FAQs: University Housing

USC Housing Access

We understand that some students, particularly given the current travel restrictions, need to stay in university housing. We will continue to provide housing, food and support for as long as you are in USC Housing, and USC Student Health will remain in operation to serve students. We are all here for you. If you have any questions or concerns about your housing needs, please contact USC Housing at housing@usc.edu

Many of our students who live in off-campus non-university housing have reached out with questions. To assist, we shared some guidance regarding students’ rights and responsibilities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see our non-university housing FAQs.

Fall 2020 Housing

As we grow closer to the start of the fall semester, we want to be fully transparent about how the evolving COVID-19 pandemic will impact your living experience in USC Housing. We also want to provide you with important information so you can determine whether an on-campus living environment or an online experience from your permanent residence is the better choice for you to succeed academically and thrive as an individual during the fall semester.

We would like to ensure that each student who chooses to live in USC Housing is aware of the health and safety guidelines that we will require all USC Housing residents to follow. It is imperative that we share the responsibility for keeping our entire Trojan community safe, and each of us has an important role to play.

On July 1, we recommended that all undergraduates take their courses online and reconsider living on or close to campus during the fall semester. We encourage all students holding USC Housing contracts as well as incoming freshmen and transfer students– particularly those who do not have any in-person classes, or those who live in the greater Los Angeles area – to reconsider on-campus housing. We extended the deadline to July 15 for you to cancel an existing contract or housing application and receive a full refund of your fees or deposit.

FAQs

2020-2021: General Housing and Dining Questions

We will limit housing to one student per bedroom in our residence halls, suites, and apartments. The city also expects USC to hold a number of rooms vacant to provide quarantine space should a surge occur during the semester. As a result, our availability is less than half of what it would normally be.

For standard undergraduate assignments, fall contracts run from Aug. 12-Nov. 25. For graduate assignments, fall contracts run from Aug. 10-Nov. 25.

We will honor current contracts, but room assignments and building locations will change in order to adhere to the one student per bedroom requirement.

Available spaces will include residence halls and suites typically used for freshmen. Students can assemble roommate groups within suites and apartments, but only at single person per bedroom occupancy. There will be no roommate matching in residence hall spaces, and existing roommate groups will not be accommodated due to the one person per bedroom occupancy restriction.

We encourage all students holding contracts as well as incoming freshmen and transfer students – particularly those who do not have any in-person classes or who live in the greater Los Angeles area – to reconsider on-campus housing.

We encourage all students holding contracts as well as incoming freshmen and transfer students – particularly those who do not have any in-person classes or who live in the greater Los Angeles area – to reconsider on-campus housing.

Assignments will be prioritized for students whose study requires in-person education, are in named scholarship and athletics programs, who may require special accommodations, or are international students. The next priority will be given to students who reside further from campus.

Yes, we extended the deadline to July 15 for you to cancel an existing contract or housing application and receive a full refund of your fees or deposit. We will process refunds to students' accounts before the next university billing cycle ends on July 25.

Existing Housing Renewal Reservations

Your reservation status was changed to ‘an application pending an assignment’ for the upcoming academic year. The confirmation payment previously charged to your student account will be credited. You can cancel your application by July 15, 2020 to have your application fee credited as well.

Existing Housing Applications

Your application status is still ‘pending as an application for assignment’ for the upcoming academic year. You can cancel your application by July 15, 2020 to have your application fee credited.

You can cancel your contract or application via the USC Housing application portal.

No. After July 15, the application fee will not be refundable.

Students living in the surrounding neighborhoods should be aware that access to campus will be limited. In most cases, students will be required to make an appointment to use campus services, such as library study spaces, the Engemann Student Health Center, and dining facilities.

We will notify new applicants who do not receive an assignment on or before July 24.

USC Housing move-in will begin on Aug. 10 and run through Aug. 16. Move-in will be scheduled by appointment. Early arrival prior to scheduled appointments will not be available.

We will hold reservations through Aug. 17. If you need to have your reservation held beyond that date, please notify your building's appropriate Customer Service Center of your arrival date so staff can hold your reservation. Housing charges apply from the first day of the contracted assignment.

