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University of North Florida

University of North Florida 1 UNF Drive Jacksonville, FL 32224 (904) 620-1000 Congratulations! If you are on this page, you probably have a UNF student! Read on to find out the inside scoop! Pass on these great tips, tell your friends and like us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find out more about how to use HaveUHeard as a great resource. Sign up for other great tips at haveuheard.com.

Best Apps For Students at UNF

App? Apps? What is that? Did someone forget to add the “le”? My kids make fun of me and when I  say “when I went to school.” Well, when I went to school there was no such thing as apps, smartphones, or computers for that matter. Nowadays there is an app for everything. UNF and College Study Apps UNF Safety App – This safety app will communicate messages and alerts to the campus community. Students, faculty, staff, and parents can now open the Apps Store for Apple products and Google Play Store for Android products and download the free-of-charge app. The MyWings app is also super convenient because it takes you straight to the MyWings page with all the ‘tiles’ that have all your student information, class information, and more. You can schedule an advising appointment, check your class schedule, or one of the student’s biggest uses for this app is to […]

Remote Proctor Now at UNF

Online Test-Taking with Remote Proctor **While UNF is online they will be using RemoteProctorNow. Here are the updates on the proctored testing process. Watch for communication from your instructors about proctored testing requirements for your courses. With RPNow, you do not need to schedule an exam as it is on-demand proctoring. Since it is 100% browser-based, there is no software to download; however, you do have to make sure the RPNow extension is installed. And, it only works with certain operating systems and internet speeds so students will want to make sure their computer meets the minimum requirements.  For a list of do’s and don’ts using RPNow No doubt, all online classes can be a challenge, but we are all in this together. Here are a few suggestions as to how to make it a success. Technology has changed the way students take tests. Remote proctor and online test-taking can solve many issues. Our interns have experienced taking […]

Best Places to Study around UNF

Shhhhh, Here Is a Great Study Spot! Finding the perfect study spot complete with peace and quiet may sometimes be difficult. Students can bring earphones or headphones to tune out unwanted noise and turn up the recorded lectures, explanatory videos, or a study playlist.  Studying is something the majority of students hate, but it’s one of those things they just have to struggle through in order to retain what they’ve learned and pass classes. It’s mundane and time-consuming, it can be incredibly exhausting, and sometimes studying in the dorm or apartment just doesn’t cut it. There are some hidden gems on and off-campus that are absolutely perfect for cracking open a textbook. Here are a few places they can get study and hopefully learn a thing or two. The Spots 3rd Floor of Thomas G. Carpenter Library, Reading Rooms – These rooms are perfect for homework or catching up on some class […]

Who You Going to Call…

Who Should You Call When You Need Answers? The important contact info you need to have. Over the years there have been only a few times that I, as a parent, have felt the need to call the campus to resolve an issue. Generally, I try to get my kids to handle it themselves. However, knowing where to call for whatever the issue can be daunting. For instance, trying to decipher how rush works or even having financial aid issues.  Be aware though that, unless your student has given you permission to call or is sitting with you, some departments won’t speak to you, the parent. Check out our blog What You Should Do Before Leaving For UNF to download different legal documents.  These documents give parents’ permission in different medical and legal scenarios. President of UNF: Dr. David Szymanski.  His office is located at 1 UNF Drive J.J. Daniel Hall, Suite […]

Budget 101, Money Talks

The Budget Your Money Talk Some of the most common and often asked questions from new parents are “How much money should I give my student?” “Should I give them money weekly or monthly?” “How do I teach them to budget?” “Should my student get a job?” These questions are very personal to each family and their financial circumstances. However, all students should be taught or given some guidelines on how to budget their money. Once given their budget the key is having them stick to it.  Having three kids budgeting is very different for each one. With my first college student, there was no real budget. I thought we would give him money as needed, however that soon turned in to a free for all because he never had enough. Let’s just say his first-semester cost a ridiculous amount of money and I quickly learned that Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, and Einstein’s were […]

Brunch is Breakfast plus Lunch plus Fun

“Brunch is breakfast without an alarm.” — Unknown Most college kids sleep late. It’s a well-known fact. So, going out for breakfast on weekends, in particular, may not be an option. Brunch, however, is generally a good option on weekends and there are quite a few choices not far from UNF’s campus. However, if you can get your student out of bed early and breakfast is what you want; check out our blog Wakey, Wakey Eggs & Bakey. Some things to consider beforehand are price and time. It is not unusual for there to be a considerable wait, even with a reservation, on a game weekend or graduation, at some of the more popular selections. Try these…. Another Broken Egg Cafe – Open for breakfast as well!  7:00 am-2:00 pm. Biscotti’s – A nicer place that I would recommend making a reservation to go to.  Brunch is Saturday and Sundays from 8:00 […]

