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How and When to Apply

When to Apply

Demand for housing at CSU San Macros is very high. At this time, on-campus housing for fall 2023 has been completely filled and we have a sizeable waitlist. We are unable to guarantee that students on the waitlist, or students who submit new applications for housing will receive on-campus housing. Vacancies that become available will be offered to students on the waitlist based on first-year status, commuting distance, and other critical factors.

 Students in need of housing for the fall semester are encouraged to consider commuting or exploring off-campus housing options. To help you explore off-campus housing alternatives, we want to share some useful resources that the Dean of Students Office has created online at the following link:

 On that webpage, please review the following specific resources: 

  • The Off-Campus Housing Database provides information about active rental listings in the region, including pictures and pricing. You can reach out to property managers to rent for yourself or together with a group of other CSUSM students. 
  • The Roommate Finder provides information about individuals who have housing and need additional roommates to fill available rooms in their home or apartment (please be sure to check with the landlord about any rules related to subleasing). 
  • The Local Apartments List provides a downloadable .xlsx file listing numerous apartment communities in San Marcos and the surrounding region. In a recent review, we found at least 138 active apartment listings located a short walk to a Sprinter station, allowing easy access to the CSUSM campus, even if you don’t bring a car. 
  • In addition, an informal Facebook group has been created as a place where many CSUSM community members share listings for available housing units and roommates. Please note, this is not an official university group, and CSUSM does not monitor or endorse listings. 

Housing Application 101 Steps

We are currently accepting Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 applications.

Follow the steps below to submit your application!

If you're ready to apply, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click "Apply"!

  1. Choose a property.
  2. Find a Guarantor: You'll need someone over the age of 25. This is who can help if you're in a rough spot with your housing charges.
  3.  Submit your intent to enroll. CSUSM Housing is specifically for CSUSM students and your intent to enroll helps us make sure you're planning to attend.
  4. Apply! Make sure all of your information is accurate.
    Common issues include:
    • Email Issues: If your email is the same as your guarantor, we can't send a license! Make sure they are different.
    • Choices: Choosing your preferred space can be a tough call but if your first and second choices are the same you could run into a problem. Make sure they are different too.
    • Remember to pay: The administrative fee helps cover the cost of processing applications. Without payment, we are not able to send you or countersign a license agreement.
  5. Sign! Once all of your info is in we'll send you a license agreement. Make sure you and your guarantor sign within 48 hours.
    Heads Up: Your space is not reserved until your license has been countersigned by our office... and spaces go quick! To make sure you get the space you really want, sign ASAP.
  6. You're done! Once your license has been countersigned, you're in! Please Note: North Commons residents are required to sign up for a qualifying meal plan, please sign up for a meal plan separate from the Housing License agreement to secure housing (See Meal Plan Information below). 

Before You Apply: Things to Know

  • Overview of Our Process

    Step 1: After you submit your application and your Administrative Fee, our office will verify all of your information, make sure your Intent to Enroll has been submitted, and verify that the floor plan you requested is still available. If the space is available, we will send you a license agreement. If you are applying to live in North Commons, please be aware that you will be required to sign up for a qualifying meal plan - separate from the Housing License-  to secure housing (See Meal Plan Information below). 

    Step 2: You will receive an email from HelloSign asking you to sign your License Agreement electronically. Please read the entire license agreement as you will be held to the information included in the License. Once you sign, your guarantor will receive an email to sign as well. Once your guarantor has signed, your License Agreement will be sent back to the Housing office to countersign your license. Please note that your space is not fully reserved until your License Agreement has been countersigned by our office.

    Step 3: Once your License Agreement has been signed by all parties, you will receive a PDF copy that includes all signatures. Please save this for your records. You will then receive an invitation to join My College Roomie, which is our roommate matching software. Please note that while we make every effort to honor requested roommates, we cannot guarantee that requested roommates will be placed together.

    Step 4: Your first payment is due based on CSUSM Student Financial Services schedule of payments. Please see your License Agreement for installment amounts.

    Step 5: Move-in will take place on Thursday, August 24th and Friday, August 25th. Your first installment must be paid prior to move-in.

