Greetings to our Carolina Parents and Family members! We are glad you are taking an active role in supporting your student's exploration of off-campus life and we hope the information on this website can be useful for both you and your student.
A few tips for family members:
- Engage your student in a conversation about living on and off-campus early on in their undergraduate experience. They are likely to start hearing about off-campus almost immediately after starting their 1st year, and it is important that you have had some conversation about shared expectations before they call you with an off-campus lease in hand. ***Our University philosophy (which is supported by educational research) is that undergraduate students are best served and supported in their academic pursuits by living on-campus for their 1st two years***
- Get familiar with the resources on this site. There is information on this site and through consultation appointments with our staff, related to a number of content areas that are important for students to consider before they decide to live off-campus. You and your students should think through costs, location, roommate/housemates, safety and security, and transportation factors (among many others) before making a final decision about when or if to move off-campus
- Strongly encourage your student to take leases to Carolina Student Legal Services for review before they sign it!
A note about "early" lease signing
There has been a lot of discussion lately, at campuses across the US including here at Carolina, about how soon students get information and start to feel pressure to sign off-campus leases. While there is certainly a marketing element to the pressure students feel to sign leases early, a significant factor is the student-driven expectation that "you need to sign now". In addition to our philosophical belief that most students benefit from at least two years of living on-campus, we share family concerns about students signing leases to live with other students that they barely know and signing leases before a fully informed discussion has happened about all of the factors mentioned above which influence a decision to live off-campus. Our advice is simple...take a pro-active position, be part of the conversation, encourage thorough information gathering, and set shared expectations with your student about the decision making process.
A note about the benefits of living on campus
This is what we know about living on-campus, and why we promote staying on campus for at least the first two years of a student's undergraduate career:
- It is educationally beneficial. National and on-campus data shows that students who live on campus are more likely to persist and thrive in college, and are more satisfied with their overall college experience than their off-campus counterparts
- It is affordable. When you compare a nine-month on-campus housing contract, which includes all utilities and use of fitness facilities and other amenities, to the average range of costs associated with a 12-month off-campus living situation, UNC-CH's residence hall options are often the same rate or less expensive.
- It is convenient. From laundry services and dining options to fitness facilities and proximity to classes and co-curricular activities, living on campus makes busy college life simpler for students at a time when they are just learning to live more independently away from home
- It is secure. There is a Resident Advisor "on duty" every night. UNC Police officers patrol campus and respond to calls 24 hrs a day. All residence halls require a Flexpass to gain entry 24 hrs a day. Alert Carolina monitors and responds to any major emergency, safety or health threat on campus.