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Carolina Housing Blog

A Complete Guide to Flexible Housing Contracts

October 24, 2023

By Sophia Raspanti

Housing Selection 101: Flexible Contracts 

Have you been thinking about studying abroad? Wondering where you will live when you return? These are some frequent questions from students traveling abroad or considering the option. Carolina Housing offers flexible contracts so that you can enjoy your Tar Heel experience without additional stress. 

What is the Cancelation Policy for Carolina Housing? 

When students apply for housing with Carolina Housing, you sign a contract for the upcoming academic year (2024-25). If you would like to cancel your contract, you must fill out the housing cancellation form in your Housing Portal. Before March 1st of 2024, you may cancel your housing contract for a $300 dollar cancellation penalty. The penalty will then increase to 50% of the fall room rent on March 2nd, and to 50% of the remaining contract value after prorated rent for cancellations on or after August 1st

Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill

Wait, I’m Studying Abroad. Do I still have to pay the cancellation fee as well? 


If you are a student planning on studying abroad or pursuing an off-campus internship outside of the Chapel Hill area, you are not subject to a cancellation fee. Now let’s talk about how to apply for housing when you’re planning to study abroad for a semester. 

For students studying abroad in the fall of 2024, your first step is to apply as normal for on-campus housing for 2024-2025. This serves as a “backup plan”, so you don’t need to worry about losing a slot on campus if your study abroad plans fall through. Once your plans are certain, you must fill out the cancellation form and terminate your contract. However, you will not be charged a fee if you have proof of your study abroad plans. If you intend to live on campus when you return, you will apply for Spring 2025 housing when the application opens in October 2024.  

What if I don’t know what my plans are yet? 

For students studying in the spring of 2025, you may not yet know what your plans are. That’s ok! Apply for housing as normal. During your first semester in the fall of 2024, cancel your housing contract by filling out the cancellation form and submitting proof of your study abroad plans. You will not be charged a cancellation fee for the upcoming spring.  

Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill

I’m graduating in December, but I’d like to live on campus in the fall. What should I do? 

Not to worry! If you are planning on graduating in December, proceed as follows: Apply for housing as normal, and during the fall of your final semester, cancel your housing plans for the following spring. When you provide proof of your graduation plans, the cancellation fee will not apply. 

Where can I find more information?  

To learn more about flexible housing for students studying abroad, or graduating at Winter Commencement, refer to the cancellation policy found here or contact Carolina Housing at (919)-962-5401or at  

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