UNF is prioritizing first-years and rising sophomores for on-campus housing. What the new changes mean for upperclassmen

The demand for on-campus bed space is extremely high for students at the University of North Florida.

The Office of Housing and Residence Life is changing how students will apply for housing for the upcoming Fall 2024 semester by giving underclassmen priority placement.

That’s causing concern for the upperclassmen already living on campus. Many are wondering if they’ll even be able to stay in on-campus housing.

River Dodd, a UNF Senior, has lived on campus for three years now. He’s not confident he’ll be able to stay on campus for his senior year.

“We’re students, we just want somewhere to live. We’ve been here for a long time,” Dodd said. “It would be cheaper, with this next semester, fall, to do online classes and go back home but I need to do my internship, I have a job here. The internship I have lined up is not a long-distance internship, I need to be here.”

All housing applications at UNF are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. In years past, all students would submit their applications at the same time.

The new changes mean first-year and rising sophomore students will get priority placement.

Students are divided into three separate groups. First-year and rising sophomore students were able to submit their housing applications last week. All other students must wait until March 4 to apply.

FIRST-YEAR STUDENTSFirst-Time in college students admitted for Summer B 2024, Fall 2024 or Spring 2025Can apply starting January 16th, 2024· RISING SOPHOMORE STUDENTSCurrent UNF students who are currently living on campus (Fall 2023 & Spring 2024) who were admitted as First-Time in college students for Summer B 2023, Fall 2023 or Spring 2024Can apply starting January 16th, 2024· ALL OTHER STUDENTSThis group is comprised of all other students, not in the other two groupsMust wait to apply until March 4, 2024

A UNF spokesperson tells News4JAX the changes don’t necessarily mean upperclassmen won’t be able to live on campus, it just changes the way applications are accepted. However, not all students currently living on-campus will be eligible for reassignment. Only 3,700 spots are available.

As seen around the nation, demand for on-campus housing is extremely high. The University desires to house all students who wish to live on campus and will soon break ground on a new residence hall projected to open in Fall 2025 that will house more than 500 students.

With such high demand, the University must focus on those students who need on-campus housing the most while they are first establishing connections and getting acclimated to campus and the community. In efforts to ensure that students early in their college experience have housing priority, UNF opened contracts for admitted first-year students and rising sophomores for Fall 2024 last week.

On March 4, UNF will begin accepting applications from all other students. Submitting the application is the first step of a multi-step housing process for all students. The process of room selection will begin in April for rising sophomores and above, while room selections for freshmen aren’t determined until the summer. Not all current bed spaces will be eligible for reassignment. If a student has successfully submitted a contract, is eligible for room selection and their current space has been identified as available, UNF Housing will pre-assign the students to their current space.

UNF has approximately 3,700 beds in total on campus. Since applications have just opened, we do not know how many students will request housing, but we do expect all beds to be filled by the end of the housing contract process.

UNF Spokesperson

The Flats at UNF, an off-campus housing option for students off Kernan Boulevard, will remain reserved for upperclassmen ONLY. Still, there’s some uncertainty for students like River who’s worried about being able to afford to live in a standard apartment.

“I’m going to have to start looking for places off campus,” Dodd said. “Knowing how the demand is… I don’t think I’ll get a space.”

UNF plans to utilize a standby list to assign bed space that may open up through contract cancellations.

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