Glossary of Residence Life

It is important that you understand the terminology used at USF. The glossary below contains many of the important terms you will come across.

Census Date

Census date is a term used for the first day students are able to request changing or switching residence hall rooms. These requests are heard by the student's Residence Director and may be approved/declined depending on the need or severity. The date is also the last day to add or drop classes without signatures from faculty and CASA advisors and usually falls at the end of the third week of classes each semester.

Contract Cancellation

A contract cancellation form is used by students who wish to cancel their Housing contracts and live off-campus. Please note that it is not guaranteed that everyone submitting a contract release will be approved to move off campus. Students must fill out this housing contract cancellation form as well as provide one of the following reasons for wanting to live off campus: 

  1. Withdraw / Transfer / Graduation
  2. Leave of Absence / Study Abroad from USF
  3. Medical
  4. Service in the Armed Forces
  5. Change in finances 
  6. Academic disqualification 

Students must refer to the Cancellation Policy for fees that may accompany cancellations. Remember: when applying for housing, you sign a contract that carries legal obligations. 

Dons Email

Students receive a Dons USF email account upon being matriculated at the University. Email can be accessed through the university's portal, myUSF. The ITS website lists more information regarding email access.

Don Dollars

Don Dollars is money deposited in your One Card account. Don Dollars can be used at various campus locations by swiping/presenting your One Card. Some popular campus locations that accept Don Dollars are: The Market Cafe, USF Bookstore, vending machines, copiers and printers, laundry rooms, and more. Refer to the One Card website for more information regarding Dons Dollars.


Flexi is a student's meal plan, which is required of all students who live on campus (Please note that the only exception is that the Flexi meal plan is optional for Fulton House, Fulton Flats, St. Anne’s, and Pedro Arrupe). Students use the meal plan each semester for purchasing food and other goods from dining locations on campus. Flexi funds left on a student's One Card account at the end of the Fall semester will roll over into Spring. However, any Flexi funds left on a student's account at the end of the Spring semester will be forfeited. To avoid losing Flexi funds, many students choose to purchase bulk quantities of food items at the end of the Spring semester.

Gender Inclusive Housing

USF offers gender-inclusive housing. Continuing students and first year students may apply within the housing application and be entered into a lottery for a room in the gender inclusive community. 

Gender inclusive housing provides a safe, affirming, and inclusive community living option for students of diverse identities and lived experiences. 

Housing/Residency Requirement

Incoming, first-year, full-time, undergraduate students are guaranteed on-campus housing for their first four semesters at the university. After your first year, you'll need to reapply for housing for the following two semesters, and your housing will be guaranteed for those two semesters.

Please refer to the First Year Housing webpage for more information as well as to read important deadlines and exceptions to this rule.

Lone Mountain

Lone Mountain (sometimes called 'upper campus') is part of the USF's main San Francisco campus, but is often referred to separately because it is situated on a hill, one block away from most other buildings. It is located north of Turk St between Masonic and Parker, and includes Lone Mountain Residence Hall. View the campus map for a better geographical sense of the Lone Mountain campus. 

Main Campus

Students refer to 'main campus' as the lower area where the majority of the residence halls and classrooms buildings are situated. This area is bordered by Masonic on the east, Parker on the west, Golden Gate Avenue on the north, and Fulton St on the south. The residence halls located on main campus include: Gillson, Hayes-Healy, Toler, Fromm, and the Fulton House. Main campus can be viewed on the USF campus map

Meal Plan

USF's meal plan is a declining balance plan called "Flexi," which is described above. View the Meal Plan webpage for more information. 

One Card

One Card is a University-issued campus ID card. Every active member of the USF community (students, faculty, staff) is issued a One Card by USF. The One Card serves as:

  • Personal identification: your One Card will have your full name, photograph, and status (e.g. Full-Time Student).
  • Building access: your One Card can be used to enter your residence hall, your dorm room, computer labs, classrooms buildings, and more.
  • Don Dollars account: add money to your Don Dollar account and then use your One Card to pay for printing, photocopying, vending machines, bookstore purchases, and more.
  • Flexi meal plan: students with a meal plan must use their One Card to pay for food purchases at campus dining locations.
  • Library: your One Card will grant you entrance to the library and borrowing privileges.

The One Card must be carried at all times and be presented to University officials upon request. 

Student Enrollment Services

The Student Enrollment Services has a team of advisors who provide combined services in the areas of registration, tuition and billing, financial aid, student employment, and graduation.


Your enrollment deposit includes your housing deposit. If you are assigned housing, the deposit will serve as a pre-payment for your room charges. If you are not assigned housing, your housing deposit will serve as pre-payment for your tuition charges. 

Residence Hall

Residence Halls are the buildings that contain student rooms. USF has ten residence halls. 

Room Selection

The room selection period is the period when a student is able to log in to USFrooms to view floor plans and select a room. 

Time Slot

Each continuing student who applied for housing before the deadline is assigned a time slot when they may log into USFrooms to a room. A student may choose a room once the time slot has arrived and anytime thereafter. 


UC is the abbreviation for University Center. The University Center is the primary location for student activities, dining, and services, including the USF Bookstore, The Market Cafe, Student Housing, the Office of Community Living, Student Leadership & Engagement, and more.


USFRooms is the the online housing portal where students can apply for housing, find roommates, select rooms, and more.


Students who are waiting for any available bed spaces for on campus housing are placed on a waitlist.