A committee will meet April 16 to consider requests ready for review. The deadline to submit requests for the fall 2015 term is June 30, 2015. Requests submitted after that date will be considered on a case-by-case basis and a response may be delayed. Please submit all communication regarding the Freshman Housing Requirement to Melonie Handerson


Freshman Housing Requirement

Who is Defined as a First-Year Student

First-year students are defined as students who have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent, and have earned less than 12 semester hours of transferable college credit after high school graduation and before enrolling into UNF. This excludes college credits earned during high school completion through accelerated mechanisms such as IB, AICE, AP and dual enrollment classes.  After matriculation to UNF, students will continue to be defined as first-year students until they have completed two terms: fall and spring or spring and fall terms. 

A Statement on UNF’s First-Year On-Campus Housing Requirement

The University of North Florida is committed to ensuring the academic and personal success of its students. In working to fulfill this commitment, over the past several years, we have learned that living in on-campus housing can make a world of difference in what our students take away from their college experience and in their success rates. The benefits of living on campus are especially significant for students who have just graduated from high school and are attending their first year of college. Research tells us that those students who live on campus during their first year: 

  1. have higher grade point averages,
  2. make a smoother transition from high school to college,
  3. have higher retention and graduation rates,
  4. report greater satisfaction with their college experience, and
  5. make better use of the educational and support services provided by their universities than do commuter students. 

Consistent with this perspective and to ensure the quality of the first-year experience, UNF requires all first-year students to live in on-campus housing for their first fall term and first spring term. UNF students who begin in the summer or fall term are required to live in on-campus housing during that fall term and the subsequent spring term.  Students who begin in the spring term will need to live on-campus housing during that spring term and the subsequent fall term. Summer terms are not included in this requirement. Information on the different housing options available and the prices for each of these can be found at the Department of Housing and Residence Life website or by calling (904) 620-4663. 

Mandatory Meal Plan

When living in on-campus housing during the first year, including summer terms, students must also purchase an on-campus meal plan. There are several different meal plans to choose from depending on the student’s individual needs. The minimal plan provides for 10 meals per week. Information on the different meal plans can be found at the Chartwells Dining Services website or by calling (904) 620-2543.

Exemptions for the Freshman Housing Requirement

While on-campus housing is mandatory for first-year students, there are a limited number of circumstances under which the university will consider approving an exemption from this requirement. Students who are married, over the age of 21, or have a dependent child may be exempted from this requirement. The university will also consider requests for exemptions based on medical or disability circumstances. Students who are enrolled in two or fewer courses in the fall or spring terms may request an exemption for that specific term. The university will also consider requests for exemptions under extraordinary or special circumstances which would create a significant personal hardship and which cannot be remedied by other means. In these cases, the student must complete the online mandatory housing exemption form, providing the reason for the requested exemption and all appropriate supporting documentation. The form may be submitted at the time of making application or prior to the date headlining this policy. If your request is approved for exemption from the freshman housing requirement, you will also be approved for exemption from the mandatory meal plan for that specific term(s).


Before the university will consider your request for exemption, you are required to complete a FAFSA. Circumstances under which the university will NOT consider approving an exemption include: 

  1. proximity to campus,
  2. a request to live off campus with a relative,
  3. college credits or an Associates Degree earned before high school graduation,
  4. credit hours earned after matriculation to UNF.

Exemptions for Mandatory First-Year Meal Plan

Chartwells Dining Services can accommodate many religious and health requirements. Students are encouraged to discuss their circumstances with Chartwells staff by calling (904) 620-2543, in advance of submitting an exemption request. If Chartwells cannot accommodate your request, you will be asked to complete an on-line exemption request and provide official documentation to support your request. 

Applying for Exemptions

If you apply for an exemption to the freshman housing requirement and/or the mandatory first-year meal plan requirement, you will be asked to complete a form that requires the following information:

  1. Which term(s) will you be applying for an exemption,
  2. Have you filed for financial aid by completing the appropriate year's FAFSA,
  3. Which exemption type will you be requesting (a) housing and meal plan, or (b) meal plan only, and
  4. Specific qualifying factors for requesting an exemption from the housing and meal plan requirement for first-year students are:

a. are you a married student,

b. are you, the student, a single parent with financial responsibility for a dependent child,

c. are you enrolling in two (2) or fewer classes for a single term, other than summer terms,

d. do you have a medical condition or disability that keeps you from the first-year requirement, or

e. do you have a compelling individual circumstance that keeps you from the first-year requirement.

You will be asked to provide a narrative for 4(d) and 4(e). You will also be asked to provide official documentation to support all qualifying factors. Official documentation for 4(d) must provide (1) a clear statement that you are currently under a physician's care, (2) a diagnosis, and (3) a clear statement that you cannot live and/or dine on campus. Please note, your request will not be considered until you have provided official documentation. 

To Apply for an Exemption

You may apply for an exemption to the first-year on-campus housing requirement and first-year meal plan by logging in to myWings, using your UNF ID and password. A short presentation on completing this process may be accessed by clicking here. Please note that if you fail to apply for an exemption from the freshman housing requirement and meal plan requirement and do not complete a contract for both, you will not be able to register for classes.

Click to Print