Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my housing assignment?
Will I have to move out between quarters?
How do I get my mail and what will my new address be?
Are laundry facilities available?
Can I decorate my room?
Can I cook in my room?
Can I have guests?
Should I bring my bike? Where can I store it?
Can I bring my skateboard or in-line skates?
Can I bring my car to campus?
I’m flying in – how do I get from the airport to Santa Cruz?
Are there banks on campus? What banking services are available in Santa Cruz?
What’s the weather like?
What recreation facilities are available?
How can I be part of campus sustainability?
Can I get a tour, or learn more about the college?
What is the college system?
How safe is the campus?
What should I bring?
Will my cell phone work on-campus?
How will I connect to the internet?


When will I receive my housing assignment?
Your housing assignment packets will be mailed by mid-summer. This will include information regarding your room assignment, roommates and move-in instructions

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Will I have to move out between quarters?
You may not stay in your room during the winter break period. You may stay in your room during the Thanksgiving and spring break periods as they are covered by the housing contract. Please note that dining service is not available for either break period.

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How do I get my mail and what will my new address be?
You will be able to receive mail and packages at the college. The College Office is responsible for assigning a mailbox to each student. Issues with your mailbox should be directed to the College Office. When you arrive on campus, you will receive your college mailbox number. Your address will be:

Your Name
UC Santa Cruz
Rachel Carson College #
356 College Eight Rd.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

It is not possible to assign a mailbox prior to arrival, and new box numbers may be assigned. The college does not have space to store packages, so plan to have your packages arrive after you do.

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Are laundry facilities available?
Yes, facilities in the college are equipped with card operated washers and dryers. Machines for loading money on to your card are located throughout the college.

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Can I decorate my room?
If you wish to hang items on the wall to decorate you room, you can do so. Please use push pins or picture hangers. Using nails or screws is not permitted. Items may not be affixed to the ceiling. Students will be billed for any accidental or intentional property damage done to college or university property.

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Can I cook in my room?
For fire safety reasons, hot plates, electric or gas grills, toaster ovens or other cooking appliances are not allowed. Microwaves are permitted in the residence hall bedrooms.

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Can I have guests?
The housing contract allows a student to have a visitor stay in her/his room, with restrictions. Please talk to your roommate(s) about guests. Students may have a guest(s) for up to three (3) consecutive days and up to fifteen (15) days during one academic year. Residents are responsible for the actions of their guests at all times. See the Terms and Conditions of residence for specific policy details.

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Should I bring my bike? Where can I store it?
Yes, if you like to ride on hills. Be sure to bring a high quality bike lock so that you can secure it at the bike racks located on campus. The college assumes no responsibility for damage, theft or loss. When you arrive to campus you should contact UCSC police to register you bike. 

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Can I bring my skateboard or in-line skates? 
The use of skateboards, rollerskates or in-line skates anywhere on campus is prohibited. This policy is enforced by the UC Santa Cruz Police Department and citations are issued.

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Can I bring my car to campus?
Parking regulations are strictly enforced, and all eligible students who bring a car to campus must purchase a permit in advance. First-year students and sophomores who live in university housing (including the Village, University Inn and University Town Center) are not eligible for a parking permit. Eligible students must apply for a parking permit through the Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) web site at taps.ucsc.edu. Contact the TAPS Sales Office at (831) 459-4543, if you have questions about parking.

Even without a car, movement around our spacious campus is made easier by the network of foot and bicycle paths, and an extensive intracampus shuttle system. Both day and night shuttles provide wheelchair-accessible services and are free of charge. TAPS also operates a Disability Van Service, which provides transportation to those with mobility impairments. Additionally, the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (Metro) provides regular and convenient bus transportation to campus and to outlying areas around the Santa Cruz community. This service is funded by a mandatory student fee. You may ride any Metro bus without additional charge by showing your current UCSC identification card to the driver. 

UC Santa Cruz is also among a growing list of college communities that support a new alternative to car ownership: Zipcar. Zipcar is a membership based program that allows you to use a car when needed, while avoiding the costs and headaches of car ownership. Zipcar provides self-service access to safe, convenient, reliable cars located on campus and in the community. Students 18 years of age and older are eligible to apply. For more information, visit zipcar.com/ucsc.