    Why is the payment due so early? We know that the first installment is due well in advance of move-in; however, it is important to remember that our payments are not rent and as such are not associated with a specific period of time. Rather, it is an option to split your Housing cost over the entire year into smaller, more affordable payments.

  • Information Needed

    Before you begin your application, please make sure you have the following information ready:

    • Guarantor information: A guarantor is an adult over the age of 25, based in the United States, who signs your license and agrees to be financially liable in the event that you are unable to fulfill your financial responsibilities. You will need:
    • Your guarantor's cell phone and work phone numbers
    • Your guarantor's date of birth
    • Your CSUSM Student ID number
    • Your CSUSM email address (ending in and a personal email address
    • An Emergency Contact and a Missing Person contact (see below for more information on the difference between these two.)
  • Financial Review

    Prior to signing a License Agreement, please review our Cost of Attendance. Please note the following:

    • The cost of a meal plan is NOT included in the cost of Housing; these are separate fees.
    • If you are relying on Financial Aid to pay for your housing and meal plan, please ensure that enough aid is available to cover tuition and fees (as tuition and fees are paid by financial aid before housing and the meal plan.)
    • WARNING: Your License Agreement is a legally binding document and has financial penalties associated with terminating/canceling at any point once your License agreement is countersigned. For details, please see our Cancellation/Termination Policy.
  • Floor Plan and Cost Options

    The following are some common questions on our housing options:

    Q: What is the difference between a Double and Deluxe Double?

    A: A Deluxe Double has fewer people in the apartment and, depending upon the apartment and layout, may be slightly larger than a standard double. (Note: due to the structure of our buildings and variability of our apartments, we cannot guarantee that all rooms are the same size.)

    Q: What is an en-suite?

    A: An en-suite is a bedroom with an attached bathroom. Because this is an added amenity, we charge an additional $200 for these spaces.

    Q: How do I get a Deluxe Single/Single Occupancy Studio?

    A: We have extremely limited numbers of Deluxe Singles (QUAD) and Single Occupancy Studios (UVA.) Additionally, please note that these rooms are often signed by our renewing residents. We can never guarantee that your first choice in space is available; in order to have a higher chance of securing one of your preferred spaces, we recommend submitting all paperwork and fees as soon as possible.

    For more information, please see Housing Options and Cost.

  • Emergency and Missing Persons Contact

    What's the difference?

    An Emergency Contact person is someone we will contact in the event that an emergency occurs and the student is unable to contact anyone on their own behalf.

    In the event that a student goes missing, the student may designate a separate contact for us to notify that the student may be missing. 

    The Emergency Contact and Missing Person contact may be  the same or may be different; this is up to the student to determine. For more information, please see our Missing Student Policy and Procedures.

  • Specialized Communities & Programs

     In order to provide the best experience for all of our students, we offer several Specialized Housing communities. These include:

    Substance Free Housing: Students that choose to live in the Substance Free Living Community make the commitment to not use alcohol or drugs, and have their living space be free of any substances.

    LGBTQA: This housing option to creates opportunities for support, identity exploration, and community building for the LGBTQ community and those allies interested in supporting this community.

    Gender Inclusive: This community allows students to choose roommates and share bedrooms, suites, or apartments without restrictions based on gender or sex. The purpose of this community is to create a campus climate that is welcoming, inclusive, and supportive of all students. Restrictions based on gender or sex often impose living situations that feel unsafe for students who identify as transgender or who do not identify within a gender binary, as well as many gay, lesbian, bisexual, or sexually diverse students. By elimination of gender and sex-based restrictions, students are empowered to choose roommates with whom they are most comfortable living.

    Residential Learning Community: San Marcos Experience: The San Marcos Experience program is for students interested in getting involved in campus and civic engagement opportunities and becoming leaders at CSUSM. This requires to a special virtual Orientation session, as well as a linked academic course required of all students who opt into this program. There are some floor plan restrictions for students who live at the QUAD. Due to space constraints, we encourage all students interested in this community to license for a UVA Double if at all possible.

