Sorting out your hostel application for next year

If you're planning to live in a hostel or residential college next year, you need to get your applications sorted and underway before they close in late September. Here's how to do this.

There is a bit to organise with these applications. The smart move is to work with your school’s careers advisor as they are an important part of the process. 

1. Check out which living options you're keen on.

All hostels/halls/residential colleges have details on the various institution websites, and we have it here on SchoolLeaver. Also try to get the lowdown from someone you know who has been there and done that.  

2. Register online 

Register with the accommodation offices of the institutions you're looking at. You should then receive a user name and password that you will need for your application.

3. Apply online 

Apply to the institutions you are considering. Generally you need to nominate your top three accomodation choices in preferred order.

You can apply for hostels before you have been accepted to study at that institution, and you can apply for accommodation at more than one university or polytech.

The latest your application can be accepted is around the end of September. You need to send a non-refundable Application Fee as well (these vary from $75 to $150). 

4. Get onto your ‘Common Confidential Reference Form (CCRF)’ early.

  • All universities require this, and so do WelTec (222 Willis) and Otago Polytechnic.
  • This form is sent back to your school where your careers teacher, dean or similar answer questions about you; your expected grades, your personality and your suitability for tertiary accommodation.
  • Discuss your plans and application with your careers advisor. They need to return the CCRF form by October 1. 

5. Apply on time

Most applications close on 30 September/1 October. More than 15,000 students apply for accommodation each year so they are busy and do not take late entries. Get yours in, and check it's been received.

6. Getting your offer

Offers of accommodation are made by email. Make sure your email is working.

Complete and return the required acceptance documents with your deposit (which is refunded if you change your mind).

Application tips:

  1. If you have a family connection with a particular hostel or have already visited/toured a particular hostel, say this on your application;
  2. All applications will ask you questions about you, so make sure you do yourself justice. Be upfront and include any sporting, community and cultural interests and leadership experience that will make you stand out;
  3. Include any special requirements you may have (eg disability, diet, etc) to ensure you are placed in the most appropriate hostel for you;
  4. Only apply once to each institution you are keen on. Multiple applications clog things up, and you can save and revisit applications before submitting;
  5. If you refuse a particular offer of accommodation, you may not receive another so think carefully before doing this. 

Other options

Should you miss out on a hostel or hall, your other options include flatting and homestay/boarding. Start checking these out here. 

Here are the links you need for more info or to get started:

University of Auckland: useful e-book with hostel details

AUT: how to applyFAQs and info

University of Waikato: how to apply;  FAQs and info

Massey University:Massey University Campus Accommodation Gateway; three campus options;

Victoria University of Wellington: useful e-book featuring hostel options

University of Canterbury: how to applyUC Accommodation Guide

Lincoln University: extensive accommodation guide; Living on Campus

University of Otago: residential collegesaccommodation portal;   

222 Willis (WelTec): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Otago Polytechnic: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CCRF- Common Confidential Reference Form – how it works