Chapter 2 – Assignments and Meal Plans

Bookstore entrance in Taylor residence Hall

Residency Requirement and Housing Guarantee

Wake Forest has a six-semester (typically three-year) residency requirement and is one of the few universities in the country that guarantees housing to students in good standing for eight semesters.

Students are required to live in campus housing their first three years unless they live with a parent or guardian in the Winston-Salem area. Students who study abroad during the fall or spring semesters are given credit for that time toward their residency requirement; summer sessions do NOT count toward residency requirements.

Transfer students are expected to fulfill the six-semester residency requirement. However, transfer students who have lived on campus at another institution are given credit for that time toward their residency requirement.

Eight semesters of on-campus housing are guaranteed for residential students who pay their tuition deposit by the published deadline each semester. Students who lose housing eligibility due to disciplinary or academic deficiency are no longer eligible for the housing guarantee. Additionally, students who successfully petition to live off campus or have fulfilled their residency requirement and do not select housing during the room selection process are also no longer guaranteed housing on campus.

Release from Residency Requirement

Students requesting to be released from the University’s residency requirement must petition for approval to reside off-campus. Additionally, students who wish to change their residency status (resident to non-resident) to live with parents at their permanent home in the Winston-Salem area may petition to be released.

Exceptions to the residency requirement for reasons other than living at home in the Winston-Salem area are typically very rare and only granted for individually compelling circumstances. If your petition to move off-campus is granted, you are reclassified as a non-resident student and will no longer be eligible for any part of guaranteed campus housing (including Greek Block housing). All students who are released and remain enrolled as full-time students must register their off-campus address with the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

For more information on the petition process and other policies related to living off-campus, please visit our Off-Campus Housing page.


Housing for Minor Students

Campus housing for students who are not eighteen (18) at the time of matriculation is subject to the approval of both the Dean of Residence Life and Housing and the Director of Admissions. All students, including minors, will be held accountable for the policies and procedures outlined in this guide as well as the University’s Student Code of Conduct, the University’s Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, and other published policies or procedures. Any violations of these policies and procedures are subject to referral to the Office of Student Conduct for adjudication.


Housing for Part-Time Students

According to the University’s Academic Bulletin:

A student may not register for part-time status (i.e., fewer than 12 hours in a single semester) without specific permission from the Office of Academic Advising by the last day to add a class. Approval for part-time status requires that students pay for such work on a per hour basis. Petitions for part-time status after the last day to add a class will be denied, except in the case of special circumstances, and the student will be required to pay full tuition. Part-time students may be ineligible for campus housing unless an exception is made by the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

Individuals wishing to live on-campus as a part-time student should write to housing@nullwfu.edu to explain their situation and request an exception to this policy.

Non-Resident Students

Housing status is determined at the time of admission by the Office of Admissions. While undergraduate students who are admitted with residential status are guaranteed eight semesters of on-campus housing, non-resident students are not guaranteed on-campus housing.

Non-resident students wishing to live on-campus may not participate in Housing Selection, instead they may request housing by contacting the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Non-resident students requesting housing are placed on a waiting list in the order of the date of request and offered housing if space is available after all residential students have been assigned.

A person does not change their status from non-resident to resident merely by moving on campus. These changes are at the discretion of the Office of Residence Life and Housing. To request a change in status from non-resident to resident, a student must apply for a change to the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Students interested in having their residency status changed should submit a written request, outlining their rationale for the change to the Office of Residence Life and Housing at housing@nullwfu.edu by February 1.


    Housing Selection

  • Incoming Students

    First-year students will live in one of the seven communities on South Campus. Students are assigned to the various communities at random. As such, students are not asked or able to indicate preferences.

    First-year roommates are assigned by the Office of Residence Life and Housing based upon a number of factors that indicate compatibility and common interests. Room and roommate assignments are made without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation or national origin, and we do not assign siblings or friends as roommates.

    Historically, we have had a low percentage of room change requests from first-year students. This roommate pairing process is reflective of the University’s commitment to helping incoming students get to know individuals different than themselves. As a returning student, you will be able to select your community and choose your own roommate(s).


