Housing Prepayment & FAQs

What is the housing prepayment?

The housing prepayment is the final step of the undergraduate housing contracting process for the academic year and summer. Each contract will require that a prepayment (or equivalent) be made to complete their process. Currently, there is a $450 prepayment required for academic year contracts and a $150 prepayment for summer housing contracts.

The housing prepayment is just that—a PRE-payment. It will be held in your student account and will be applied towards the first housing charge of your contract. As it is applied to your first housing charge as a payment, it will not be returned at the end of the year. As an illustration, if your first housing charge of the academic year is $4500, then you will have a $4050 remaining balance to pay for in September after your prepayment has been applied.


How do I make the housing prepayment?

The prepayment is included as a step in the housing contracting process. After signing your contract, the process will automatically take you to the prepayment submission portal. As it is INCLUDED as part of the contracting process, only the student who is contracting will have access to the prepayment portal. If you are a parent/supporter wishing to make the prepayment on behalf of a student, you should work with the student to submit the payment.

The housing prepayment can be made using a variety of payment options, the most common being an electronic check (e-check) or credit card. If you wish to make the prepayment using cash or paper check, please contact Housing Administrative Services for instructions. Other payment methods may be accommodated too, but you should contact Housing Administrative Services to confirm before attempting payment.


How do I know if I have successfully submitted the prepayment?

Upon successful submission, you should immediately receive a confirmation email with a receipt for the prepayment along with information on the contract it is for and your payment method.

This receipt will be your confirmation that your payment was submitted successfully, However, this does not mean your process has yet been completed. Our staff receive reports of successful prepayment submissions once each business day* and use these reports to complete the contracting process for students. Because of this, there will typically be a delay between when you submit your prepayment and when the housing system recognizes your contract as complete; typically, you should expect about a 24-hour delay, but it may be longer due to weekends and holidays. All that is required is that you have SUBMITTED your prepayment prior to the deadline and processing time on our end will not be held against you.

Housing Administrative Services will send a second email when we have confirmed your prepayment and completed the contracting process in the housing system for your account. This will also update your housing checklist to show that your prepayment has been successfully submitted. If you have not received this “Contracting Complete” email but have your prepayment receipt, there is typically no reason to worry, and you should be included in our next scheduled batch report. If you have your prepayment receipt and it has been 2+ business days*, please contact Housing Administrative Services.

*We want to highlight business days as we are typically open Monday-Friday and will not be in-office on weekends or University holidays, and thus do not act on reports received during those times. As an example, a prepayment made Friday night will not be confirmed until Monday, typically.


My prepayment came back as “invalid” due to an incorrect routing/account number or insufficient funds, what do I do?

Prepayments made using e-check or paper check may occasionally come back as “invalid” a few days after submitting payment. As these payment methods have a processing time (3-5 business days, typically) on the bank’s end, it is not known immediately if there was an issue with your payment. Most commonly, numbers were swapped around when typing out your bank’s account or routing number.

This will not negatively impact on your contract. We complete your contract in the housing system when we have received your successful submission and do not require it to have been successfully processed prior to doing so. If your prepayment comes back as invalid, you will be sent instructions on how to re-attempt payment along with a timeframe to do so. If your resubmission process is successfully, your contract will still be in-tact and no further action will be needed. Your contract will be considered void if you do not re-submit payment in a timely manner or upon multiple invalid attempts and multiple notices will be provided prior to your contract being forfeited.


I did not submit a housing prepayment and instead got sent a “promissory note,” but my Housing Portal shows my contracting process as completed?

Some students are not required to submit a prepayment to complete their contract and will instead complete a promissory note to “defer” the payment until the start of their contract. The promissory note is signed IN PLACE OF submitting a housing prepayment and is treated as its equivalent. The promissory note is automatically offered to variety of UC San Diego scholarship recipients and has typically been offered to students who received a deferment of their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) fee as well.

As part of the housing contracting process, you will automatically be presented the promissory note instead of being directed to the prepayment portal. The promissory note will require an electronic signature and is the student acknowledging that they are not making a prepayment at the time of contracting and what all that entails. Primarily that you are deferring the prepayment until the time of your contract’s first housing charge and that you will need to pay any applicable cancellation fees out-of-pocket should you decide to cancel. Upon successfully signing the promissory note, you will be emailed a copy of the completed form.


What is a promissory note/deferment?

The promissory note “defers” the need to submit any payment towards housing until the start of the contract. The most important impact of this is that it should help align any out-of-pocket costs with your financial aid disbursement. It is important to note that HOW MUCH you owe will not change, just WHEN you owe it.

The promissory note is not a waiver of the prepayment. This is an important distinction to make because, as explained above, the prepayment is a is a PRE-payment and is not an additional fee of its own. Students who sign a promissory note instead of submitting their prepayment will not have one applied to the first housing charge of their contract and will instead owe the full balance. Following the example made earlier, if your first housing charge of the academic year is $4500 you will not have a prepayment applied to it and will owe the full $4500 balance in September.


I am unable to submit my housing prepayment by the deadline, what should I do?

In cases where you may not be able to submit your prepayment by the deadline, please contact Housing Administrative Services. In most cases, deadlines will not be extended but we may have alternative arrangements (such as a “promissory note,” see above) to offer instead to help you meet the deadline.

We recommend you reach out as soon as you believe there is an issue. We try to be accommodating of last-minute requests, but alternative arrangements will typically still be held to the original deadline and thus it is better to discuss those sooner to give ample time to complete the process.


Can my housing prepayment be refunded to me?

If you will be maintaining your housing contract, the housing prepayment is applied to your first housing charge and is “returned” to you in the form of a payment towards your housing. Unlike a security deposit, it will not be refunded to you at the end of your contract.

If you will be cancelling your academic year contract, possibly! Cancellation requests can be submitted in the Housing Portal under the “Contracts & Cancellations” section at any time between completing your contract and the start of your contract (or move in, whichever is earlier). Cancellation may incur a cancellation fee depending on when your cancellation request is submitted. We use a progressive cancellation fee, meaning that the later you cancel your contract then the larger the fee will be. The fee has a maximum of $450 and will be deducted from your housing prepayment. The Cancellation policy is linked in your housing contract.

If you will be cancelling your summer housing contract, not usually! Due to the quickened pace of the summer sessions compared to the academic year, we do not have a progressive schedule for the summer cancellation fee. The cancellation fee for summer housing is $150 and most students who cancel should expect no refund without some administrative exception to policy.

If you have any remaining balance of your housing prepayment after the cancellation fee is paid, this balance will be refunded to you. Refund method varies by original payment method, and you can contact Housing Administrative Services if you have concerns regarding the refund method.

The cancelation fee may be waived in some cases due to cancellation reason. These reasons are at our discretion and most fees will not be waived. Typically, we will waive the fee in cases that the cancellation is due to a UC San Diego decision rather than a student decision or in cases where the student has transferred to a program that would not have otherwise required a prepayment. As an academic year housing example, a student who is academically disqualified or has their admissions offer rescinded should expect to be refunded their housing prepayment. As a summer housing example, a student who initially signed a summer housing contract but then is accepted into a Summer Success program that covers their summer housing costs should expect to be refunded their summer housing prepayment.



If you have any additional questions, require further clarification, or do not feel like your inquiry was addressed here, please submit a case via ServiceNow at support.ucsd.edu reach out to Housing Administrative Services via phone at 858-534-4010 or email at housingcontracts@ucsd.edu