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Undergraduate Student Housing Contract

The University of Delaware (the “University”) and University student seeking to reside in University housing (“Student”) enter into this legally binding Housing Contract (also referred to as “Contract” or “contract”).  The Student is responsible for fulfilling all obligations under this Housing Contract, including all financial obligations, for the entire Contract Period (defined below).  A non-refundable pre-payment is required to be paid to the University at the time the housing application is submitted


Residence in University housing brings with it many benefits and certain legal obligations and responsibilities. This document, together with the Student Guide to University Policies and all regulations, policies and procedures published by the University, Residence Life & Housing, and Facilities constitute the agreement (the "Contract") between Student and the University. By the Student's submission of this Contract to the University, Student is accepting and agreeing to comply with the terms and conditions of the Contract, and with all University policies and procedures. Submission of this Contract electronically via the University's Web page shall have the same legal force and effect as if the Contract had been physically signed and submitted by mail or in person. The Contract, including other material incorporated by link or reference, is subject to change as deemed necessary by the University without prior notice.

Personal Responsibility & Insurance

The University cannot and does not assume responsibility for personal accident, injury, or illness to residents, guests or visitors, or for damage, theft, or loss of personal property, and the Student hereby releases the University, its trustees, officers, agents, faculty and employees from any liability on account of any accident, injury, illness, property damage, theft, or loss not caused by the University's gross negligence or intentional act or omission. The University will not reimburse Student or his or her parents for damaged, lost, or stolen personal property.  Students are encouraged to protect themselves from loss by purchasing appropriate insurance. In that regard, students should review any homeowner's policy that the student or student's family might have to determine whether the contents of the student's University room are already covered or could be covered with a relatively inexpensive policy rider. When students consider this insurance protection, they should keep in mind the replacement cost of such items as computer, jewelry, musical instruments, electronics, books, calculators, clothes and shoes, and sports equipment. For information regarding damage to personal property, refer to the Facilities Web site.

University's Duty to Provide Habitable Residence

The University cannot guarantee against temporary failures of utility systems or defects caused by ordinary wear and tear. Instead, the University's duty is limited to the exercise of best efforts to provide clean, safe lodging for students with utilities in good working order. Every effort will be made to complete maintenance in a timely manner.
Credits or rebates of housing charges are not given to students when maintenance or pest control is being done to the student rooms, suites, or apartments. Students may be moved to available vacancies in on-campus housing either on a temporary basis or permanent basis. Students who are reassigned on a permanent basis are required to pay the cost of the assigned space.

University custodial staff members are responsible for cleaning community bathrooms in traditional residence halls. Students residing in suite housing or apartments are responsible for maintaining their own bathroom areas.

Student Status

Matriculated students may reside in University housing if they are properly registered and in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing with the University. Unmarried incoming freshmen students under the age of 21 are required to live in University housing or at home with parents or legal guardians if those parents or guardians reside within 30 miles of the University of Delaware, Newark campus. Requests for exceptions accompanied by any supporting documentation must be submitted to Residence Life & Housing for consideration.
Student must be registered as a full-time undergraduate student in any semester in which he or she seeks to reside in University housing, unless granted an accommodation through the Office of Disability Support Services or an exception by Residence Life & Housing.
Students are required to inform Residence Life & Housing if their student status changes. 

No Modifications

No term or condition of this Student Housing Contract can be waived or modified and no statement made by University of Delaware or its agents is considered a waiver or modification of any term or condition of the Contract, whether expressed or implied.

Contract Period

This contract is legally binding and extends to cover the entire 2014-2015 academic year. If a student is approved for release the contract becomes void and the student may not continue to reside in the residence hall.


The Opening and Closing dates and relevant residence check-in dates for the residence halls and the Christiana Towers Apartments shall be as set forth in the Academic Calendar.

Break/Recess Periods

All academic-year residence hall rooms, except the Christiana Towers and non-first year student Executive Apartments, are closed to occupants during academic-year recess periods (Thanksgiving, December break, and Spring break).  Residence Life & Housing may designate additional buildings as being open for University breaks during any or all of the recess periods. Students who choose to remain in buildings designated as being open during recess periods must follow posted registration procedures and will be charged the published rate for the entire recess period.  The dining plan may not be offered during break or recess periods.

Winter Session Occupancy

In order to live in a residence hall during Winter Session, students must be registered for at least one Winter Session course or academically approved project, or be approved to participate in a special University activity. Students residing on campus for Winter Session, unless assigned to a designated apartment, are required to purchase one of the dining plans available for residence hall students. If the student does not choose a dining plan, they will be assigned the default option.

Late Housing Application

Students applying after the designated Open Enrollment period are guaranteed housing and will be placed on the wait list if they apply by the published guarantee deadline on the Residence Life and Housing website.

Deferred Housing Application

Students participating in a University-sponsored academic program outside a 30 mile commute from the Newark campus, such as student teaching, study abroad, or internship or are on an approved leave of absence from the University may request to have their application deferred from the Fall Semester to the Spring Semester.  Students guaranteed housing will be bound by the terms of the Student Housing Agreement for the Spring Semester. Deferred applications cannot be cancelled. Housing deposits cannot be deferred from one academic year to the next.