    During the summer, incoming students are expected to complete their Housing Application prior to July 1. As a part of this process, students will:

    1. Complete their housing application, including acceptance of the Housing Agreement.
    2. Choose their meal plan.
      • Each meal plan consists of Meal Swipes, Old Gold Swipes, and Food Dollars. Choose the one that best matches your lifestyle. For more information on plans and pricing, please visit our meal plans page.
      • All residential students are required to have a meal plan. Failure to select one will result in the Base Plan being assigned to the student.
  • Returning Students

    During the spring semester each year, students who are expected and/or want to live on-campus during the following academic year participate in Housing Selection. As a part of this process, students will:

    1. Complete their housing application, including acceptance of the Housing Agreement.
    2. Select their housing or agree to be pulled into a group for selection by another student.
    3. Choose their meal plan.
      • Each meal plan consists of Meal Swipes, Old Gold Swipes, and Food Dollars. Choose the one that best matches your lifestyle. For more information on plans and pricing, please visit our meal plans page.
      • All residential students are required to have a meal plan. Failure to select one will result in the Base Plan being assigned to the student.
  • Room Rates

    An official listing of the room rates is provided on the Office of Residence Life and Housing website. Rates and billing information are also communicated to all students when they select their room. Any discrepancies in billing for room rent should be brought to the attention of Student Financial Services.

    A student who moves from their original room assignment into a room with a different rate will be charged a prorated amount for their room rent based on the number of weeks the student lives in each room. The Office of Residence Life and Housing will determine this amount and notify Student Financial Services of the change in status to update the student account.

    Any student who leaves the University is liable for the entire room rent until they have officially checked out of the building with community staff and returned keys. Refunds of room rent are granted based only on the guidelines listed in the Housing Agreement.

  • Disability-Related Housing or Dining Accommodations

    Wake Forest University views living on-campus as integral to a liberal arts education and the Wake Forest experience. As such, the University has a six-semester resident requirement. In support of students with disabilities, the Office of Residence Life and Housing has a wide variety of housing and dining options on-campus which can accommodate the vast majority of disability needs.

    For more information and/or to submit a request for disability-related housing or dining accommodations, please visit rlh.wfu.edu/housing/accommodations/.

    Changing Rooms

  • Move-In

    During the first two weeks of the semester, there are no room changes. Students are expected to move into their assigned room. This process allows our staff to confirm occupancy, identify where vacancies may exist, and prepare for the open room change period.

  • Open Room Change

    Early in each semester, there is an open room change period. Details and dates for this process can be found on the Office of Residence Life and Housing website at go.wfu.edu/roomchange. During this period, students are allowed to request room changes based on availability. Requests must be submitted online through our Housing Portal (go.wfu.edu/housingportal).

    Students may not change rooms prior to receiving written approval from the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

  • Restricted Room Change

    After the open room change period, room changes are restricted during the academic semesters. These changes are based on availability and must be approved by the Community Director for your area of campus.

    Please note that students are typically required to go through a mediation process with their Community Staff prior to being allowed to request a room change during the semester.

  • End of Semester

    During the last two weeks of the semester, there are no room changes. This process allows our staff to confirm occupancy, identify where vacancies may exist, and prepare for our closing processes.

  • Spring Room Change (Between Fall and Spring Semesters)

    Students will receive communication during the fall semester regarding how to request a room change at the Winter break. Requests for room changes will be reviewed by the Office of Residence Life and Housing and approved/denied based on the availability of space.

    Communication regarding the decision and specific instructions will be sent to students via email prior to the end of the Fall semester. If approved to move, students must make arrangements to check out of their fall assignment and remove personal belongings prior to vacating for Winter break. Students are instructed to work with the Community Director for their area of campus to check into their spring assignment. If students are unable to check into their spring assignment before leaving for Winter break, they must take their personal belongings home or arrange for off-campus storage as they are still expected to check out of their fall assignment.

    For students studying abroad during the Fall Semester, please see our Housing Selection page for information regarding your spring housing.

Main entrance of Johnson Residence Hall