Banks and Credit Unions UNF

Many Places to Grab Money, Banks Galore! Leaving for college comes with so many new things, but handling their own money can be one of the scariest. We have all kinds of suggestions regarding Working While in College, Teaching Them to Budget; even the Best Credit Cards for College Students, but this blog is all about banking. Before your child leaves for college, a conversation that every parent needs to have is on Budgeting their money.  How will they spend it, on what and how will they get their money? These days a lot of students use Venmo, Zelle, or other money transfer apps. However, if they use any of these apps or if they just need to have a local bank account, the following information will be useful while looking for the best Bank for your family. It is not necessary to open a bank account that is on campus. If […]

Register to Vote UNF

How to Have Your Vote Count While at College, Register! For students in a new city adapting to a busy college schedule, the voting process can seem daunting. As an 18-year-old freshman, I didn’t even know where to begin to register or where to go to vote! With an election coming up, taking the time to go to the polls and vote is more important than ever. So, how can you do it? First, students must be registered to vote and meet the eligibility requirements. You can find your state’s requirements. To register to vote in Florida, you must fill out a new registration form online at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, by mail or in person. If you prefer to fill out the form in person, there are many places to get one. It’s available for download or available at any County Supervisor of Elections (Duval County for UNF), any local library, or any entity […]

Cell Phone and Computer Repair

When Disaster Strikes, repair it! Ugh, nothing is more annoying than when your cell phone stops working or when your computer suddenly shuts down. For students, this minor catastrophe turns into a major problem. I do however highly recommend a backup system. I presently use Mozy for myself and my students’ computers. It simply backs up their computer daily (or however they deem necessary) so if they ever run into a jam, they don’t have to panic that all their work has been lost. As for the phone, encourage them to plug it into their computer (or some use iCloud) once in a while to be sure all their contacts and photos are backed-up. I also highly recommend a good phone case. They can find some fun cases on Casetify so perhaps they won’t complain as much about having a case on their phone.  Casetify even offers a 15% student discount with […]

Storage for your stuff at UNF

Where Will They Put All Their Stuff? In Storage? Feels like they have just moved in!  Cars loaded with Every. Single. Thing. from their room at home to their dorm and now they need to bring all of that stuff home, plus all of the things that they have accumulated this year. If you have plenty of room in your garage or closets this shouldn’t be an issue, however, if you are like me plastic crates will be piled up in my garage for 3-4 months this summer. Before you begin the moving out process check out our blog, you may find some helpful tips to assist with the process. After seeing all of the items that need to move out, perhaps finding a storage area is not such a bad idea.  When looking for a facility there are a few things to keep in mind. Some storage may be a bit […]

Pets in School

Take Your Dog (or Cat) to College Most every time I Face Time with my daughter, she always asks to see our dog. We all love our pets. We can be talking on the phone and I can guarantee you that she will ask me to drive to see her dog.  Four hours in a car with my dog? No thank you! I love my daughter and I love my dog however that is not happening!  So, what is the second-best thing to my daughter other than seeing our dog on campus?  Having her get a pet of her own.  Whether she was to adopt or buy a dog, it is important that she knows the campus guidelines for having a pet.  Non-aggressive fish are allowed on campus, however, there is one area on campus that students are allowed, with proper documentation, to have pets other than fish and that is known […]

Dinner, It’s Time Check out these Restaurants

It’s dinner-time! Everyone has their favorite place, here are the places we love to frequent, which one is your favorite restaurant? Restaurants Within 2 Miles of UNF Campus Angie’s Subs – Highly recommended by myself, my daughter (who frequents at least once a week) and many of the UNF students, this sub place is anything but ordinary.  More on the casual side, you order at the counter and have your sub brought to your table.  Serving everything from tuna sub to vegetarian, they also have a cheeseburger sub.  Sounds like this is a definite must stop! Open from 10:00 am-9:00 pm every day and Sunday from 11:00 am-4:00 pm. Bahama Breeze Island Grill – Caribbean-inspired food with a vibrant island atmosphere.  Music plays a major part in our restaurant’s fun island-vibe. Conveniently located 5 minutes from the UNF campus near E Beltway 295 and St Johns Town Center Mall.  Hours are 11:00 […]

