April 27, 2020
As we continue to adapt to our “new normal,” UCF understands that many of our students and their families are experiencing hardships.
This is a stressful time for everyone, and we appreciate your patience as university leaders continue to make decisions in the best interests of our students, faculty and staff members, and our larger community.
Last month, UCF’s Board of Trustees approved refunds for on-campus housing for the Spring 2020 semester.
At the same time, UCF leaders sent a letter to off-campus housing managers urging them to be flexible with students in light of hardships caused by COVID-19. UCF continues to advocate on behalf of students, but the decision to offer refunds or terminate off-campus leases ultimately resides with the individual privately-owned properties.
Since sharing these updates, we’ve received many housing-related questions, and we’ve addressing those here.
What resources exist for students experiencing financial hardships?
UCF’s Knights Emergency Fund offers financial assistance to students who are experiencing a distressing situation that significantly impacts academic or personal success. Those in need are urged to contact them to see what assistance is available: https://scs.sdes.ucf.edu/.
In addition, thanks to federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or “CARES” Act, UCF will soon be able to distribute more than $25 million in aid to our students who need it most. These emergency grants can be used for eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care. Additional information, including how to apply for this funding, will be communicated to students this week.
What is “managed housing?”
Managed housing is an agreement where UCF acts as the property manager for privately-owned student housing. Generally, UCF is responsible for facilitating the leases with students, marketing the property to students, providing resident assistants and programs, as well as certain maintenance responsibilities, and in exchange, UCF is paid a fee for managing the property. The private owner is responsible for setting lease rates and the building and program budgets.
Northview, UnionWest and Rosen College Housing are UCF managed housing.
What is “affiliated housing?”
Affiliated housing is a step removed from managed housing. In this situation, private owners engage another private company to manage the student housing. The property manager engages UCF to provide very limited services – such as resident assistants or programming — to the property. UCF also agrees to refer students to affiliated housing in the event the university-owned and managed housing is full. In affiliated housing, UCF does not facilitate any of the leasing arrangements; rather these are the responsibility of the property manager.
Knights Circle and the Pointe at Central are affiliated with UCF.
Are there any other managed or affiliated housing communities?
No. All other housing properties and complexes surrounding UCF are privately-owned apartments that are neither affiliated nor managed by UCF.
Does UCF have the legal ability to require the owners of managed or affiliated housing to refund to students?
No. Because UCF does not own the properties, we can only encourage – not require – the owners to offer financial flexibility to students, and we are actively doing so.
Why do UCF shuttles run to complexes the university doesn’t own?
UCF shuttles run daily to several apartment complexes around the main campus to assist students who may not have adequate transportation to get to classes. Having a shuttle stop at an apartment complex does not mean that complex is managed or affiliated with the university. Rather, shuttles are managed by UCF and funded by the per-credit-hour Transportation Access Fee, and the service is offered by the university as a convenience for students.
When can I move my student out?
At this time, students are discouraged from returning to campus, in line with the state’s “Safer At Home” order, which calls for avoiding non-essential travel and relying on social distancing to stop further spread of COVID-19.
Housing and Residence Life is providing residents with two options for retrieving belongings from their room in the future:
- Option 1: We have partnered with a university-approved vendor for residents and their families to directly arrange packing, storing and shipping options. This will take place during the month of May and may be an ideal option for out-of-state students.
- Option 2: Residents will sign up for a first come, first served move-out appointment to return to campus and conduct an express check out in alignment with social distancing guidelines. This will take place May through July.
More information about these options will be communicated to residents in the coming days. For now, Housing asks that residents select their preferred option in the Housing Portal.
Will students receive refunds for summer housing?
Summer 2020 rent for students who live on campus has not been billed and will not be billed unless an exemption is granted for students with extenuating circumstances to remain on campus. Because summer rent has not yet been billed, there will not be a refund process.
At this time no decision has been made about refunds for students who live in UnionWest and NorthView.
Please continue to stay safe and prioritize your health and well-being. Continue to check UCF’s coronavirus website for updates, and know students may also receive additional information via email.