You can arrange a late vacate with your building's appropriate Customer Service Center. Flexibility to meet travel circumstances is normally available.

There are currently no plans to refund or prorate rent costs for the upcoming academic year. If you accept a USC Housing assignment for the upcoming academic year, you are subject to the terms and conditions of the 2020-2021 USC Housing Living Agreement and contract document.

International travelers must complete all quarantine requirements before arriving on campus or checking in to USC Housing.

New students should apply for spring semester housing. We will make accommodations for students who are unable to travel internationally over the winter break, and we will provide information on living in your assignment during the winter recess later in the fall.

For returning students who re-select a fall housing assignment, the assignment will run for the full academic year.

For those who cancel their pending application, USC Housing will begin accepting spring semester housing applications on Sept. 1, 2020. We will announce spring semester housing assignments in November and December, and they are not guaranteed. Spring housing assignments will depend on state and local health authorities’ occupancy guidelines.

Our dining halls are being reconfigured to allow for scheduled dining in a manner that is distanced, appropriately sanitized, and safe for students and our staff members. Food will be pre-packaged, and a number of pick-up options (including outside vendors) will be available. We will share more details soon.

If you have questions, please contact USC Housing at 213-740-2546 or email housing@usc.edu.

2020-2021: Residential Education Policies and Expectations

The following explains how we will work together as a community to ensure everyone’s health, safety and well-being.

Cone of Safety: This term represents your room, apartment, or suite. This area is further defined as the living area past the threshold/door from the outside/hallway of a USC Housing facility.

Living in a Residence Hall

  • Cone of Safety: You will be your own “cone of safety,” but you will need to utilize common spaces such as bathrooms, residential dining, and laundry rooms. Your actions within the common areas will affect the safety of others within the community.
  • Guests/Visitors: You will not be allowed to have any other residents in your room, including any residents of your building/community, outside guests, family, or friends.
  • Support: Your resident assistant (RA) will conduct virtual check-ins with you. In addition, your residential college/community coordinator (RCC) will be available via email, phone, or Zoom for additional support. Every community also has an RA on-call for any emergencies throughout the night, and the RA can provide support to all residents.

Living in a Suite 

  • Cone of Safety: You and all of your suitemates will be in a “cone of safety” together. What each of you does will affect the safety of others within the suites. This includes your use of suite bathrooms.
  • Suitemate Agreements: We will share additional guidance soon about how you all will work together to keep your cone of safety intact. This will include a discussion around how your suitemates will handle the process for re-entering the living space, cleanliness, cleaning schedules, bathroom usage, etc.
  • Social Interactions: We will require suitemates to work with each other to resolve conflicts through conversation and to apply the expectations the group sets forth in the suitemate agreement mentioned above.
  • Guests/Visitors: You will not be allowed to have any other residents in your suite, including any residents of your building/community, outside guests, family, or friends.
  • Support: Your RA will conduct virtual check-ins with you. In addition, your RCC will be available via email, phone, or Zoom for additional support. Every community also has an RA on-call for any emergencies throughout the night, and the RA can provide support to all residents.

Living in an Apartment 

  • Cone of Safety: You and all of your roommates will be in a “cone of safety” together. What each of you does will affect the safety of others within the apartment.
  • Apartment Agreements: We will share additional guidance soon about how you all will work together to keep your cone of safety intact. This will include a discussion on how you all will handle the process for re-entering the living space, cleanliness, cleaning schedules, bathroom usage, etc.
  • Social Interactions: We will require you all to work together to resolve differences through conversation and to apply the expectations the group sets forth in the apartment agreement mentioned above.
  • Guests/Visitors: You will not be allowed to have any other residents in your apartment, including any residents of your building/community, outside guests, family, or friends.
  • Support: Your RA will conduct virtual check-ins with you. In addition, your RCC will be available via email, phone, or Zoom for additional support. Every community also has an RA on-call for any emergencies throughout the night, and the RA can provide support to all residents.

