Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Future Students
Are first-year students required to live on campus?
Yes. Freshmen are required to live on campus. Research shows that students who live on campus are more likely to stay in college and graduate. They report more satisfaction with their undergraduate experience, particularly with friendships, faculty relations and college life. They also achieve more in extracurricular activities, particularly in leadership and athletics.
How do I apply for on campus housing?
Students can submit a housing application online once they have been admitted to the University. Students will have an opportunity to rank their preferences and apply for any Living and Learning Communities that interest them.
Is there a fee to apply for housing?
Yes. All new students must submit a non-refundable $50 application fee, as well as a $100 advance room payment fee with their application. If you decide not to attend the university and notify our office before June 1 (for the fall semester), you will be refunded the advance room payment fee. Later notification of non-enrollment or not moving in results in forfeiture of the advance room payment fee and may result in additional costs relating to contract cancellation. Please read all Stipulations Relating to Cancellations and Refunds carefully before signing and submitting your housing application.
Is the housing application a contract?
Yes. By completing and submitting this application/contract, you are “contracting” yourself to live on campus for two consecutive semesters (only one if applying for spring only). It is a legally binding contract. Please read all Stipulations Relating to Cancellations and Refunds carefully before submitting your application/contract. Keep in mind that by submitting an online application, you are submitting your electronic signature and accepting the terms.
Is there a deadline by which to submit my application?
Freshmen must submit their application before May 1. All freshmen are guaranteed housing and all other new students are assigned as space is available. Freshmen applying for a Living and Learning Community should submit their application by April 1.
Does Carolina have any "theme" or "special interest" housing options?
Yes. There are numerous Living and Learning Communities available for freshmen. Keep in mind that these communities require a supplemental application in addition to the original housing application. You can refer to the Living and Learning Communities page on our website for a complete list of these communities.
How do I apply for a Living and Learning Community?
New incoming freshmen can apply for multiple Living and Learning Communities. You will have the option to preference communities on your housing application and can access the supplemental applications for Living and Learning Communities at the end of your official application.
Can I change my preferences (hall choices, preferred roommate, etc.) after I send in my application?
After an application has been submitted, changes can be made prior to May 1. You can make these changes by accessing your original application online.
How can I be sure to get the roommate I want?
Students may request one other incoming freshman as his or her preferred roommate. In order for you both to be assigned together, each student must mutually prefer the other and both paid applications must be on file at the time we make assignments. Even though we cannot guarantee placement with a preferred roommate, we will make every attempt to honor such requests providing space is available. Please note that new incoming students cannot request suitemates and can only request one roommate.
Which halls are freshmen "eligible" to live-in?
Typically, first-year students live in traditional-style or suite-style halls. Students will see only the halls they are eligible for on the housing application. To learn more about our halls, visit our residence hall page.
Which is the best hall?
Since freshmen will take a wide variety of classes their first and second years, choosing your residence hall based on where your major may not work out as well as you think. University Housing offers numerous Living and Learning Communities that will enhance the experience that you will have. Depending upon what your preferences are will help determine the best hall for you. You can visit either our residence hall page or the Living and Learning Communities website to find out more information about specific buildings and communities.
When will I find out where I’ve been assigned and with whom?
Freshmen will receive their building assignment when they come for Summer Orientation in June. Roommate information, as well as a specific room number, will be available online after July 1.
Why does the University require students to purchase personal property and liability insurance?
University Housing requires that you have adequate insurance coverage for fire and water damage, theft and vandalism. In addition, if your negligence results in damage to the property of others or to the University, you may be held legally liable for all resulting damages. The University’s insurance only covers those items belonging to the University of South Carolina.
How are the rooms furnished?
While this varies somewhat by building, all are air-conditioned and have cable and data connections in each room. Additionally, each student is provided with a twin bed, dresser, closet or wardrobe, desk and chair. All halls have laundry facilities. Rooms in Bates House, McBryde and The Roost also include a microfridge (combination of a refrigerator and microwave oven). At Orientation, you will receive a Move-In Guide with more details. You can also visit our residence hall page for specifics on certain buildings. It is always a good idea to contact your roommate ahead of move-in day to discuss what each of you will bring and whether any equipment or decorations will be shared.
How are the rooms cleaned?
Students are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of their individual rooms. Students in suite-style halls and apartment-style halls are responsible for cleaning their bathroom. Custodial staff are responsible for cleaning the community bathrooms in traditional-style halls and all other common areas, such as hallways and lounges. Similarly, maintenance staff are dedicated to maintain, repair and refurbish both individual and common areas.
Are there any halls that stay open during University break periods (Thanksgiving, Winter Break and Spring Break) for freshmen?
Yes. All apartment-style halls and Maxcy remain open during break periods.
How can I change rooms or roommates?
Students can request room changes on an on-going basis online by accessing their housing homepage. The student will be contacted by an assignment coordinator once the change can take place. Completing the Roommate Contract in as much detail as possible after moving in, however, is a great way to avoid potential conflicts.
How "wired" is campus housing?
Each student room has separate cable and data jacks. The data jacks connect students to all campus computing resources, plus the Internet. All of our residence halls have Wi-Fi, too. In addition, there are 24-hour computer labs located in Bates House, Columbia Hall, Patterson Hall, Preston Residential College and The Roost. These labs are available for use by any student living on campus.
Do first-year students have to purchase a meal plan?
First year students (non-transfers) entering the University and living in University Housing are required to purchase a minimum ten (10) meal plan for two semesters. Higher meal plan participation may be required for certain Residence Halls. Preston and Bates House residents will be automatically assigned a mandated meal plan. First year students do have the option of choosing a higher meal plan. You may also add money to the CarolinaCard, which is much like a debit card (it allows you to purchase items at any campus location with a pre-paid account balance). After your freshmen year, meal plans are optional, but quite convenient. Any student requiring a mandated meal plan will be added to your student bill automatically. You can make changes to your meal plan at my.sc.edu when student bills are available in July.
What are the "rules" regarding visitors?
Each hall has a different guest policy plan and the residents can always choose to make that plan more stringent, if that’s what the community decides. In general, however, most halls that first-year students live in operate under “Plan B” which means all guests of the opposite gender must be signed in after 10 a.m. and must be out of the building by 2 a.m. that night. The guest policy in your room should be discussed with your roommate to reach an agreement about the frequency and duration of guest visiting your room and should be included in your Roommate Contract. Roommate Contracts always trump the buildings visitation policy. To see a list of which buildings operate under which plan, visit the uUniversity's Policy and Procedures Manual.
What if I decide I would just rather live-off campus?
Freshmen are required to live on campus for an entire academic year (two semesters). Some exceptions may be made, so you should contact an assignment coordinator to discuss your individual situation.
Can I move to the Greek Village my first year?
Freshmen are required to live on campus for an entire academic year (two semesters). As such, freshmen will not be allowed to cancel their on-campus housing contract during their first year to move to the Greek Village.
Can I bring a car?
Yes. Please know, however, that like most other urban campuses, parking close to the center of campus is difficult. Please contact Parking Services at 803-777-5160 for specific information on the availability of garage spaces and other parking options.
Where do I go to check-in when I move in?
Check-in locations are determined based off your building assignment. For your specific check-in location, you should refer to our Move-In Guide.