Fall Housing Updates

Updated Aug. 11, 2020 


Visit Cal Poly Roadmap to Fall 2020 for more campus info on fall planning.

State and CSU Guidance

The California Department of Public Health recently announced the state’s guidance for higher education institutions like Cal Poly. You can read the guidance here. We expect to hear more specific guidance from the CSU very soon, allowing us to move forward with fall planning.

Assignments, Deferrals and Cancellations

Plans and posted dates may change as we receive and adapt to new information and decisions to best serve students. 

First-Year and Transfer Housing Assignments
Assignments are based on a lottery, and your preferences will be considered during the assignment process. Students will be notified when assignments are viewable.

Students who have all virtual schedules may delay their start in campus housing until January. 

  • The initial payments ($1,500 for first-year and $500 for transfer and continuing students) will be applied to your winter term rates. 
  • You must live at your permanent home to qualify for a deferral.
  • First-years and continuing students must defer by Aug. 26; transfers have until Aug. 28. Defer in your Housing Portal under "Cancellations/Deferrals".

You can cancel your housing contract in the Housing Portal under "Cancellations/Deferrals".

  • Students not attending Cal Poly will receive a full refund.
  • The initial fee is not refundable to continuing and transfer students who cancel to live off-campus.
  • Late cancellation fees apply after Aug. 26 for first-years and continuing students and after Aug. 28 for transfers.

Fall Resident Student Experience 

University Housing is still committed to creating opportunities for students to be an active part of their community, make friends, and engage in social or academic opportunities — while still following health and safety practices. Residential Student Experience staff will focus on 3 learning goals that focus on areas of wellness, academics/career and life skills, and equitable leadership, specifically: Be Well. Be Smart. Be the Change. 

  • First-year students will be formed into small groups/pods by their building for Week of Welcome. To build community and encourage safety, these groups will be their encouraged social grouping during the fall. 
  • Study spaces and common spaces will be reconfigured for social distancing.
  • Visitors will not be allowed in the residence halls or apartments, except for 2 people during move-in.
  • RAs will host both virtual and small group (socially distanced & 10 or less people) events for residents who live on campus.  
  • Virtual events will also be offered, including social media challenges and meet-ups and takeovers, gaming opportunities, podcasts and live streaming events. 

Resident Wellness and Prevention 
Residents will be critical to keeping themselves and their community safe. Students will be expected to: 

  • Wear face coverings in residence halls outside of their rooms and/or bathrooms 
  • Wear face coverings outside of their apartments and in public spaces outside where distancing isn’t possible. 
  • Abide by social distancing policies, even for small groups events. 
  • Monitor of any symptoms of COVID-19 and seek out care if they become symptomatic. 
  • Wash their hands often, following CDC recommendations. 
  • Meet with visitors outside of buildings, instead of in their rooms. 
  • Clean the inside their rooms or apartments.
  • Be mindful of sanitizing common touch surfaces in common areas between custodial cleanings. 

Resident Student Services  

  • Campus Dining will be grab-and-go only, with contactless ordering through GrubHub.
  • Mail and package service will be open. 
  • Campus offices will remain open to students, with in-person and/or virtual services.
  • RAs and live-in staff (CSDs) will continue to be a resource to residents. 
  • Custodians will clean common areas and high touch surfaces in residence halls.
  • Facilities maintenance will continue to be offered with physical distancing. 
  • Communities have front desks to help with resident’s questions. RAs and CSDs offer support after-hours. 
  • All academic advising services will be offered virtually. Both the Writing Center and Supplemental Instruction will be fully virtual, as well as the Mustang Success Center, the advising center for all first-year students.
  • The library will also offer virtual services; it is not clear at this time if they will be partially open for in-person support. 

Fall Communications

To support you in planning for fall, we've compiled all email communications from University Housing regarding fall 2020 below:

New Student Messages

5/31/20 - Please Complete Your Housing Application by June 1

Dear Students,
We’re reaching out because you haven’t completed your housing application. Please complete the remaining steps, confirm your housing preferences, and submit the application by Monday, June 1.