Sorority Girl – The Inside Scoop

It’s More Than Parties, Sorority Life. Congratulations if your daughter has joined a sorority!  Joining a sorority was one of the best decisions I made while being in college.  I made amazing friends and connections. I am still friends with many sorority sisters; in fact, the owners of the website of these blogs are two of my sorority sisters. At UNF, every sorority is a little different as it relates to academic requirements, philanthropic requirements, and social requirements. Your daughter will be expected to attend chapter meetings and participate in their sorority’s events. They are paired up with fraternities for socials which may be mandatory. Some sororities require you to dress up for chapter meetings; others do not care if you come straight from the gym. Obviously, with social distancing being in place many of these events may be via zoom. Be prepared for an entire wardrobe change as they can often […]

They’ve Been Accepted

Now, What do You Do? Congratulations Class of 2024… Swoop and Welcome to The Nest!! You can now take that sigh of relief that a decision has been made and they have been accepted. Then take a look at our list of what to do next. First, this may sound silly, but check your admissions letter for accuracy regarding their name, entrance term, address and major. If any changes need to be made it needs to happen in writing or online at myUNF. UNF does not require a tuition deposit, so the only way to lock in your seat in the freshman class is to register for orientation. Orientation is mandatory for all first-time-in-college students. You can read our blog on Orientation so you know what to expect after being accepted. Next step is setting up your official UNF email account. UNF will only correspond with you via your official UNF email […]

Entertainment is Entertaining!

Try These Fun Things To Do! While visiting UNF and the Jacksonville area, there are plenty of things to do for entertainment.  The campus is within 20 minutes from the beach if you want to go for a beautiful moonlight walk or spend time walking along the St. John’s River.  You will find incredible restaurants in downtown Jacksonville, some of which are located at The Landings, an outdoor waterfront area filled with shops and restaurants. Food can be entertainment too! Something more low key would be catching a movie at Cinemark Tinseltown & XD which has multiple screens, stadium seats & self-service ticketing kiosks. Another great nighttime option is Top Golf. Located within minutes of UNF this is a really fun activity to do with the whole family. What about bowling? There are several bowling alleys near UNF with Bowl America being the closest serving food and drinks with an arcade room. […]

Lunch Bunch

Mid-Day Munchies- what’s for lunch? Jacksonville is host to a massive amount of lunch options, with restaurants dotting the streets of Town Center and Southside. While all these options mean never getting bored, it can be a little overwhelming to sift through all the options for the best meals. Here are some of the best places to stop by for lunch, looking at variety, speed, and price. Chipotle –  Located in Town Center, it’s a staple fast, affordable, and tasty lunch spot. As a Chipotle fanatic myself, it’s always important for me to locate the closest one to campus. About 10 minutes from school, Chipotle is an easy place to grab a bite in between classes, or even get to go and bring up to the library with you. Blaze Pizza  – Blaze offers tasty pizza at a decent price and gives buyers a lot of options on customizing their pies. Also […]

Retail Therapy makes starting college easier!

A Little Retail Shopping Helps! One of the best things about UNF (for a shopper) is the surrounding area.  UNF is a relatively new school and over the past few years, the population growth has exploded.  New stores are popping up overnight. With St Johns Town Center within two miles of UNF, you will find major department stores like Nordstroms and  Dillards. You will find almost every major box stores including Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Family Dollar Store,  TJ Maxx, Kohl’s and most others. Surely enough to soothe your retail therapy needs! For those unfamiliar with these retail stores, here is a quick description: Bed Bath & Beyond – As its name implies, this large store carries almost every item imaginable for a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. They cater to the college market offering many convenient services. In some college towns, BB&B offers the service of ordering your […]

Career Showcase: A Student Perspective

How To Align Your Studies With Your Future Career Plans As a freshman in college, being asked to decide your major and think about your eventual career can be daunting and overwhelming. Lots of students feel unsure of what major to pick and what kind of job they can see themselves doing. Major decisions are difficult and switches are often made. I myself started college as an undecided freshman and spent my first two semesters meeting with advisors, researching majors and course requirements, and of course, researching different careers and what kind of knowledge and degrees are required for those careers. However, it’s still hard to know where your future will be when you as a student have no real experience in a career field of say, finance, biology, or entertainment management. If you’re looking for more guidance, the school has many events including fairs, guest speakers, and discussions designed to broaden […]

Our Favorite Apartment Rentals For Real!

