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FAQs about the application process for Residential Colleges

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How do I apply for accommodation?

Applications for Residential Colleges or University Flats may be made online 

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When can I apply for accommodation?

For full year accommodation and Semester 1, apply from 1 August.  If you are intending to come for Semester 2, please apply after the 1 April. 

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My username and password is not working.

Please ensure that you have Registered for accommodation and that you are using this username and password not your eVision username and password.  If you have forgotten your password, please click on the "Forgotten Password Link", you will be emailed a link to the site to update your password.  

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What questions will I be asked?

Prospective first year students have eleven sections to complete. These include:

  • Initial registration
    • Includes email address & date of birth
  • Personal details
    • Residency Status
  • Contact details
    • Mailing address and contact phone numbers
    • Home address
  • Legal guardian details
    • Name of guardian
    • Relationship
    • Mailing address and contact phone numbers
  • Institution you will be studying at
    • University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic or Foundation Studies
  • Proposed course of study
    • Proposed course of study
    • Major subject.  This is not required for courses with pre-prescribed papers.
    • Minor subject
  • Residential College preferences
    • You will be asked to select three preferences
  • Residential College preference reason (limited to 20 words)
  • Tell us about yourself.  Please include responsibilities and interests, this is limited to approximately 300 words (slightly less than an A4 page).
  • Schooling
    • Name of school
    • What your final year will be eg. 2017
    • Course of Study e.g. NCEA, Cambridge.
    • Student NSN: This is your New Zealand National Student Number, please disregard if you have not studied in New Zealand.
  • Particular needs and requirements
    • Medical
    • Disabilty
    • Dietary
    • Special requests, e.g. female only etc.
  • Acknowledgment of application.

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Do I make a seperate application for each college?

Please make one application, indicating your three preferences.

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Do any Colleges require additional information?

St Margaret’s College requires some additional information, please refer to their website for more information.

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Which colleges should I select?

Each college website has extensive information for prospective students and includes videos with interviews and photos.  Applicants should also refer to the Residential College section in the Undergraduate Prospectus, which provides an excellent summary of the facilities and the number of residents for each college.

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I want to change my preferences?

This request must be made in writing. To make any changes to your preferences, email the Student Accommodation Centre before 20 September: accommodation@otago.ac.nz

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Will all of my preferences see my application?

Your application will initially be forwarded to your first preference.  Once selection commences on the 1 October, if they are unable to make you an offer it will be forwarded to your second preference, if they still have vacancies. If not, your application will be forwarded to your third preference, providing they still have vacancies.  Students with applications that complete after the 30 September will be forwarded to their first preference for consideration.  If they are unable to make an offer the Student Accommodation Centre will forward the application to the colleges listed as a preference if they have vacancies otherwise it will be placed directly on the general waitlist.  

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Will other colleges consider my application if they are not a preference?

If your application is not going to receive an offer from your three preferences we invite the Residential Colleges that may still have vacancies to consider your application unless otherwise stated.

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I have received an offer from my third preference but I want to be reconsidered by my first preference?

Once you accept an offer you have a financial contract with the Residential College that has made this offer. No other college can then consider your application.

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What if I receive an offer from a college that I don’t want to live in?

All of the Residential Colleges offer similar facilities and a high standard of pastoral care. We would recommend that you accept the offer. We have seen students decline an offer and then not receive another offer before the start of Semester 1.

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If I decline an offer from a college will I go to the bottom of the waitlist?

The waitlist is divided between male and female. It does not have a numbered priority of applications.

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I have medication for an anxiety disorder which is being managed, do you need to know this?

It is very important that you provide as much information as possible about any medical condition you have. This enables us to ensure you have the best support available, especially when you are adapting to your new environment at the start of the year.

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I am vegetarian, is this catered for?

The majority of colleges can accommodate this. Please refer to the specific Residential College websites for more information about catering.

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I am gluten free, is this catered for?

The majority of colleges can accommodate this health requirement but they may require confirmation from your medical practitioner to support this condition.

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What about vegan diets?

The following colleges cater for vegan diets: Aquinas, Arana, Carrington, City, Cumberland, Hayward, Selwyn, Te Rangi Hiroa and Toroa.  Please contact the Student Accommodation Centre for more information.

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What did my school say about me in my confidential reference?

The information in your confidential reference is only available to the University of Otago for the purpose of considering your accommodation application.

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I would like a copy of the reference.

At the time of your application you authorised your school to provide the University of Otago with a confidential reference on the understanding that it will remain confidential to those concerned. The Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1993 provide protections for evaluative material and the University will decline to release or allow access to such material when requested.