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 respective minimum 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 respective minimum 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.

Housing Agreement

  • A. University Obligations
    1. The assigned room will be available to the student from the date the student is expected to report to campus, until 24 hours after the student’s final academic examination for the spring semester or after termination of student status. A graduating student may delay vacating the room until 7 p.m. on Commencement day.
    2. In the event of mechanical difficulty (air conditioning, heat, hot water, and other equipment), interruptions of electrical power or water service, or other disasters, the University will make reasonable efforts to restore service and/or secure alternative housing. However, there shall be no reduction in residence hall charges due to such failure(s) in the event the University is able to provide alternative housing.
  • B. Student Obligations

    The student will:

    1. Use the room as their residence during the applicable academic year in accordance with this agreement.
    2. Exercise reasonable care in the use of the room and the facilities of the residence halls, and know and abide by all University rules and regulations pertaining to the residence halls, whether such regulations are now in effect or will be enacted in the future.
    3. Student agrees to indemnify, defend and save harmless WFU from and against any and all liability for bodily injury or for damage to property belonging to student, his/her agents, servants or invitees while a resident of a residence hall under this agreement, provided that Student’s obligation hereunder shall not apply to the extent that any such liability is in the result of the gross negligence or willful misconduct of WFU, its agents, servants, employees or invitees.
    4. Reimburse the University the cost of replacement or repair for any damage to the room, its fixtures or appurtenances, and a pro rata share for damages to commonly-used property when the identity of persons responsible cannot be reasonably determined.
    5. Pay applicable room and board charges for both semesters in accordance with the requirements of the University.
  • C. Refund Policy
    1. The University will refund a portion of the student’s payments according to the University Tuition and Fees Refund Policy, Schedule of Adjustments for Withdrawal or Continuous Enrollment for the following reasons:
      • the student graduates;
      • the student officially withdraws from the University;
      • the student is granted continuous enrollment status.
    2. Any change in status for the reasons above will result in a termination of the housing agreement and the student will no longer be permitted to reside in the residence halls.
    3. A student must submit, in writing, a petition to be released from the requirement to live in on-campus housing to the Office of Residence Life & Housing. Such petitions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and typically are granted for compelling reasons only.
    4. If it is determined by the University that the student’s health renders group living hazardous to the student or others, the University may terminate this agreement upon Notice to the student. The University will make a pro rata refund of the housing fee paid.
    5. If the student is suspended from the University or removed from University housing as a result of a conduct proceeding, the student will not be entitled to a refund of room and board charges paid.
    6. If a student, who is currently enrolled, breaches the Housing Agreement by not occupying the assigned room or by vacating the room prior to the end of the spring term as specified in section A.1, the student is obligated to pay all housing charges for both semesters.
  • D. General Conditions
    1. The University reserves all rights in connection with the assignment and reassignment of rooms. Additionally, any student whose actions are found by the University to be in violation of University policies, including, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct and the Guide to Community Living may be required to withdraw from the housing assigned without further University obligation and without a refund of room and board charges paid.
    2. If a student is assigned a room for the next academic year and is academically ineligible to continue at the end of the first summer session immediately preceding, the room assignment will be canceled. If the student attends the second summer session and is permitted to return in the fall, the student may request placement on a waiting list, but housing is not guaranteed.
    3. If a student is dismissed or suspended from the University and/or on-campus housing as a result of a conduct sanction, policy violation, or other incident, that student will not be eligible to participate in any phase of the housing assignments process until the University has granted readmit student status and the student is otherwise in good standing with the University.
    4. In the event a student is assigned housing after the fall semester has begun, this agreement will be effective as of the date of the assignment and will remain in effect for the remainder of the academic year.
    5. The University is not responsible for the loss or damage to items of personal property of the student in residence halls or on its grounds before, during, or subsequent to the period of the agreement.
    6. The student grants permission for the entry and inspection of the assigned room by any authorized University personnel or agent according to policies in the current Student Handbook or Residence Life and Housing publications. Purposes for which entry and inspection may occur include, but are not limited to, completion of work requests or the repair and/or maintenance of the facility, inspection for fire and safety violations, and to enforce University policies and regulations including, but not limited to, alcohol and drug violations.
  • Release From Housing Agreement

    Students residing on-campus electronically sign the Housing Agreement as a part of their Housing Application. This is a binding agreement between the University and the student for the academic year.

    Spring Departures

    Students who are scheduled to study abroad during the spring semester, to complete a spring semester internship, or graduate in December must still be released from their Housing Agreement. During the fall semester, these students should notify the Office of Residence Life and Housing of their intent using the Room Change process on the Housing Portal.

    Study Abroad

    Students who plan to study abroad must inform the Center for Global Programs and Studies as well as the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Residential students who participate in study abroad are still subject to the residency requirement, with their semester abroad counting towards the six-semester requirement. Additionally, residential students who choose to study abroad are still guaranteed housing upon their return, for up to a total of eight semesters.

    For more information on study abroad by semester, please see below. For more general information or FAQ, please visit go.wfu.edu/roomselection.

    Spring Semester Internships

    Students participating in spring semester internships have two options for housing.

    1. Students holding local internships may continue in their fall semester assignment without penalty. There is no proration for housing or dining charges.
    2. Students wishing to complete internships at a distance may petition to be released from their spring semester assignment.
  • Revocation of Student Housing

    If a student’s housing is revoked during the academic year, you must make an appointment with the Office of Residence Life and Housing in 001 Angelou Hall, within 24 hours of being notified of the housing revocation. A staff member will provide, in detail, the appropriate procedures to follow for checking out of campus housing, the necessary forms to complete to check out appropriately, assist in scheduling a checkout appointment, and relay information to you in regards to future campus housing.

    Failure to follow proper checkout procedures may result in an improper checkout fee and lock recore. Generally, room rent refunds are not available for students who have had their housing revoked.

  • Returning to Housing
    Returning from Continuous Enrollment Status (CES)

    If you are a resident student returning from Continuous Enrollment Status, please contact the Office of Residence Life and Housing at housing@wfu.edu to request housing upon your return. If you notify the Office prior to our Housing Selection processes (fall or spring) you will be eligible to participate in that selection process.

    Please note that the Office of Residence Life and Housing cannot assign you housing prior to official notification from the Office of Academic Advising of your resumpted student status.

    Returning as a Readmitted Student

    If you are a readmitted resident student, please contact the Office of Residence Life and Housing at housing@wfu.edu to request housing upon your return. While readmitted students are still held to the six semester residency requirement, they are not guaranteed eight semesters of housing. Depending on date of readmission, readmitted students may be able to participate in Housing Selection or will be assigned housing based upon availability.

    Please note, the Office of Residence Life and Housing cannot assign you housing prior to official notification from the Office of Academic Advising of your readmitted resident status.