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Carolina Housing

First Year FAQ

The Basics FAQ

It's OK to have questions! To help sort the ins and outs of living on campus, below are many of the most frequently asked questions from future residents. Logically, we start with the basics.

Do I have to Live on Campus?

Yes. Per the UNC Live-On Requirement, if you are a traditional first-year student who has never lived on a college campus, you are required to live on campus in Carolina Housing or at Granville Towers. Note that contracts are not transferable between the two.

The only exceptions to this policy include:

  • Student is 21 years old prior to the opening day for the residence halls as specified in the Academic Calendar for the term for which the waiver is requested
  • Student is living with his/her spouse and/or children
  • Student is military veteran with at least two years of active service
  • The student has a medical hardship that would require him/her to make other living arrangements

Waiver of First-Year Campus Live-On Requirement (Found online through the MyHousing Portal under the Online Forms/Resources tab)

A student applying for a waiver of the live-on requirement must meet the following conditions:

  • Fall under one or more of the exemption categories listed above.
  • Have an active housing application on file for the academic year in which the waiver is being sought, either with Carolina Housing or Granville Towers.
  • File a formal request for a residency waiver 
  • Provide requisite information and documentation in support of the request.

Questions regarding this requirement should be directed to the Carolina Housing Assignments Office. 919-962-5401 or housing@unc.edu.

Are There "First-Year" Residence Halls?

First-year students (who do not opt for a Residential Learning Program) will be assigned housing in one of the designated First Year Experience communities:

2021-2022 First Year Halls to choose from:

South Campus:

North Campus:

Granville Towers is also a community where students may choose to live, and the First Year Experience will be on select halls in that location.

A limited number of first-year students will be allowed to live in other University housing as deemed appropriate at the discretion of the Director of Carolina Housing with approval of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

How Much Will Housing Cost?

Visit our Rates page for updated costs. These rates include all utilities: standard cable (with select channels in HD), wireless high-speed internet, water/sewer/trash and electric. All rooms are air-conditioned.

Do I Have to Leave During Breaks?

Residence halls only close over the Winter and Summer Breaks. Visit the Break Housing page for more information on what to do if you want to stay on campus during these times.

How Will I Be Billed For Housing?

For students who applied by May 15, your student account will be billed in July.  Payments are made through the Cashiers office and not directly to Housing.

How Do I Apply For Housing?

Visit our How to Apply page for the 5 easy steps to submitting your Housing Application and receiving your Housing Assignment! 


Housing Selection/Application FAQ

How Are Assignment Made for First-Year Students?

All of the applications that are received by May 15 are assigned a random lottery number. The lottery number determines the order in which the system will process the 3,000+ applications on file. To make your housing assignment, the system identifies your preferences and seeks vacant rooms starting with your first choice and progressing down the list. If nothing is available in any of the locations you preferenced, a random housing assignment is made.

I'm Thinking About Living at Granville Towers - What's the Difference?

Although Granville Towers is considered a partner to Carolina Housing, Granville Towers is managed by a private entity, and contracts are issued independently of Carolina Housing. It’s important to note that contracts are not transferable between Carolina Housing and Granville Towers. You can access the Granville Towers website at http://www.granvilletowers.com/.

Will I Get a Better Assignment if I Submit My Application Early?

No. Because applications are randomly ordered before assignments are made, all students who submit an application by May 15 will receive equal chance of getting assigned to one of their preferences.

Can I Get a Single Room as a First-Year Student? 

Yes. Single rooms are very sparse on the UNC campus, so it is very difficult to get assigned to one. If you have a severe medical condition that requires you live alone, please submit a Chronic or Severe Medical Conditions Special Accommodation Request Form.

Can I Live in an On-campus Apartment My First Year? 

No. Apartment communities are not available to first-year students. This option will be available beginning your sophomore year.

Why Didn't I Get Assigned to One of the Communities I Preferenced on My Housing Application?