Our Fave Rentals Save U Time! Most students cannot wait to move into rentals or apartments after their freshman year for very good reasons.  They will get a room to themselves, in most cases a bathroom to themselves and have a kitchen to cook (and clean.) There are many different factors that go into choosing apartments or rentals for your students. Our list of favorite rentals can help. Location, for one thing, is important to my daughter because she will not have a car next year.  So she either has to live close to campus, on-campus or make sure there is a bus that can take her to and from UNF.  Money is another factor. Typically speaking, the closer to campus that an apartment is, the more money it is and, the nicer it is, the more money it is.  This isn’t to say that apartments that aren’t as expensive will be […]

Grocery Stores at UNF for quick meals

A Kids Gotta Eat! On-campus or off, meal plan or not, your child will need to get groceries at some point and time.  UNF has many shopping options right around campus. Our first choice would be Publix. For groceries, those of you from Florida or Georgia will be familiar with the major supermarket chain Publix. Publix is a Florida-based supermarket with every department found in most grocery stores including produce, deli, meat, canned goods, seafood, frozen foods, flowers, bread, soda, and stationery, candy, dairy and so forth.  They offer fully prepared meals, as well as meals that are measured, seasoned and ready to be cooked via the directions on the package.  There are 3 Publix stores within 5 miles of the UNF campus. Other Stores Besides Publix, the other grocery stores that you will find near campus Walmart, Winn Dixie and Target SuperCenter. Trader Joe’s is a little bit further away from […]

Bucket List for Osprey’s

Check out these Bucket List  Osprey things to do! If you have committed to becoming an Osprey, there are a few bucket list things that you might want to check out over your next four years at UNF.  Some are just plain fun and others sort of obvious. Either way, your time at UNF shouldn’t only be about studying. There is so much more to UNF and Jacksonville. Check out our “bucket list.” On-Campus Bucket Rock climbing wall – The rock climbing wall is undoubtedly what makes UNF’s gym unique. Dubbed the ‘Osprey Cliff’, it is approximately 34 feet tall and offers routes that vary from semester to semester. This is a free, fun, and really interesting way to get in a workout! Osprey Challenge Course/Zipline – Another really fun and unique activity to try out during your four years as an Osprey! Zipline over the lake or navigate the ropes course […]

The ABC’s of 529 Savings Plans UNF

What 529 Pays When you decide to have kids, your first thought is not how am I going to pay for college, but it might be your second. When my kids were little their dad and I opened up the 529 Savings Plan also known as a Qualified Tuition Plan (QTP).  Some families chose Florida PrePaid but we felt the 529 Savings Plan was better for our family.  Since 1996, 529 Savings Plans are a way of saving for college for your student. If you chose to open a qualified tuition plan or a relative set one up for you, then you and your student are now eligible to access the funds.  The funds from your 529 Savings Plan can be used not only to pay for higher education (starting in 2018 for elementary or secondary school tuition up to $10,000) but for room and board as well.  These funds are available […]

Dropping a Class

Dropping, When Is it Time? Here are the guidelines you should consider when dropping a class. “I need to drop my Business Calculus class.” Not the best words that a parent wants to hear; however, sometimes circumstances present themselves that your student will need to do just this. UNF, as well as other colleges, differentiate between dropping and withdrawing from a class. Dropping a class Students may drop courses through the registration period preceding the term and during the “Add/Drop” period. The Add/Drop period occurs during the first five days of courses for a given semester. Courses scheduled to meet for the first time after add/drop ends may be dropped the next business day only in One-Stop Student Services. Tuition and fee payment is still due on the regular deadline for all classes. If a student drops a course on or before the last day to drop courses, the student will not […]

Fix It! Fix it good!