    You will be asked to select your preference on the Housing application; if you are not interested in any of these communities, please indicate that as well.

  • Roommate Selection

    Once your License Agreement has been signed by all parties, you will be invited to join a platform called My College Roomie. We encourage creating a profile as soon as you receive access (access is granted on a rolling basis.)

    We ask that you select, at a minimum, the student(s) that you would like to be your immediate roommate(s). It is important when creating your profile that you determine what is truly important to you; in our experience things like noise level, sleeping patterns, guest preferences, and cleanliness level tend to cause the highest number of roommate conflicts. For these reasons, please be honest when you are creating your profile so that we can ensure you are matched with students who most closely match your preferences.

    Please note that while we make every effort to honor requested roommates, we cannot guarantee that requested roommates will always be placed together. We will confirm your placement and roommates in August. For this reason, we recommend you not purchase supplies with any other students until your placement and roommates have been confirmed by our office.

  • Payment Process

    When you submit your application, you will be required to also submit a $50 Application Fee, once you are reached out to with an offer you will be required to submit the remaning payment of $250 paid directly to the Housing office. This helps us cover the cost of processing applications, move-in, move-out, and other costs associated with the Licensing process. This fee is non-refundable. We cannot send your License Agreement until these fees has been paid.

    If you do not have a guarantor or do not wish to provide a guarantor, you will be required to pay a Deposit In Lieu of Guarantor (DILOG) amounting to $1,200. If you choose this option, we cannot send your License Agreement until this fee has been paid.

    As of Fall 2020, all Housing costs have been placed on the student’s MyCSUSM account. This means: 

    • Other than the $50 Application Fee and the $250 Administrative Fee, you will pay all fees directly to CSUSM instead of paying the Housing office. 
    • Financial Aid will automatically be applied to your Housing costs (once any outstanding Fees and Tuition have been paid) rather than having to wait for your refund to pay for Housing. 
    • All costs and bills will be conveniently located in one place. 
    • Housing fee due dates have been updated to match CSUSM’s due dates, again allowing for one convenient payment plan.  
    • All payments shall be paid based on CSUSM Student Financial Services schedule of payments on licensee MYCSUSM account.
    • As in previous years, no installments are charged in December and May. 

    Please note that we do not charge installments in December or May.

  • Move-In Information

    Move-in has been set for Thursday, August 24th and Friday, August 25th of 2023. In the weeks leading up to move-in you will receive an email with an assigned move-in time. In order to keep things running as smoothly as possible, we ask that you arrive at your assigned time. 

    If you are not able to arrive at your assigned time, please contact your designated housing office. Please note that we are not able to assign earlier move-in times than you have been assigned.

    Students who have not moved in after the completion of move-in weekend may have their space released to other residents; our office will attempt to contact any no-shows to determine whether they plan to take occupancy. Please note that failure to move in does not release you from your license agreement; you will still be subject to any cancellation or termination fees.

  • License Agreement & Resident Handbook
     It is the resident's responsibility to read both the Resident Handbook and the full License Agreement. All residents are expected to know and abide by the policies and procedures outlined in these documents. Failure to read these documents does not exempt the student from this responsibility. Please note that the Resident Handbook may be updated each semester and review the Handbook accordingly to make sure you have the most up to date information.
  • Meal Plan Information
  • Immunizations

    All first-time CSUSM residential students (living in university or affiliated housing), who are 21 years or younger will be required to have the following immunization administered within the last four years:

    Meningococcal Conjugate (MenACWY). 

    Records of up-to-date immunization must be submitted prior to move in.  

Final Note

We're so excited that you have chosen to live on-campus with us! Please note that proceeding to the Housing Application indicates that you have read and understand all of the above information regarding our Licensing process, policies, and procedures.

Licensed students will have their contract terminated if they do not submit proof of vaccination to Student Health and Counseling Services.

We look forward to welcoming you to CSUSM!


Currently accepting

Fall 2023 - Spring 2024 applications!


                                            Follow Us @ CSUSMHOUSING on Social Media for the latest updates! 

                                                 Please check Housing Options and Cost for availability status!

Apply to North Commons
Apply to North Commons