I wouldn’t recommend canceling your contract unless you are confident you won’t be able to tolerate your current assignment.

Rent, Contract Periods, and Cancellations:

What are the dates for the Fall 2023/Spring 2024 contract period?

The Fall 2023/Spring 2024 contract begins August 18 and ends May 11. The Fall 2023 contract portion ends on December 16. The Spring 2024 contract begins on January 12. Members with a full Academic Year contract may stay in their co-ops for the winter break period.

What if I only want a contract for Fall?

We do not offer Fall only contracts. If you sign a Fall 2023/Spring 2024 academic year contract, you may cancel the Spring 2024 portion of the contract without financial penalty on the member portal on or before October 11.

When will Spring 2024 housing offers be made?

We will start making Spring 2024 housing offers in late October.

What if I want to cancel my contract?

You were able to cancel your Fall contract through the BSC Member Portal without financial penalty anytime before July 5, 2022. Late cancellations will be very hard to accommodate.  If you cancel and we are unable to fill your space in the co-op system, you will remain financially responsible for rent charges for the duration of your contract term. However, per the temporary City of Berkeley ordinance, we will not charge the $150 contract termination fee. Contract cancellations must be received through the BSC Member Portal (click “Cancel My Housing Contract”).

To be considered for subsequent housing assignments after canceling your contract, you will need to email us asking to be returned to the waitlist.

Grace Semesters

Grace semesters are sometimes granted to individuals who do not meet student status eligibility guidelines but are deemed by the BSC to be part of the student community in accordance with set guidelines. Grace semesters are not automatic.

Members are allowed a maximum of three grace semesters. No person may live in the BSC in consecutive grace semesters, except for preparatory grace. No member is eligible for a grace semester their first academic semester in the BSC.

If you are interested in/ believe you are eligible for a grace semester, please contact our office directly via housing@bsc.coop .

The official BSC policy on grace semesters can be found here.