If it’s Broken, You Must Fix It Fix it and repair shops are one of the necessities of life, and when our kids are away at school, we want to make sure that they are receiving quality service at reputable prices. It can happen to anyone, stuff just breaks down, so whether it’s a bike or car there is always a way to get it fixed right. Although UNF is a smaller campus compared to other Florida universities, students still prefer skateboards and bicycles as the main mode of transportation on campus, but they also have break-down issues. Cars are still the main transportation for students off-campus, and as we know cars breakdown or little accidents happen. Keeping your students mobilized is important. Listed below are the repair shops for bicycles, skateboards, and autos that we have found near UNF: Bicycle Repair Shops These lists are in order from closest to farthest […]

The Benefits of Joining the UNF Alumni Association

Alumni Networking, Perks, and More … Truly some of the best times of a young adult’s life are college. But all good things must come to an end and what better way than becoming UNF alumni. There are many benefits that are associated with being a UNF graduate. First and foremost, you will have a bond for life with other Osprey graduates and the perks of that are immeasurable. I highly encourage graduating students to join the UNF Alumni Association. Networking with other alumni can be very powerful, whether it be in a job hunt, connections, or just a common bond. Besides networking, there are a few benefits available to UNF graduates. Osprey Offers – Through Osprey Offers, you’ll find discount offers at local businesses and online. The offers range from dining, apparel, hotel and travel, theme parks, and auto care. As an alumnus, Geico insurance offers excellent discounts on home, car, […]

Bright Futures – Shining Bright

The Future Is So Bright You’ll Need Shades! SEE END OF BLOG FOR CHANGES EFFECTIVE WITH THE 2020-2021 ACADEMIC SCHOOL YEAR Bright Futures has been a great source of financial aid for many Florida Students and is now shining even brighter. Summer 2018 was the first-year Florida Academic Scholars received 100% tuition and summer 2019, 75% of tuition is available for Florida Medallion Scholars. The $300 college-related expense stipend is still only available for fall and spring semesters. The requirements for summer are as follows Must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours across all summer sessions. Students with less than 6 credit hours required for graduation, may receive FAS and FMS by submitting a memo on letterhead from an academic advisor indicating less than 6 hours are required for graduation. Graduate-level hours may be approved by the student’s academic advisor.  Students taking graduate-level courses must submit a memo from […]

Wakey Wakey- Eggs and Bakey Breakfast

Here are Our Favorites for Breakfast Another Broken Egg Café – Start your day the delicious way with southern-style biscuit beignets, gourmet omelets, a variety of unique eggs benedicts and more. You can find everything from bowls to pancakes, from chocolate stuffed waffles to crab cakes with fried green tomatoes.  The hours are 7:00 am-2:00 pm, come early because there is usually a wait. Canopy Road Cafe – Check out the sweet potato pancakes with maple syrup and pecans. Sure it is slightly more like dessert but fabulous. Based out of Tallahassee, they just opened in the Shoppes of Bayard at 12525 Philips Highway. It is breakfast and lunch only, which by my standards means no mimosas; and that’s right, they do not serve alcohol. About a 12-minute drive from UNF but well worth the visit. Deerwood Bistro – A full traditional menu is available at the Deerwood Bistro.  Offering everything from eggs […]

Getting Involved

When You Join You Get Involved Part of the beauty of the University of North Florida is the size of the school. With just about 16,000 students, UNF is the perfect combination of not too big and not too small. Getting involved at UNF will offer your students plenty of clubs, organizations, social and academic groups, and much more all at just the right size. Campus life can be so much more than classes and homework when your student finds the right outlet for them. Some of you may believe that your student’s first priority is school, and I couldn’t agree more. That said; being involved in some way is rather important too. First, joining a club will help your students build a community. Since they’re leaving their family and sometimes their friends behind, getting involved helps them to discover new friends with similar interests. Some students will choose to rush a […]

Fun Electives to Take as a Freshman

When You Need Electives and Some Fun! As incoming freshmen, students are guided by their advisors to take their core academic classes.  Advisors will mix in some of the more popular well-known electives here and there. But to really know which are some of the more fun electives, the best thing to do is to ask students.  So with that being said, below is a list of some of the fun electives that UNF offers.  We did not include all the drawing, painting, and basic art classes as the list would simply get too long and repetitive. For those with an interest in art, those classes would, of course, be good choices, but we decided to focus on more unique and probably lesser known classes. Our interns offer the following information The History and Appreciation of Rock (MUH2017) – Studies the origins and development of rock and roll music, from rhythm and […]

How to Transition as a Transfer Student

Transfer, There is A Place For Everyone! Some students transfer after attending a two-year college and some transfer because they recognize that the university they are attending is not for them. I myself was a transfer to UNF spring of 2019, and I definitely worried that I wouldn’t be able to find my place there. As a transfer student, you often end up behind other students due to credits not transferring to your new school, having new required classes to take unique to this university, or simply because you have later access to registration. In order to combat these setbacks, it’s important to take initiative in the first weeks of school and meet with an advisor. They will help you figure out a way to catch up and get anything you need to have done so that you aren’t blindsided by a class you didn’t know you had to take or a […]