Financial Obligation and Cancellation

For returning students applying for the full academic year, this contract is legally binding 48 hours after the earlier of: (1) the completion of the room selection process, (2) receipt of assignment, or (3) placement on the wait list.  For applications received after the designated Open Enrollment period, the contract will become legally binding 48 hours after submission of the application.  For all other students, this contract will become legally binding 48 hours after submission of the application. This contract covers the entire 2014-2015 academic year (the “Contract Period”).

Prior to and within the 48 hour grace period, Student has the right to cancel their Student Housing Contract and forfeit the housing prepayment without any further financial obligation. After the 48 hour grace period, Student is obligated to pay all applicable housing charges for the Contract Period as established by the Board of Trustees and as set forth in University policies.  Student may request release from the contract through the process and conditions specified below. The contract remains binding and the Student continues to be responsible for all financial obligations while a decision is being rendered by Residence Life & Housing.  Failure to pick up a key will not release Student from the Contract.

Contract Request for Release

All requests for release from the Contract must be submitted via the Request for Release form to Residence Life & Housing with documented proof of the circumstances related to the release request. If these circumstances change after Student is released from the Student Housing Contract, the release will become invalid and Student will again be obligated to the terms of the Student Housing Contract.

Typical Releases

A student will typically be released from the Student Housing Contract with no fees when proof of one of the following circumstances is submitted to Residence Life & Housing: (1) Graduation, (2) Involvement in University-sponsored academic programs such as student teaching, study abroad, or internship, that make it impossible for Student to commute from the Newark campus, or (3) Academic Drop or Dismissal. Requests must be received at least 30 days prior to the requested release date. Late requests will be billed a $200 late cancellation fee.

Special Circumstance Releases

A student may also request release from the Student Housing Contract with supporting documentation for one of the following special circumstances: (1) Approved medical, psychological or disability need that cannot be accommodated on-campus, or (2) Confirmed financial hardship and change in financial status, or (3) Voluntary official withdrawal or approved leave of absence from the University, or (4) Active military duty. Under these circumstances, if the request is made prior to the start of the academic year and the release is granted, students will forfeit the non-refundable prepayment but will not be charged an additional fee. If the request is made after the start of the academic year and a release is granted, students will forfeit the non-refundable prepayment and will be charged for the actual number of days they occupied the room, plus an additional two week penalty.
These requests for release will be acted upon by Residence Life & Housing following consultation with appropriate offices and necessary verification of information provided. Decisions are made solely on the basis of the documentation submitted, and whether the justification for release meets acceptable circumstances.

Other Releases, subject to Contract Release Fees

All releases are approved at the discretion of Residence Life & Housing. If approved, the student will forfeit their $200 prepayment and will be assessed an additional contract release fee according to the schedule below. If pre-payment was waived, the student will be billed an additional $200.

Full Academic Year Resident

Approved Contract Release Fees in addition to forfeiting the prepayment

Release before April 1


Release between April 1 and June 30


Release between July 1 to July 31


Release between August 1 and day prior to the first day of Fall Check-in

50% of Fall Semester housing charges

Release between the first day of Fall Check-in to the last day of the Fall Semester

100% of Fall Semester housing charges

Release after the last day of the Fall Semester

100% of Spring Semester housing charges


Entering Spring Resident

Approved Contract Release Fees in addition to forfeiting the prepayment

Release prior to December 31


Release between January 1 and the first day of Spring Check-in


Release after and including the first day Spring Check-in

100% of Spring Semester housing charges

Students who have been released from their Student Housing Contract during the academic year must follow the Vacating at the End of the Term, Academic Year, or Release Date section of this contract. Students who have been released from the Housing Contract may cancel or modify their meal plan by contacting Dining Services.


If a request for release is denied, the student may submit a written appeal to the Executive Director of Residence Life & Housing or designee. The appeal and all appropriate documentation must be submitted within five working days of the date of the original decision. A student whose request for release is denied is responsible for the cost of the assigned space and the applicable dining charge through the remainder of the academic year even if they choose to vacate the assigned room and live elsewhere.

Eligible Replacement Defined

If Student is continuing UD enrollment on the Newark campus and wishes to be released from the contract, he or she is required to transfer the contract to another eligible student (replacement).  An eligible replacement is a new eligible applicant of the same gender who is willing to assume full responsibility for the Student Housing Contract. The applicant must accept a binding Student Housing Contract for the remainder of the academic year, submit a prepayment, and remain in housing during the entire period. The replacement must be fully matriculated and cannot be an incoming University student or one who already has an application on file with Residence Life & Housing. To be released for this reason, the student requesting release must submit a written statement to Residence Life & Housing including the replacement's name and student ID number prior to the eligible replacement submitting an application. The effective date of release from the Student Housing Contract is the date when the new resident signs in and occupies the space.

