Glossary of Residence Life Terms

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 Center for Academic and Student Achievement (CASA) advisers.

Contract Cancellation

A contract cancellation form is a form used by students who wish to cancel their housing contract and live off-campus.

Students who are not required to live on campus must fill out the housing contract cancellation in order to cancel their housing contract. Students who are required to live on campus must fill out the housing contract cancellation and the supplemental form, and must 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. Change in finances
  5. Academic disqualification
  6. Judicial sanction

It is not guaranteed that everyone submitting a release will be approved to move off campus. Contract cancellation form is available on the Resources for Prospective Students page.

Most students are subject to a $1000 contract cancellation fee as a result of cancelling a room assignment and housing contract. Students graduating & studying abroad will not be assessed the fee.

Remember: When applying for housing, you sign a contract that carries legal obligations.

DonsApp Mail

DonsApp mail is a student's USF email account. Students receive a USF email account upon being matriculated at the university. Email can be accessed through the university's portal, myUSF.

Read more about 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.

Read more about Don Dollars

Exemption Request

Students who are required to live on campus, but would like to be excused from living on campus may complete an exemption request instead of applying for housing. Students may request an exemption for medical or financial reasons or if they will reside with a family member who lives within a 40-mile radius of USF.


Flexi is a student's meal plan, which is required of all students who live on campus. 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

Gender-inclusive housing is defined as an option for two or more students to share the same room regardless of sex, gender, or gender identity.

Housing/Residency Requirement

All new undergraduate students admitted for fall with 40 or fewer transfer credits will be required to live on campus for the first two semesters of enrollment at USF.

USF does not require students to live on campus after their first year. While we make every effort to house as many returning students as possible, we are unable to guarantee housing after the first year.

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 campus map

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 Street on the south. The residence halls located on main campus include: Gillson, Hayes-Healy, Toler, Fromm, and the Fulton House. 

View campus map

Non-Required Students

Non-required students are those who are not required to live on-campus and are not guaranteed housing. For more information, see our housing/residency requirement.

Categorization of non-required students :

  • Non-required undergraduate (20 and under)
  • Non-required undergraduate (21+)
  • Non-required graduate

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. Read more about One Card.

One Stop

The One Stop is a shortened name for the One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services Office. The One Stop has a team of advisors who provide combined services in the areas of registration, tuition and billing, financial aid, student employment, and graduation.

Read more about the One Stop


SHaRE is the acronym for Student Housing and Residential Education.

Required Students

Required students are those who must live on campus and are guaranteed housing. For more information, see our housing/residency requirement.

Categorization of required students:

  • Required (18 and under)
  • Required (19-20)
  • Required (21+)

Residence Hall

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

Room Selection

The room selection period is the the period when a student is able to log in to USFrooms to view floor plans and select a room. Read more about applying for housing.


Each student is assigned a timeslot when s/he may log into USFrooms to a room. A student may choose a room once the timeslot has arrived and anytime thereafter. Read more about applying for housing.


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 and Residential Education, Student Leadership & Engagement, and more.

Read more about UC


USFrooms is the the online housing portal where students can apply for housing, find roommates, select rooms, and more. Read more about applying for housing.


Students who receive a time slot but do not select a room (due to availability of facilities or otherwise) will be automatically placed on a waitlist.

Contact Info

Student Housing and Residential Education (SHaRE)

Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m - 5 p.m.

University Center, Fifth Floor
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117-1045
(415) 422-6824 (415) 422-2480