Weekend with Dad

Officially, unofficial for Father. There is nothing like a father and son or father and daughter weekend to get the bonding time flowing! I truly believe there is nothing more valuable than one on one time with your dad and if you are a mom reading this blog, it also gives you the opportunity to have some alone time as well to catch up on things that you like to do (i.e. sleeping, yoga classes, reading, shopping, etc.). Dad’s weekend isn’t exactly official at UNF, meaning there isn’t one specific weekend that it is called for, but many sororities and fraternities have one. Some will rotate years with mother-daughter or mother-son weekends but when they come for an “unofficial” visit, it is all about Dad and your son or daughter. UNF and the Jacksonville area offer so many things for dads and their college students to do together.  Jacksonville has a ton […]

Auxiliary Fees for Classes

HaveUHeard of These Fees for Online Classes? There is no denying that college tuition, in and of itself, is a huge expense; however, on top of the cost, HaveUHeard that some classes have extra fees that may or may not be covered by some scholarships or prepaid programs? Costs of online courses are usually equal to tuition plus a distance learning fee. Distance learning fees are authorized by the Florida statute. Fees vary by program, depending on specific costs of curriculum development, technology tools, and course mentors. Each program’s fees are examined annually and adjusted up or down accordingly, on a cost-recovery basis. Online courses will say when they register for that subject: “The cost of this course is equal to tuition and fees for the Academic Year 2020-2021 as determined by Student Business Services, plus a per credit hour distance learning fee (amounts vary).” At UNF, there are several fees associated […]

Make The Call to Admissions

Should I, or Shouldn’t I Make the Call? Waiting to find out if you were accepted into the college of your choice is nothing short of nerve-wracking, especially in the case of schools like UNF, who have rolling admissions. Rolling admissions means that applications are not responded to on one set date but on an individual basis as they are received. Those who apply earlier will probably be hearing back earlier as well. Not knowing when you’ll hear back from your university can leave lots of students and parents anxious stressed. While it’s important to allow UNF time to view the application, you shouldn’t be afraid to call and ask about your application if their response is unusually delayed or if your application has any special circumstances. When I was applying to UNF as a transfer student, my application had lots of special circumstances, one being that I couldn’t send my first-semester […]

Planning to Sublease Your Apartment at UNF

The Supply is Greater Than the Demand, Here’s How to Sublease HaveUHeard that when a student moves into an off-campus apartment they generally sign a lease for twelve months? (it is actually a 10-month lease that apartments prorated so it gets paid over 12 months). Unlike most dorms, students are responsible for the entire year, even if they do not intend to stay for the summer. So how do you sublease a place if you can’t be there? I recently completed the subletting process as both a sublessor and sublessee. I decided to transfer to UNF after already signing a lease with a new apartment complex while I was at FSU. I was unable to get out of the lease, so I had to begin searching for someone to take over my lease. The best platforms to get your apartment noticed are a student and/or parent Facebook group and Craigslist. There are […]

My Student Made Honor Roll

Honor Roll Pride Some parents believe in rewarding hard work-honor roll, with money or gifts, I happen to not be one of those parents.  I always tell my children to work hard, try your best and be proud of your efforts. Sometimes those efforts result in a C and sometimes those efforts result in an A.  Whatever the grade may be my kids know that they worked hard and earned the grade. Obviously, this is just my opinion and you and your student may feel differently and that is ok! At UNF, the President’s Honor Roll was established to recognize those students who have achieved the highest academic standards in a given term. The Honor Roll is awarded to full-time (15 credit hours), undergraduate students with a term grade point average of 4.0.  This is a wonderful honor to receive the President’s Honor Roll award! Students who have completed 15 credit hours […]

Getting There – Transportation

Planes, Trains, Buses, Transportation, Oh My! Whether it will be the first time dropping off your student, visiting them for parent’s weekend or attending their graduation, there are a variety of very easy ways to get to the University of North Florida.  UNF, located in Jacksonville, is home to a large airport, bus terminals, train station, and many major roads. Depending on where you are traveling from you can choose which is the best transportation option for you. Airport Located only 21 miles from UNF, Jacksonville International Airport is an easy drive to the school.  The airport is small enough, so you won’t feel the hectic hustle and bustle of a major airport, yet it is home to the following airlines: Delta, American Airlines, Jet Blue Airways, United, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air Canada Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines.  Fares to and from Jacksonville are usually reasonable with […]

