Off-Campus Policies and Procedures

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Residency Requirement

Students are required to live in campus housing for six semesters (Fall and Spring), which is typically all first-year, second-year and third-year students.

Students who study abroad during the Fall or Spring semester and transfer students who have lived on campus at another college or university are given credit for that time toward the residency requirement.

Students who go on CES, withdraw for medical purposes, or participate in an internship or abroad program that requires you to withdrawal from the University, are NOT given credit toward the residency requirement for the semester that they are away.

Students with less than six semesters of housing credit should not make any plans to live off-campus unless they have been released in writing from the residency requirement by the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

  • Requesting to Leave Campus

    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 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.

    Exceptions to the residency requirement for reasons other than living at home in the Winston-Salem area are typically very rare. If released, 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.

    Students on named scholarships are reminded they must maintain four years of campus residency. Exceptions are rare, and may be granted at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee.

    Students who are discovered to have moved off-campus without receiving prior permission will, minimally, have their class registration held (or possibly canceled), risk financial penalties, and be required to submit an application for review. If approved, the student will receive a warning similar to those students who have had a law enforcement officer visit their residence (see Off-Campus Conduct).  If the application is denied, the student will need to apply to return to campus housing (based on space availability).

     Timeline Notes

    • All housing and meal plan charges will continue to accrue and are the responsibility of the student until the student is officially released, in writing, from the University’s residency requirement and the Housing and Dining Agreement.
    • Students requesting an exception to the University’s residency requirement should proceed as normal with the room selection process until receiving written confirmation.
    • If you have a roommate, please be courteous and notify them of your intention to leave campus housing.
  • Find Your New Home

    Once approved to live off-campus, you’ll next want to find a place to live.

    • Decide on whether you want to look for apartments or single-family homes.
    • If you plan to live in a single-family residence, check to see if the property is one of our registered properties.
      • Landlords must register their properties and agree to abide by the WFU Off-Campus Housing Policies.
      • No student will be approved to live off-campus in a single-family residential property that is not registered.
      • Per city ordinance, no more than four (4) students will be approved to live in any one single family home.

    Regardless of where you decide to live, do not sign a lease until you have petitioned and been approved (in writing) to live off-campus. If living in a single-family home, also ensure the property is registered prior to signing a lease.

  • Address Registration

    Eligible students choosing to live off-campus must register their residential address, thereby declaring their compliance with the University’s off-campus housing policy. Enrollment and registration for classes each semester are conditioned upon verification of compliance by the Office Residence Life and Housing. All students living off-campus, including those living in apartment complexes, will be required to provide addresses.

    City of Winston-Salem ordinances state that there shall be no more than four (4) individuals that are not related by blood, adoption, or marriage living together in a single-family dwelling unit. The Office of Residence Life and Housing will monitor the number of students that are granted permission to reside in residential areas zoned for these units.  The office will, at no time, grant permission to any individual(s) to exceed the number, nor is there an appeal process to do so.

    Students currently residing, or desiring to move, off-campus must register their address each year to comply with the policy and to ensure individual records are updated. Though a student has registered to reside off-campus, the application submitted is purely a request, and it should not be inferred that approval has been received. Students whose applications are approved will receive written notification. Once a student has been approved to reside off-campus, the local address provided is valid for one academic year only. Additionally, if a student changes location of residency, they must re-register their address and check to make sure that the location of residency is approved.

    Continuing enrolled students who do not re-register to reside off-campus (prior to the expiration of the original approved local address) will have a hold placed on future class registration processes (or may risk having their registration canceled) until approval is received.

    Students who previously lost, or lose during the current academic term, campus housing due to judicial sanctions also need to register to reside off-campus. Other populations of students who need to register upon acceptance to the University include transfer or any student classified with non-resident student status.

  • Meal Plan

    Meal plans are not required for off-campus students.  Visit Deacon Dining’s website for more information regarding individual meal plans.

    To request a meal plan, please request your meal plan when registering your address or email with your complete name, student ID number, and your meal plan choice.

  • Term of Eligibility

    Students must comply with the following terms in order to maintain eligibility for off-campus housing:

    • All students occupying the property must comply with all applicable local, state, or federal laws; housing ordinances; zoning regulations; and University policies. The University maintains the right as final authority on issues regarding the violation of University rules
    • Only students who have fulfilled, or been released from, the residency requirement, or are classified as non-resident day students, are eligible to live off-campus.
    • Students desiring to reside in an off-campus property must register their address with the Office of Residence Life and Housing prior to signing a lease, receive written notice from RL&H that the address has been successfully registered, and must keep the registration current.
    • Students must complete a mandatory Off-Campus Orientation each semester.
    • A community disturbance must not be created, and for this purpose, is defined as:
      • Noise that is unduly loud, continual, or at late hours.
      • Vehicular congestion that would impede emergency vehicles.
      • Behavior that disrupts the regular or normal functions of the Wake Forest University community (on- or off-campus), including behavior that violates the rights of others.
      • Any violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Housing Requirement
    1. The Student understands that they are responsible for submitting their off-campus address to Residence Life and Housing (“RL&H”) in a timely manner, and that their address must first be registered with RL&H by the owner of the property (“Landlord”) before Student is permitted to submit it. 
      • Additionally, the Student must notify RL&H if they intend to register a change of off-campus addresses, and that the new address must also first be registered by the Landlord prior to submission of the change. 
    2. The Student understands that they are responsible for complying with all Wake Forest University policies, including those related to off-campus behavior and disturbances. The Student is responsible for reviewing and understanding those policies. 
      • The Student and the Landlord understand that the University may amend these policies or implement new policies from time to time and without prior notice, and that they are required to comply with all changes or new policies when effective. 
      • The Student’s failure to review these policies will not excuse non-compliance. Questions about policies should be directed to RL&H. 
    3. The Student and the Landlord understand that violation of University policies may cause the Student to become ineligible to live in a single-family home and/or off-campus during the term of a lease. In these circumstances, a notice of ineligibility will be sent to the Student and to the Landlord.
      • By entering into a lease with the Student, the Landlord agrees that upon notice of ineligibility, the Student’s lease will terminate and the Landlord will have no further rights against the Student except the following:
        • Rent due and owing, plus rent for one additional month, not to exceed beyond the length of the term of the lease.
        • Actions for damages to the property or other liability arising out of the Student’s occupancy of the property.
      • The Student and Landlord understand that all students residing at the property may be found jointly responsible for violations of University policies that occur at the property.  As a result, all students residing at the property may lose eligibility to reside off-campus and each lease will be subject to termination.
    4. In order for a property to be registered with RL&H, an appropriate parking area to accommodate all vehicles brought to the property by students residing at the property must be provided..
      • The parking area must be covered by suitable material, such as asphalt, concrete, or crushed stone. 
      • All parking and parking arrangements must be in compliance with applicable codes and laws.
    5. The University makes no representations, assumes no liability, and has no responsibility to the Student, the Landlord, or any third person with regard to any lease, occupancy, or housing by any students of Wake Forest University. The Student assumes full responsibility for the selection, use, or occupancy of such property.
    6. The Student and the Landlord assume full responsibility for the Student’s initial and continuing eligibility to live off-campus, and for the consequences of a Student’s failure to maintain eligibility. The University may communicate with the Student, the Landlord, or both with regard to the Student’s eligibility.

    By signing this agreement, I am verifying that I have read and understand the Off-Campus Housing Requirements. I understand and acknowledge that knowingly providing false information to the University could result in disciplinary action and sanctions under the Undergraduate Student Code of Conduct.


For specific questions, please contact the Office of Residence Life and Housing at or 336-758-5185.