Room Changes

Students may request to move from one room to another with authorization from Residence Life & Housing at designated times during the Academic year. The exchange of rooms or substitution of one occupant for another without approval from Residence Life & Housing is prohibited. The procedure for room changes are set forth on the Residence Life & Housing website.
To maximize occupancy, Residence Life & Housing has the right the consolidate rooms and move students if a vacant same gender space exists elsewhere in the same building in order to create an open room.
The University reserves the right to change or cancel room assignments in the interests of order, health, safety, or welfare with appropriate written notice.

Vacancies and Room Buy-Out

The University may reassign a vacant space in a room or apartment at any time. While efforts are made to notify students of any changes, a new roommate may be assigned without prior notification. If a room or apartment is not entirely occupied and Residence Life & Housing does not anticipate assigning an eligible new roommate, the student may be offered an opportunity to pay a "buy out" rate for the vacant space from the date of vacancy through the remainder of the semester to ensure that the space remains vacant. If the student buys out a space for Fall Semester and space demand is high for Winter Session and/or Spring Semester, Residence Life & Housing may assign a student to that space for either or both of those terms.

University-Initiated Room Change or Cancellation

The University reserves the right to change or cancel a student's room assignment without prior notification under the following circumstances. Unless a request for release is approved, the student remains bound to the Housing Contract.

  • The student is dismissed for academic or disciplinary reasons.
  • The student fails to pay University bills by the established deadlines.
  • The student is not properly registered at the end of the free drop/add period for the semester or session in which they have applied for housing. In this case, the student may reapply for housing if they subsequently re-enroll for classes, but housing will not be guaranteed.
  • The student fails to sign in or occupy the assigned residence hall space by the start of classes. Residence Life & Housing may reassign them to another space or place the student on the wait list.

If a student is removed from the residence hall for disciplinary reasons that occurred in the residence hall, the student remains bound to the Housing Contract and will be responsible for the full cost of the residence hall space and Dining Services Agreement for the academic year.

Compliance with Law and Code of Conduct

Every student at the University must comply with all Federal, State, local and University laws, rules and regulations, including the Contract. Students are expected to know their Rights and Responsibilities and must comply with the University's Code of Conduct and the Residence Hall Regulations. At all times, students must respect the rights and property of all community members in the residence halls or apartment buildings, regardless of their background, beliefs, values, or attitudes.

Student Liability

The Student agrees to accept responsibility and be held accountable for his or her actions, for proper use and care of the residence hall, dining facilities, assigned space, common areas, and all other University property, and for the actions of his or her guest(s). The host should ensure that guests comply with all University Policies and Residence Hall Regulations.  

Primary Residence

The residence hall space assigned to the Student by the University must be the Student's primary place of residence.

Vacating at the End of the Term, Academic Year, or Release Date

Students are required to vacate, return all keys and fobs to the Resident Assistant, Residence Hall Coordinator, or Complex Coordinator and remove all personal belongings from residence hall space within 24 hours of completing their last final examination or by the scheduled closing time, whichever comes first. Graduating seniors may remain in the residence halls until the time designated by Residence Life & Housing.  Students who have been released from their Student Housing Contract during the academic year must vacate their residence hall room or apartment within 48 hours of the effective date of release. Any room charges paid in excess of the applicable release fee will be credited to the Student's account. The effective date for a rebate is the date when all of the following obligations have been met:

  • The contract request for release has been approved or initiated by Residence Life & Housing.
  • All keys and fobs have been returned to the Resident Assistant, the Residence Hall Coordinator, or the Complex Coordinator immediately after vacating the room or apartment. Failure to return these items within 48 hours of release date will result in charges to re-core the locks on the room and/or replacing the fob.
  • All belongings have been removed, leaving the space in clean, habitable condition.

NOTE:  The University does not accept responsibility for items left in the room after the departure deadline. The room is expected to be clean and in a similar physical condition upon departure as it was for arrival. Removal of abandoned student property, excessive cleaning needs, or damage to University property will result in charges being placed on the student’s account.

Safety and Security

Security is the responsibility of all students, and students are personally responsible for abiding by the security policies pertaining to residence halls. Actions that compromise the security of residence or living areas will subject the individuals responsible to disciplinary action and related fees. See regulations regarding Keys and Access Cards, Safety in the Residence Halls and other Facilities Regulations for more details.

Dining Services Agreement

Students living in all residence halls, except for the Christiana Towers and Executive Apartments, are required to maintain a full resident dining plan for the duration of the academic year, as defined by the Student Housing Contract. Students with dining plans must agree to the terms of the Dining Services Agreement.

Controlling Documents

In the event of a conflict between this Contract, the regulations, policies, or procedures published by Residence Life & Housing or Facilities, the Student Guide to University Policies will control.


No delay or failure to exercise any right or power granted under the Contract shall impair any such right or power or be construed to be a waiver thereof.


If any term or provision, or any portion thereof, of this Contract is declared invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remainder of this Contract shall not be affected thereby and shall continue to be valid and enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Governing Law

This Contract shall be governed by, and construed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware, without reference to its conflict of laws principles.