Flu Season Ahead

The Flu ends with “U” It’s that season again – and I don’t mean hurricanes. Flu season is generally from October through May. Given that the flu is easily spread by coughing, sneezing, and close contact – and what gets closer than dorm life and classrooms – your student may want to consider getting vaccinated. HaveUHeard the UNF’s Student Health Center offers the flu vaccine?  During flu season the cost for the vaccine is $20.00 and students must make an appointment  904-620-2900. Another option to get a flu shot is at: CVS Minute Clinic – Located within minutes from UNF.  If you go on the CVS Minute Clinic website you can find what the wait time is so you don’t have to sit around for too long. The vaccine can cost between $50 and $70, but chances are insurance will cover it.  Check first. And CVS will give you a coupon for […]


Can they Already be Finished? It seems like yesterday that your Osprey was an incoming freshman and now, within a few months, they will be graduating and looking towards the next step in their lives.  For some it will be graduate school, for some it may be the military and for some, it may be their first job in the “real” world. Whatever it will be, graduation time is a very prideful and exciting time!  Here are some helpful tips and some guidance to ensure that the time for graduation is the most memorable time and not the most stressful. UNF has three graduations, fall, spring, and summer. Commencement is held in The Arena. (*This is an unusual and unprecedented year and the situation and circumstances continue to evolve daily. Please start all your planning for any event this Fall by first checking here for the updates directly from UNF’s Emergency Management.*) […]

I’m Not Your Maid: Cleaning Services at UNF

Maybe It’s Not A Luxury, But A Necessity? Do our students really need a maid? I never thought I would be saying this but sometimes hiring a cleaning service for your student’s dorm or apartment is not a bad idea. When my oldest son was in college, he lived in an apartment conveniently located on fraternity row. The first time I went into his apartment I could not believe that he lived like that. First off, if your child is in an apartment and a roommate comes down with the flu or something else contagious, having a one-time cleaning to disinfect everything is not a bad idea. For some reason, germs spread like wildfire around college kids. This could help keep everything from spreading. The only other reason would be having a clean of an apartment to avoid a charge when moving out.  Let’s face it, kids get lazy towards the end […]

Grad School Housing is More Grown Up

Because Grad School Needs are Different Most grad students are looking to live in apartments or houses.  Their needs are different than incoming freshmen or even upperclassmen.  UNF does not offer on-campus housing for grad students, however, The Flats at UNF is an appealing option for grad students as it is an apartment-style living off-campus that is accessible to campus utilizing the Osprey Connector shuttle service.  Other than the Flats, there are a few off-campus options for grad students. They tend to be looking either beach side or close to campus, depending on their preferences. Jacksonville has an abundance of beautiful complexes, especially in the Town Center area. Some popular apartments are: Cape House Apartments – Cape House Apartments is fairly close to UNF and offers 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments.  Apartments offer washer and dryer connections and a detached garage. The community has pickleball courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a […]

Advice I’d Give my Freshman Self

Freshman Year is an Adjustment, Here’s My Advice… My freshman year wasn’t your typical one. I started as an undecided freshman at Florida State University, unsure of what path to take towards finding a major, not to mention a career. My first semester was filled with doubt, and as the semester went on, I found that the large classes and the wild hustle and bustle of Tallahassee nightlife made me feel overwhelmed and as though I was lost in the crowd of students at FSU. I decided I wanted to transfer and switched to the University of North Florida for the spring semester. My time at both schools taught me that the school you choose is important not just for its academic programs, but for the people and the environment. This is where you will be spending the next four years of your life, and you want to find a place you […]

Health Insurance

Know More About Insurance Options Students at many colleges today must have a health insurance plan that meets their university’s minimum requirement. The University of North Florida only makes this a requirement if your student is an international student. While this does make life easier in that it can eliminate some paperwork, it is still wise that your student has some sort of health insurance. UNF does have an available Student Health Plan, underwritten by United Healthcare Insurance Company and serviced by Gallagher Student Health. The enrollment dates are usually from July – September. The list of F&Q for Gallagher. Regardless, as part of your student’s tuition fees, there is a mandatory health fee that you will pay and probably not even know it. The health fee, medical compliance fee, health promotion fee, counseling fee, and DRC accommodations are health-related fees that support student activities and support services for the Dottie Dorion […]

Sending A Package to UNF? Make sure it get’s there.

