Chapter 2 – Assignments and Meal Plans

Residency Requirement and Continued Housing

Wake Forest has a six-semester residency requirement and is committed to providing eight semesters of on-campus housing for residential students in good standing. Students are required to live in University housing for six semesters unless they live with a parent or guardian in Forsyth County. 

  • Students wishing to live with a parent or guardian will need to request an exemption from the residency requirement from Residence Life and Housing.
    • If approved, these students will be reclassified as Day Students and their charges will be updated accordingly.  Living with a parent or guardian will impact a student’s cost of attendance and students receiving financial aid should follow up with Student Financial Aid to determine the impact on financial aid eligibility.   
  • Students who study abroad during the fall or spring semesters are given credit for that time toward their residency requirement. 
  • Students earn a housing credit based on their residency status as of the census date each semester. 
  • Summer sessions do not count toward the residency requirement.
  • Transfer students are expected to fulfill the six-semester residency requirement. Transfer students who have lived on campus at another institution during the academic year are given credit for those semesters toward their residency requirement, provided they submit proof of residency to Residence Life and Housing.

The University’s commitment to providing eight semesters of on-campus housing is for residential students in good standing who pay their tuition deposit by the published deadline each semester.

Students who are released from, or have fulfilled their residency requirement and do not select housing during the room selection process, must request a return to housing on campus based on availability.

Release from Residency Requirement

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Students may be released from the University’s residency requirement in one of two ways:

  1. Students may enter the Off-Campus Lottery. This indicates a desire to live off-campus prior to fulfilling the residency requirement. As the Office of Residence Life and Housing finalizes the number of students able to live off-campus, they will use a random selection process to release the appropriate number of students.
  2. In support of students with disabilities, the Office of Residence Life and Housing has a wide variety of housing and dining options on campus that can accommodate the vast majority of disability needs. Students who need to request a disability-related accommodation should visit our Accommodations Page to begin the request process. 
    • Please note that a release from the University’s six-semester on-campus housing requirement is generally not considered a reasonable accommodation. Students seeking an accommodation to live off-campus should explain in their request (and in providers supporting documentation) how living off-campus meets their needs in ways the University cannot.

For more information on 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 Dean 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.


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.


    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 the Deacon Dining website
      • 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 that 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.

  • Room Change

    Room changes during the academic semesters are overseen by the Community Director for your area of campus. Changes are based on availability and must be approved by the Community Director for your area of campus.

    • Students requesting a change due to a disability-related accommodation, should follow the process outlined on our Accommodations page and will be contacted by our Assignments team after their request has been reviewed.
    • Students requesting a change due to roommate concerns/conflict will need to work through a mediation process with their Community Director prior to requesting a room change.
  • 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 Semester)

    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

Housing and Dining Agreements

The Housing and Dining Agreements are binding agreements entered into by and between the University and the Student. Students should review these documents with the same level of care as other legal documents (e.g. lease, contract, etc.).

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