To ensure a safe environment on campus and in USC Housing, we are implementing the following policies for all students. Your commitment to following these policies plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for yourself, your residential community, and the entire USC community:

Required

  • Complete Your Training: To return to campus, you must take the mandatory ‘Health, Hygiene and Safety Training’ module in TrojanLearn (requires flash-compatible browser). This will help you better understand the health and hygiene requirements for returning to campus, and why it’s important for you to be aware of how the virus spreads. You will not be able to complete the Trojan Check and reservation without completing this first.
  • Trojan Check: You will need to complete a daily wellness assessment (Trojan Check) affirming that you have not recently been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, and that you are not currently experiencing any symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Within one hour of completing the training module above, you will have access to Trojan Check.
  • Read and Abide by the Trojan Commitment: As Trojans, we fight on. As a community that supports and respects one another, we must all join the fight against COVID-19. United and committed, we will prevent the virus from spreading. Commit to protect yourself, your peers, your neighbors and the entire Trojan community. When we all thrive, we all succeed.
  • Wear a Face Covering: You must wear a face covering at all times. Watch a brief video about how to wear and care for cloth face coverings.
  • Adhere to Physical Distancing: You must maintain a 6-foot/2-meter distance from others at all times.
  • Wash Your Hands. Please do this before you enter your living space and after you leave, before, during and after preparing food, before eating food, after using the toilet, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and after touching garbage. Watch a brief video about how to properly wash your hands with soap and water.

Recommended Advice

  • Regularly clean high-touch surfaces (door handles, light switches, etc.) in your living space with a disinfectant.
  • Regularly wash your clothes, sheets and towels.

The following policies are based on city, county, state and federal guidelines and best practices for health and safety, and they will be strictly enforced as part of your USC Housing agreement. Please read through them carefully.

Common Spaces (Ex: Inside the residential community, but outside of your room/apartment/suite)

  • Face coverings must be worn at all times.
  • Physical distancing (6 feet/2 meters of separation) is required at all times.
  • Elevators can only be used by one person at a time.
  • Lounges will be solely dedicated for residents to use for telehealth purposes.
  • Laundry rooms, mailrooms, and outside seating will be limited to the number of students who can safely stay 6 feet apart.
  • Other common spaces will be closed completely, including the gym, recreational rooms, study rooms, etc.
  • In residence halls, residents are restricted to designated bathrooms on their floor as well as specific stairwells and entrances for accessing their building.

Room/Apartment/Suite – “Your cone of safety”

  • You and all of your suitemates/fellow apartment residents will be in a “cone of safety” together.
  • Face coverings are encouraged, but you are not required to wear them inside your residence.
  • Physical distancing is encouraged, but it will not be required inside your residence.
  • Residents are not permitted to bring any guests/visitors into the residential community. This includes parents, guardians, siblings and other relatives. This restriction will be in place during move-in as well.
  • Residents are not permitted to have anyone in their room/suite/apartment who is not an official occupant of that space.
  • Practice good hand hygiene and wash your hands regularly.

Your commitment to following the USC Housing COVID-19 policies plays a critical role in maintaining a safe environment for yourself, your residential community, and the entire USC community. If required, disciplinary action will be taken to address any policy violations. All students must take these measures seriously, and failure to abide by the health and safety policies could lead to cancellation of your USC Housing contract.

Residents must make the health and safety of their fellow Trojans their top priority in all of their actions. We cannot afford to take the policies lightly, and all of us must do our part.

If you are feeling sick, ill, or have any COVID-19-related symptoms, you will need to do the following:

  • Self-Isolate: Remain within your residential space, wash your hands regularly, and avoid any contact with other individuals.
  • Call USC Student Health and Get Tested: Call USC Student Health immediately at 213-740-9355 (WELL).

Isolation Process

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate for 10 days. We will provide you with a single room and bathroom in an off-site location.

  • During this time, residents will not be able to leave their room.
  • Meals will be delivered to students in their residence.
  • Residents will receive support virtually via Zoom.

