Frequently Asked Questions

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College in General

In Australia, a ‘College’ is a residential community with grounds that are situated on, or near to a University campus. Drawing upon scholarly tradition, our ten Colleges are intentional, academic communities. College is a place where you can live to enrich your university experience, and receive extra support e.g. academic tutorials and meals. Our Colleges are like a ‘home away from home’, with most students coming from country and rural Victoria, interstate or overseas - not just Melbourne. By living with such a diverse group of people, you will make lifelong friends from all over the world and be part of a rich alumni network. As a young person, College is a great way to make the transition to independence.

While each of our ten Colleges offer a similar experience, they each have their own individual ethos, character and particular offerings as well. We recommend researching each individual College's website to start.

When deciding you might consider:

  • College ethos and values;
  • The size of the College (how many students);
  • The history of the College (how old or new it is);
  • Make up of the student community (how many international, rural, interstate students there are);
  • Academic success and support/ learning programs;
  • Care and well-being support.

Visiting the Colleges for a tour is also a great way to get a better overview and feel for each of them. Some Colleges also have virtual tours available. Look at their individual websites to find out more.

Yes! In fact, we recommend that you visit at least three Colleges before you make your decision on a College of First Preference. All of our Colleges are open for tours on the University of Melbourne’s Open Day, and during a number of other events. You can also arrange private tours by contacting each of the Colleges directly. Tours are a great chance to meet current students and hear about their experiences.

The aim of most Colleges is to have a diverse and dynamic community, made up of: - students from a range of secondary school types; including independent, Government and Catholic schools; - students from overseas, interstate, Victorian rural/regional and Victorian metropolitan backgrounds; - a balanced gender ratio - good representation for each of the University of Melbourne Undergraduate degree courses. (in some cases from other universities too)

This balanced community is established through the combination of returning and new students.

There’s nothing better than coming back home to a delicious hot meal after a long day of study. All Colleges serve three meals per day, seven days per week during the semester and all Colleges consult with their students on dietary requirements.

Colleges welcome feedback in regards to their meals and aim to please the residents. In general, all Colleges are able to cater for a range of dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, halal, kosher etc.

If you have specific requirements, please approach the College of your first preference to discuss your requirements.

Colleges generally cater for Undergraduate students and do not allow self catering. All Colleges have communal kitchenettes and usually provide access to a larger kitchen if students want to bake cakes etc.

Some Colleges allow self catering for Graduate students. To find out more, visit each of the individual College websites.

Some Colleges only admit Undergraduate and Graduate students studying at the University of Melbourne (which includes the Victorian College of the Arts). Others also admit students studying at tertiary institutions other than the University of Melbourne. Colleges at the University of Melbourne may not admit more than 15% of their resident students from outside the University of Melbourne.

Listed below are all the Colleges and the institutions they accept applications from. This may change at any time, so please check with the College directly to confirm.

Unimelb, Enquire for everything else.
Unimelb, Monash (Parkville), RMIT (City)
Unimelb, RMIT (City), RMIT (Brunswick), ACU
Unimelb, Monash (Parkville), RMIT (City), Divinity
Unimelb, Monash (Parkville), RMIT (City)
Unimelb, Monash (Parkville)
Unimelb, Monash (Parkville), RMIT (City), ACU
Unimelb, Monash (Parkville), RMIT (City), ACU

All of our Colleges at the University of Melbourne are co-educational, so all genders are welcome. Students have their own private rooms but will share bathrooms, common areas and study facilities.

Although Colleges support and value strong family connections, being a child or sibling of a current or past student does not in any way guarantee a place at College. All applicants are treated equally in the selection process.

When current College students decide whether they will be leaving or staying for another year, the Colleges discover how many places will become available. This number varies each year, so it is hard to tell how many places will become available. There are roughly 2500 students who live at our Colleges, and a number of students are also offered Non-Residential places.

Colleges do not give out details on the number of applicants. The number is not really meaningful. Some applicants will not be offered a place at the University of Melbourne, and others will defer or simply change their minds. However, Colleges generally do have more applications than places and the process should be considered extremely competitive. It is important to prepare yourself for all outcomes and have other accommodation options in mind.