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I’m flying in – how do I get from the airport to Santa Cruz?
UC Santa Cruz is located approximately 40 miles south of San Jose International Airport and about 70 miles south of San Francisco International and Oakland International Airports. All services listed below connect with university buses. A number of companies provide transportation from the airport. This listing is a starting point and is neither an endorsement of these businesses nor a complete listing of services in the area: 

  • Abacus Transportation - (831) 469-3333 or (877) 291-3300
  • ABC Transportation - (800) 734-4313
  • Expresso Limousine - (831) 429-5466
  • Greyhound - (800) 229-9424
  • Highway 17 Express

More comprehensive information can be found: http://taps.ucsc.edu/airports-travel/index.html

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Are there banks on campus? What banking services are available in Santa Cruz?
Most major California banks have branches in Santa Cruz. Check with your local office for branch information. Bay Federal Credit Union (831) 479-6000, Bank of America (831) 457-3560 and Wells Fargo (831) 469-3525 have on-campus automatic teller machines at Quarry Plaza. The University Cashier’s Office will cash checks up to $25.00 with a valid student ID for a 25¢ service charge.

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What’s the weather like?
Santa Cruz weather is variable, but mild overall. In the fall, the weather usually remains quite warm and comfortable up through November, at which point we begin to experience the lower temperatures and rain that winter brings to Santa Cruz. This weather generally lasts through March, when it begins warming up again for springtime.

For additional Santa Cruz weather information, go to Weather.com

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What recreation facilities are available?
A valid UC Santa Cruz student ID grants you access to a variety of athletic facilities at the East Field House, including an Olympic-sized pool, tennis and basketball courts, and the state-of-the-art Wellness Center, fully equipped with a variety of aerobic, cardiovascular, and weightlifting equipment.

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How can I be part of campus sustainability?
UCSC is dedicated to sustainability. We actively support recycling and waste reduction, and there is strong participation by students, faculty, and staff across campus. You can be part of the solution by bringing your own reusable plate, bowl, cup, and flatware when you move in. These can be used when you attend programs offered by your college. 

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can get involved in UCSC’s sustainability efforts, you can checkout sustainability.ucsc.edu.

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Can I get a tour, or learn more about the college?
Campus tours are offered all year long through the Admissions Office. Visit admissions.ucsc.edu/campustours. You can request a Oakes College tour by calling (831) 459-3988. Individual rooms and apartments may not be available for viewing.

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What is the college system?
All undergraduate students, whether they live on campus or not, are affiliated with one of 10 residential colleges at UC Santa Cruz. Each college provides academic support, organizes student activities, and sponsors events that enhance the intellectual and social life of the campus in addition to housing students in small-scale residential communities. Every college community includes students with diverse backgrounds and academic goals. Your college affiliation is independent of your choice of major.

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How safe is the campus?
While the university community and the town of Santa Cruz are considered friendly and relatively safe communities, neither is immune to the realities of the world. You will need to take precautions to secure your personal property. You must also consider your personal security and be aware of vulnerable situations. Keep your roommate and neighbors informed of your whereabouts and when you will be returning home. When possible, travel with a friend and check campus maps for the lighted paths. Report any suspicious activity immediately to your college staff or the police. Your careful attention to security is in everyone’s best interest. 

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What should I bring?

  • Sheets - the mattresses are extra-long twins. Fitted sheets should be 80" extra-long
  • Blankets, bedspreads, pillows
  • Towels/washcloths
  • Personal toiletries: including soap, shampoo, etc.
  • A "caddy" for your toiletry items
  • Flip-flops for the showers
  • Bathrobe
  • Alarm clock (with battery back-up)
  • Clothing hangers
  • Laundry bag, detergent, quarters for the laundry room
  • Flashlight for occasional winter storm power outages, or evening walks
  • Ethernet equipment or support (for your computer)
  • UL-approved power strip with surge protection
  • Desk and/or area lamps
  • Telephone (voicemail will be provided)
  • Headphones
  • TV cable
  • Umbrella
  • Clothing and shoes for cold and rainy weather
  • Water filter pitcher
  • U-Lock for bicycle
  • Garbage cans are provided, but if you bring one, it must be metal

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Will my cell phone work on-campus?
The UCSC campus is located on a large hill overlooking Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay. Since the campus has many tall redwood trees and buildings are situated within the trees, cell phone reception is extremely sporadic. The quality of your reception on-campus really depends on your carrier. Our micro cellular antennas service Nextel/Sprint, Verizon, ATT/Cingular and T-Mobile plans. 

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How will I connect to the Internet?
Your Ethernet access is provided by ResNet, UCSC's data access support center. Each of our rooms has its own Ethernet connection. All you'll need to take advantage of your Internet port is an Ethernet-capable (or up-gradable) computer with the appropriate configuration. Please refer to the ResNet webpage for details about minimum software and hardware standards as well as configuration details.

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