Quarantine Process

If someone within your shared living space tests positive for COVID-19, we will follow the quarantine plan based on your living environment below:

  • Suite/Apartment Quarantine: If someone tests positive for COVID-19, we will require the entire suite/apartment to quarantine for 14 days. During this time, residents will not be able to leave their room.
    • Meals will be delivered to residents in their assignment.
    • Residents will receive support virtually via Zoom.
  • Residential Hall Quarantine: If someone tests positive for COVID-19, we will either quarantine the individual in a separate location or require the entire floor/section of the hall to quarantine for 14 days.
    • Bathroom Usage: During this time, residents will not be able to leave their room except to use the designated restroom.
    • Meals will be delivered to residents in their assignment.
    • Residents will receive support virtually via Zoom.

You should carefully review the revised 2020-2021 USC Housing Living Agreement before you accept an assignment.

Summer 2020 Housing

If you are able to vacate your summer housing assignment early, you will not receive any penalties for early cancellation.

Summer housing will only be available through early August. If you need to remain in USC Housing beyond early August, you will need to apply for 2020/2021 academic year housing if you do not already have a reservation for the 2020/2021 academic year. You can access the 2020/2021 academic year housing application online. Application fees and confirmation payments will apply to 2020/2021 academic year housing applications.

To be eligible for any USC Housing assignment, residents must be enrolled students. Please do not apply for a housing assignment beyond your ability to remain an enrolled student at the university.

If you have questions, please contact USC Housing at 213-740-2546 or email housing@usc.edu.

Summer 2020 Dining

USC Hospitality will continue to provide food options in a reduced capacity. To protect the health and safety of our Trojan family, USC Hospitality made temporary changes to its operating hours. See additional details about USC Hospitality's partnership with Grubhub

USC Hospitality will continue to operate in order to serve the Trojan community, but dining rooms will remain closed until public health precautions are lifted.

Meals are available for take-out only, and no on-site dining is allowed. Please observe all physical distancing requirements during your visit and wear an appropriate face covering. If you are sick and experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, please do not visit the dining hall.

Students who reside near the University Park Campus (UPC) may sign up for the Community Meal 25 Plan or the Community Meal 50 plan over the summer. These plans include a combination of residential dining swipes and dining dollars that students can use at the USC Village Dining Hall at McCarthy Honors College and retail cafés at UPC. Purchase a summer meal plan.

Please contact USC Card Services at 213-740-8709 if you have questions about meal plans.

Spring 2020 Refunds and Credits

USC provided a pro-rated reimbursement of room and meal plan payments to all students who vacated university housing. We calculated these refunds to cover the full cost of the period from March 23, 2020 through the end of the spring 2020 semester, and we posted them to each student’s university account.

For residents whose room charges are billed monthly, no future charges were posted to their university account. To the extent there was an outstanding balance due on a student’s university account, we applied the refund toward the balance first, before issuing a refund. Students received refunds in April.

Residents who received permission to remain in their assignments were billed for charges as appropriate and were not eligible for the pro-rated room and meal plan refunds, except for a refund of unused Dining Dollars. We deposited Dining Dollars in students’ accounts in April.

Rent credits for those billed monthly were pro-rated for the period of March 23 to March 31. Monthly rent for April, May, June and July was suspended for those who vacated as requested, and it will not be billed to your student account. If you are able to return to your assignment before your 7/31/2020 contract end date, appropriate rent will be charged to your student account for the period that you re-occupied your assignment.

USC provided a pro-rated reimbursement of room and meal plan payments to all students who vacated university housing. We calculated these refunds to cover the full cost of the period from March 23, 2020 through the end of the spring 2020 semester, and we posted them to each student’s university account.

For residents whose room charges are billed monthly, no future charges were posted to their university account. To the extent there was an outstanding balance due on a student’s university account, we applied the refund toward the balance first, before issuing a refund. Students received refunds in April.

Residents who received permission to remain in their assignments were billed for charges as appropriate and were not eligible for the pro-rated room and meal plan refunds, except for a refund of unused Dining Dollars. We deposited Dining Dollars in students’ accounts in April.

If you have questions, please contact USC Housing at 213-740-2546 or email housing@usc.edu.