Application Questions

Once you have chosen a College of First Preference, you may apply online through our application form which can be accessed from the home page. Please ensure you complete all relevant fields. The College you select as your first preference receives your application straight away.

To check specific closing dates, please see our 'apply now' section. You apply to University separately from applying to College.

You must have a university offer to receive an offer to go to College but neither offer is a guarantee of the other. You need to attend the University of Melbourne to attend most Colleges, however some Colleges accept students attending other universities (see above).

Your College of first preference must have your VTAC number. If you make the application prior to receiving this number you MUST remember to send it in as soon as you receive it. A VTAC number consists of 8 digits and a letter eg: 89309078L Note: If you have already sent your College of first preference your university offer you are not required to send in a VTAC number.

Most Colleges communicate by email, but please check with your College of first preference. Your College of first preference will provide regular updates so it is important to keep an eye out for emails. It is possible that emails will go to Junk so add Colleges to your list of safe senders. Please provide your personal email rather than your school email accounts.

While you can only apply to one College directly, we ask that you list all of the Colleges along a preference list in case you are unable to be placed at your first preference. In this situation, we will then allow your application to be viewed by the other available Colleges, one at a time and according to your preference list. Please refer to the Intercollegiate Pool section for more information.

Yes, as long as it is before 1st November, but please select your preferences carefully. Whilst we can change your preferences once for you, it is much easier to get it right the first time. If you want to change the order of your preferences, please contact your College of First Preference to request the change. First, you must ring the College you want to change to and ask if they will accept your application then email your request to your College of first preference and email Please understand that we are extremely busy during applications time and your request may take a few days to be processed. You will be informed once your request has been processed. Please note that we can only change your first preference, not the rest of your preferences.

It is always best to check with your College of First preference about the supporting documents they require. For initial applications, you will generally need to upload (or email through) the following:

  • a passport style photo
  • a letter of reference or most recent school report/academic transcript which gives evidence of your academic and extracurricular achievements
  • a personal statement of application (~1 page) commenting on your life, aspirations and reasons for wishing to study in residence in College.

An application is complete once it has:

  • paid $75 application fee
  • End of year results
  • ATAR Score or equivalent
  • University of Melbourne Offer

If you are currently, or have previously studied at University you will also need:

  • University results

If you do not have your supporting document(s) available to upload when you fill out your initial online application form, you can email them through to the College which currently holds your application at a later date. Please note - your application remains incomplete until all required documentation is sent through.

You may wish to ask your head of school, or a teacher who knows you well, to write a personalised reference on your behalf. Alternatively, you may wish to upload a standard reference (such as a school report) provided by your school which gives evidence of your extracurricular involvement.

If your school requires that references remain confidential, they can email the College which currently holds your application with the documents directly.

This personal statement will provide the basis for discussion at interview, and can be as wide-ranging as you wish (including, for example, comments on any extracurricular activities; future study and professional ambitions; personal goals and life experiences). It should be around 1 page in length.

It is always best to check with your College of First Preference about how they process application fees. While each College has a different process, most will accept cheque, credit card and cash.

You are responsible for advising the College that holds your application of your ATAR score (or equivalent) as soon as it is possible. Contact the College that holds your application as soon as you receive your results.

If you have done the IB (International Baccalaureate), OP (Overall Position) or ‘A’ levels you must still send the end of year results in. There are conversion charts for IB and OP. Please send the original score and the converted score to the College that holds your application as soon as you receive your results. More information about ATAR, IB, OP and VTAC offers can be found on the VTAC Website.

Please visit the University of Melbourne’s Future Students website for further information about the University offers. If you have an offer prior to applying or are already at university you must send your College of first preference a copy of your original offer.

No. You must email a copy of your offer to the College that holds your application.

Although the majority of College places are reserved for University of Melbourne students, some colleges accept students from other institutions. See the above question: "Do you accept students from other universities?". You must be a student to live at a College.

All Colleges have different closing dates. To make sure that your application is considered, we recommend applying as early as possible. Our recommendation is to apply before November for Semester 1 applications as applications may begin to close from 31 October. Check with the College of your first preference regarding their official closing date.

For applications for Semester 2 entry, applications will close when Colleges are full. We encourage you to apply before June to ensure your application is considered. There are only a limited number of places available for Semester 2 entry and we recommend that you look into alternative options in case you are not offered a college place.

