Can You Start Residential College Mid-Year?

A residential college is a great option for students who wish to smooth the gap between leaving home and commencing their first year at university. This approach to student accommodation ensures that students are well catered for, that all their meals are provided and that they are introduced to independence in a helpful way. Here in Melbourne residential college students generally all commence their stay at the beginning of term, but what about those who wish to start mid-year?

This is more common than you may realize, and there are a number of situations which could mean that a student is not able to begin their studies in the first semester. Let’s take a look at what that means for students who do wish to stay in residential colleges, who cannot start at the beginning of the year.

Is It Possible?

The short answer as to whether or not students can start residential college mid-year is yes, this is absolutely possible and most Australian universities offer this. This is called ‘second semester’ entry and it is certainly something available to students who are not able to commence their studies at the beginning of the first semester.

Issues With Mid-Year Entry

Whilst this is something which universities offer, it is not something which is generally recommended by them. There are a number of reasons why this is not ideal, mainly because students will be commencing their studies having missed out on an entire semester of education. Additionally there is the social side of it, which can impact how much a student enjoys their time and makes friends. Here in Melbourne student accommodation options vary but there are a lot of spaces for residential colleges. With this being said however they can often fill up at the start of term, which means that those looking to join mid-year may find that there is no space for them.

Cost of Mid-Year Entry

Most universities will give students a discount if they are joining mid-year, given that they won’t be spending the same duration of time there as students who arrived at the beginning. There are however som universities who will still charge a full year of fees to those who are joining mid-year. Essentially this is because although there will be nobody staying during that first semester, the space cannot be given to someone else, in anticipation of the mid-year student’s arrival. Naturally this doesn’t make a lot of financial sense to the student who will be joining in the second semester.


If you are going to a residential college and you plan on arriving late, the best option which you have to is to speak to the university admissions team. They will be able to help you out with what options you have in front of you and how you can go about securing your place, even if you won’t be arriving until the second semester.

This is certainly a potential option for those students who have an issue which means that they cannot join until the second semester of a university year.

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