If you plan to defer your stay in campus housing to winter quarter, complete the steps up to and including signing the contract. Then, submit your deferral through the Housing Cancellation/Deferral link in your Housing Portal.   

We’re here to help. If you have any questions, please call 805-756-1226 or email .

University Housing

Cal Poly

5/28/20 - Fall Housing Updates and Options

Hello Students,

We’re reaching out with a campus housing update to help you make decisions that are right for you for fall quarter. Please keep in mind, the information we are sharing is what we know at this time; we will continue to be in touch with updates. Deferring Fall Housing While we plan to welcome all first-year students who choose a fall move-in, please know that if all of your fall classes are virtual you will have the option to defer your housing contract until winter quarter. ·

Deferrals for fall housing can be made in your Housing Portal through the Housing Cancellation/Deferral link. You will have access to the deferral link after you have signed the housing contract. · If you decide to defer your housing, your initial payment will be applied to your winter 2021 housing rates (you must live at your permanent residence, not off-campus in San Luis Obispo County as our first-year housing requirement is still in effect).

Fall Housing Options
If you plan to live on campus in fall, we want you to know that we anticipate altering room configurations for the first quarter to create more space for physical distancing. Our priority is to protect your health, safety and well-being, and that of our resident advisors and professional staff. · Most rooms in our first-year communities will be two-person or double rooms. Occupancy may change for winter and spring quarters. · Three-person roommate groups should consider how they will disperse for fall. Please discuss this situation with both of your roommates and then return to the application by June 1 to update roommate preferences to include one roommate or no roommates. ·

We will assign first-year students in rooms for fall to more quickly respond to this rapidly evolving situation. Assignments will be based on a lottery, and preferences will be considered during the assignment process as much as possible. There may be an opportunity to change rooms before fall move-in, based on availability.

Editing Housing Preferences
Monday, June 1 is the final day to edit your application preferences. If you would like to update preferences, such as roommates, Residential Learning Communities or accommodations, please do so by Monday. We thank you for your patience and ask for your understanding as we continue to adapt. If you have questions, please reach out to us at 805-756-1226 or Stay safe and be well.

University Housing
Cal Poly 

Continuing Student Messages

7/30/20 - Fall Student Housing Info

*Please note this survey has been closed as of July 31, 2020. California State Gov. Newsom is expected to issue guidance for higher education shortly. We will reach out with more information as it becomes available.*
Continuing Students:
As we’re getting closer to fall, we wanted to reach out to you with an update about housing.
In June, Cal Poly submitted a plan for fall housing to the CSU Chancellor’s Office. We're awaiting their response as well as Gov. Newsom's guidance for higher education to finalize campus occupancy and operations for fall, including any changes for students.
As you finalize your class schedules, we also want you to know that students with all-virtual schedules who stay at their permanent homes can defer fall housing to winter. Your initial payment and housing fees will also be deferred to winter term. Although we cannot guarantee roommate groups or assignments for students who defer, we will keep roommate information on file.
You also have the option of canceling for the academic year before move-in. The initial payment is not refundable to students who cancel.
Please go into your Housing portal and click on your Housing app by Thursday, Aug. 6 to complete a quick survey about your fall housing plans. Then, follow the links at the end of the survey if you plan to cancel or defer.
We will reach out again once we receive the state’s guidance, so that you can solidify your plans for fall. In the meantime, please check Housing’s Fall Updates webpage and Cal Poly's coronavirus website for updates.
University Housing
Cal Poly


If you are looking for general housing information, visit our Housing FAQ page.

Will University Housing and Campus Dining remain open?

Cerro Vista is currently open to residents living on campus for summer and the Housing Administrative office (Bldg. 31) is observing normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Campus Dining will be closed for the summer.