You can see which Colleges are currently accepting applications here

VTAC results are released on 14 December and the University offer will be made to most applicants in January. As soon as you get your VTAC results (ATAR) and your University offer you must send it in. Please understand that you will be disadvantaged by not sending in required documents.

The interview process is compulsory and is considered to be the most important stage of the application process. Interviews provide the chance for you to talk about what you have done, what you value, and what you want to do with the opportunities that come from being at College. While face to face interviews are preferable, students who live outside of Melbourne can arrange to have an interview via Skype or over the phone. Please check with your College of First Preference for more information for when interviews are conducted.

Financial Assistance, Scholarships and Bursaries

Financial assistance is a financial aid package consisting of a combination of scholarships, bursaries and part-time employment.

Bursaries and scholarships are generally made possible through the generosity of College alumni, friends of the Colleges, and the wider community.

In 2018, the Colleges collectively awarded nearly $6.5 million in scholarships to residential students. A further $1.6 million in wages/working bursaries was paid to residents through part time employment initiatives last year. Each College will have different scholarships and bursaries available. Eligibility will vary.

Any student who believes they will require financial assistance to come to College should apply. Financial assistance applications are made in addition to your College application and made directly to the College of your first preference. Many of the Colleges’ scholarships and bursaries are awarded on the basis of financial need; however, there are also a few that have specific criteria. Criteria for scholarships may include academic excellence, your home location (e.g. Tasmania or rural Australia), specific faculties and Indigenous Australians. Check with the College of your preference for financial assistance and scholarship options available to you.

The University of Melbourne has compiled a cost of living summary.

You must apply for College residence first before submitting your financial assistance application. Please note that your application for financial assistance is made in addition to your College application and submitted directly to the College of first preference. Check the website of the College of your first preference to see what is required to apply and how to apply.


You will be contacted by the College that holds your application within a few days of the release of University of Melbourne offers. It is very important that, at this time, you are able to access the email address you have given when applying and respond promptly. Some Colleges may release a limited number of provisional offers before the release of University offers.

We understand that not receiving an offer can be very disappointing. Please understand that Colleges do not give out specific information on why you have not been selected for an offer. In many cases, it is simply not a question that can be answered. You might well have done everything right, and been just the kind of person the College would have loved to have. Colleges meet lots of truly wonderful applicants each year and, if there are many more applicants than places, Colleges are simply unable to offer places to everyone they would like to.

The Colleges have places available for a large number of students each year, however not every applicant will be offered a place. We highly recommend that you look into other suitable options such as student apartments and share housing in case you are not offered a place by one of the Colleges. Check The University of Melbourne Accommodation Website for the options on offer.

For non-residential options at our Colleges, please see Non-Residential

A limited number of mid-year residential places at are also available at our Colleges. To apply, select Semester 2 on our online application form.

The purpose of the Intercollegiate Pool is to ensure that applicants who have not been offered residency at the College of their first choice can be considered for a place in another College in a fair and orderly manner and according to the applicant’s order of preferences. All applications from students who have been offered a place at the University of Melbourne or other accepted Universities (RMIT, ACU, Monash Parkville Campus) who have not been offered a place at the College of their first preference will be offered the chance to have their application sent to the Pool. The Intercollegiate Pool Office will inform applicants of the status of their applications, explain the operation of the Pool and provide advice to students and their parents. The pool runs from mid-January to mid-February each year.

Please note that applications in the pool are not automatically considered by the college of their second preference. Applications in the pool are only considered by colleges that have not filled and still have vacancies. This could mean that your application may be considered by your 6th preference as your previous 5 preferences have filled.

In the situation where the Pool process is unable to facilitate the placement of a student in a College, the application will be returned to the College of the student’s first preference.

If your application is entered into the pool, it is recommended to explore other accommodation options. A good place to find information about alternative student accommodation is on the University’s housing website.


The residential Colleges are occasionally able to provide accommodation of a short-term, casual nature to non-students. See Casual Accommodation.

A number of the residential Colleges are able to provide a full in-house conferencing service and a number of spaces ideal for seminars, workshops and conference events large and small. See Conferences and External Hire.