The preferences you list on your Housing Application are guidlines that our automated program looks at while making your room assignment. As our system processes the application in the lottery-number order, we can't guarantee you'll be assigned to any of your preferences if space is not available at the time your application is processed. 

What Happens if I Cancel My Housing Application? 

First-year students who cancel after submitting an application are charged a $300 penalty up until opening or taking possession of the room key, whichever occurs first. After opening or receipt of room key, the cancellation penalty is 50% of the contract. We do not charge a cancelation penalty if you do not attend Carolina. Please go to the Housing Contract page and refer to the "New Students: Cancellation Policies" section for more details. 

Can I Request a Roommate?

Sure! You may request a roommate when you apply online for housing. It is important that both students list each other on their applications.

What If I Don't Have a Roommate?

If you don’t have a roommate in mind, don’t worry! We will place you with another first-year student – it’s quite common.

You can also use roommate searching tool within the Housing Portal (myhousing.unc.edu) to search through potential roommates based on their living and study habits and exchange email communication through the portal.


First Year Experience/ Other Questions

What Exactly Is The First Year Experience?

The First Year Experience, also known as FYE, at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is a campus-wide, collaborative effort which provides first-year students with the resources and support they need to successfully transition to the University. Our goal is to provide all first-year students with a socially supportive environment which will enable them to meet new people, immerse themselves in the UNC culture and establish valuable academic connections. Carolina Housing has partnered with campus offices and academic departments to create a rich and comprehensive FYE program.

Do I Have to Sign Up for FYE?

There is no sign-up necessary; first-year students are automatically part of FYE and can choose to participate in as many events and activities as they would like!

What Are Some FYE Events?

FYE programs and events vary slightly from year to year. You'll learn more about each event when you move on campus during the Week of Welcome. Here is a list of some of our signature programs, grouped by subject matter:

Transitions: These programs help students connect to campus, get to know their communities, and prepare for the next step.

  • First Floor Meetings
  • Week of Welcome
  • Roommate and Suitemate Agreements
  • FYE Intramurals

Diversity and Social Justice: Students can expect opportunities to learn more about social justice and engaging with a diverse population on-campus.

  • The FYE Cultural Immersion Experience, including a trip to Trinidad over Fall Break!
  • International Student and First-Year Student Roommate Matching
  • The FYE Black & Blue Tour
  • Documentary Screenings

Social and Academic: FYE provides opportunities to connect with other students and academic resources to truly feel like a part of this community and to feel supported in the college transition.

  • First-Year Fridays
  • Monthly International Student Meet & Greets
  • Monthly Minority Males Meet & Greets
  • Advising In the Halls
  • Food Truck Rodeo
  • Coffee and Conversations with Campus Resources
  • The Career Buzz Fair
  • Kickin' It with Campus Rec
  • The LDOC Heelfest

Educational: There are opportunities provided to gain the knowledge to stay safe and be well as you explore your first-year.

  • Safetoberfest
  • Coffee with a Cop
  • De-stress with the Deans & Dogs
  • The Dietitian Is In

What if My Roommate and I Have Difference We Can't Work Out -- Can I Change Rooms?

Sure. Beginning after the second week of fall semester and continuing throughout the academic year, students can request a move through their community office. You can also use the Room Reassignment Portal at the Housing Reassignment Request page.

Can You Accommodate My Asthma/Allergies?

Yes. You will need to complete a Chronic or Severe Medical Conditions Special Accommodations Request Form when you fill out your Housing Application.

Can I Bring a Loft?

No. Housing provides all of the necessary materials to bunk or loft your beds. Self-built lofts are not allowed.

Is There a List of Approved Items I Am Allowed to Bring?

Yes, please visit the When You Arrive section of this website to learn more about approved/not approved items. If you have a question about an item not listed on that page, please contact Carolina Housing.

When Can I Apply to be an RA?

Students can become an RA (Resident Advisor) as soon as they reach sophomore standing. The RA application process begins during fall semester for the following academic year. 

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