We expect housing to remain open for fall term. Campus Dining anticipates opening Vista Grande, Mustang Station, Campus Market, Village Market, Starbucks, Subway and food trucks to serve fall residents of housing and the campus community. Venues may change, as the campus continues to plan for fall.

How are University Housing and Campus Dining responding to COVID-19?

Cal Poly has been working closely with the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department and state and federal authorities since January to plan for and monitor the situation. We are currently following the recommendations of county health officials on the campus-wide responses to COVID-19.

Will I be able to live on campus for fall 2020?

University Housing is prepared to house students in the fall. How many students we can accommodate will depend on consultation with the local government, health officials and CSU, as well as the county’s status under the governor’s reopening plans. 

At this time, we are encouraging students whose health and personal situations allow to plan on returning to San Luis Obispo for fall quarter. Students for whom this is not the case are being encouraged to take all virtual courses and remain at their areas of permanent residence. 

We anticipate that we will be able to accommodate all first-year students in our residence halls. The campus’s first-year housing requirement will remain in place; first-year students will not be permitted to live off-campus in San Luis Obispo — only on campus or at their place of permanent residence. As always, we provide exemptions for local students. 

We know that students and employees need information to plan for the fall. Unfortunately, because the pandemic situation continues to evolve rapidly, there is simply some uncertainty at this time. We will continue to update you via email when more information becomes available. 

I have all virtual classes for fall term and don't need to be on campus. Can I defer my housing contract?

Yes. We are offering both continuing and first-year students who have schedules that are all virtual the opportunity to delay the start of their housing contracts until January. The initial payments made in the housing application ($1,500 for first-year and $500 for transfer and continuing students) will be applied to your winter term rates. First-years and continuing students must defer by Aug. 26; transfers have until Aug. 28. Defer in your Housing Portal under "Cancellations/Deferrals"

What is the cancellation policy for continuing students who have secured housing for next year?

At this time, our policy remains the same for students who cancel housing to live off-campus. The $500 initial payment is non-refundable. Continuing students must cancel in their Housing Portal by Aug. 26 to avoid additional fees.

I've left campus and didn't return my old key. How can get them back to Housing?

If you’ve already left campus, mail your key and/or access card back to campus — even if you have left items in your room. Collecting keys from students not staying for summer helps us keep the buildings secure.

Send your key/access card to:

Attn: Planning and Support Services,
University Housing Building 31
1 Grand Ave. San Luis Obispo, 93407

I live off campus but plan to leave San Luis Obispo. What do I need to do?

Off-campus rental leases are civil contracts that individuals enter into with property owners. Tenants should look at their agreements to determine what the language states about early termination of their leases. Student may seek to engage with their landlords and property management companies in a mutual negotiation of current terms.

Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order protecting renters does not go as far as relieving a tenant from the obligation to pay rent or allow individuals to get out of their lease agreements outside of any clauses that are specifically described in those agreements. The full Executive Order can be found here. New executive orders are posted here.

Federal government updates on this topic: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued guidance for public housing authorities, landlords, shelters, non-profits, grantees, and stakeholders.

San Luis Obispo County updates: San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health

Regardless of your living situation, it is important that you maintain as much social distancing as possible. Housing decisions should include consideration of the goal of achieving social distancing to the greatest degree possible.

Current Campus Services

While the majority of campus services have transitioned to virtual operations, Cal Poly is committed to supporting students who are living on campus summer quarter.  For more information, please visit

Dining Services (closed for summer)
805-756-5939  |

Campus Health & Wellbeing
805-756-1211  |  |  

Health Center (Bldg. 27)
Health: 805.756.1211 | Counseling: 805.756.2511 | Wellbeing: 805.756.6181 | Safer: 805.756.2282

Cal Poly Food Pantry (Bldg. 27, Room 10)
805-756-6181 | Check here for hours

University Housing (Bldg. 31)
805-756-1226 | Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays

Current Residents: After-hours Support

Cal Poly Police Department (Bldg. 36)

  • For emergencies: Call 911
  • Non-emergency, 24/7 dispatch: 805-756-2286

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