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Application process

Applying for residential colleges

You can apply online from 1 August each year. Take time to complete your application fully as any inaccuracies may cause delays in sending it on to your first choice of college.

You will receive an instant confirmation from the Student Accommodation Centre on receipt of your application.

Application for full-year accommodation in a residential college

Make an online application for a residential college from 1 August and before 27 September. 

Ensure you make an online request for the Common Confidential Reference before the end of August. Your school will then need to complete it before 15 September.

Once your application has been processed and reference attached it will be transferred to your first preference.  To be considered in the first round of offers your application should be submitted before 27 September 2017.

Offers will be emailed on 6 October 2017.

Before you start your application you will need the following information:

  • Your contact details
  • The contact details for your guardian
  • NSN for students studying in New Zealand
  • Your three college preferences.

College places continue to be offered between October and when university starts in February

Applications for residential colleges can still be made after 30 September although it is likely they will be placed on the general waiting list

If you are still on the waiting list in mid-February, temporary accommodation is available. Contact the Student Accommodation Centre for assistance

The colleges are occupied by residents in late February. Spaces can become available within the first four weeks after term commences. Some students in temporary accommodation are accepted into the colleges at this time


  • Make sure your application is completed and returned before 27 September to ensure it is processed before selection commences
  • Complete the online application in full. Missing information will cause delays in your application being processed or accepted
  • Be sure to fill in all the information about your interests and responsibilities
  • If you are accepted into a college and payment of fees or a deposit is requested, be sure to pay by the deadline. Note that the deposit and initial payment are not covered by student loans/allowances
  • Be aware that some of the colleges are over-subscribed with applications. If your first preference is unable to make an offer, your application will be forwarded to other colleges with vacancies.
  • Be aware that if you turn down an offer of a place in a college another offer is not guaranteed
  • Please let us know as soon as possible if you decide not to study at Otago or no longer require accommodation in a college. There are other students on the waitlist awaiting an offer
  • Each year there are a number of withdrawals from late December through to mid-February. Further offers of place are made during this time