Make Sure Your Package Gets There For all the many reasons that a student receives a package, most of them are a welcome highlight to their day. Whether it is just their usual Amazon delivery or a care package for midterms, their birthday or even because your student is under the weather, it’s good to know a few things that will make package delivery simpler. Depending on where your student lives on UNF’s campus, there will be different places for them to pick up their package.  The Housing Department will email students a Housing Box (HB) number upon their arrival on campus. We actually recommend using UPS (or FedEx) in comparison to USPS for in-state shipping as it is just timelier. Typically, if you are sending packages from one Florida location to another, it arrives in one day at no additional fee (barring any weather issues or intervening holidays). Adding another level […]

The First Few Weeks

We completed the drop. We unloaded the car in the treacherous Florida heat and we set up their rooms. The bed was made, everything had been put away and it only took two trips to Target for things we didn’t realize we would need. We said our see-ya-laters and shed the appropriate amount of tears. It was when I got into the car without my new college freshman, all the advice I meant to give her about those first few weeks lay dormant somewhere between the big lump in my throat and my empty heart. Forgive me if I sound dramatic, but the truth is there is a great deal to be said at that time. Whether or not they take to heart is another story. Perhaps starting the conversation a few weeks before drop-off is a better idea. Getting Started Those first few weeks of college are a crucial time for […]

Eating on a Budget

Teach Them To Budget And The Rest Is Easy Eating on a budget is hard to do at any age.  Teaching my three kids how to budget their money was not an easy chore.  I am currently in the process of teaching my daughter and let’s just say, girls, are worse than boys.  I watch her bank account go lower and lower each week and am so grateful that she has her meal plan! The summer before they each went off to college, I sat down with them and tried to explain how to budget their money, however, the reality is much different than just having a conversation.  Remind your student there is no shame in eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – it costs pennies to make. I really believe that businesses know college kids are broke. Luckily there are plenty of places to eat on and off campus that help […]

College Majors to Pursue at UNF

Perhaps It’s Time to Consider Majors that are Sustainable in Tough Times Students usually choose a major over a period of time. I have always been a fan of taking a variety of classes until you find the ones that you enjoy most and choosing a major around that. Every school, including UNF, has its more popular majors as well. However; in these unprecedented times, students might want to consider recent events when choosing or changing their major. As with any major event, such as a recession, war, or, in this case, a pandemic, there is a shift in what type of degree a student may want to consider pursuing. Certainly, the job market will look different in the future. Contemplating what jobs were sustainable throughout the pandemic may also help in the decision-making process. For instance, UNF’s Brooks College of Health has multiple majors that would apply to public health. They […]

Safest Places to Visit Your Student This Semester

We Still Love to Visit Our Ospreys So with the ever-changing world and new guidelines coming out, it can be very difficult to know where is safe to go and where are the best places to visit at UNF and Jacksonville. To make it easy, we have compiled a list of parks and activities to make your time with your Osprey memorable. Dining With Jacksonville having miles and miles of beaches and so many rivers that run through it, finding a restaurant with outdoor seating is not hard to do. Of course with St. John Town Center within minutes of campus most of the chains have outdoor seating. The restaurants listed below are just a few of the many waterside places with outdoor seating. Brick Restaurant – Brick features eclectic selections with their signature dishes. This is just a bit further from campus, but worth the drive. Julington Creek Fish Camp – […]

Home Sweet Dorm Make it Fab!

Turn Their Dorm Room From Drab to Fab Don’t be alarmed on move-in day when you walk into your student’s bare and cold dorm room. It’s amazing how quickly this space can change with planning and some trips to Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Walmart. The key to transforming the dorm space into something a little homier is preplanning. Pinterest alone has enough ideas to make your head spin.  Of course, decorating for a girl’s room is drastically different from a boy, but both will need a little extra organization. Either way, check the size bed their dorm will provide. UNF freshman residence halls (Osprey Cove, Osprey Crossing, Osprey Hall, and Osprey Landing) offer twin extra-long beds. Two of the upperclassmen dorms (Osprey Village and Osprey Fountains) both have twin beds. The last upperclassmen dorm (The Flats at UNF) offers double size beds. The Flats at UNF are more apartment-style housing.  UNF provides […]

Insider’s Guide to Living on Campus

We have the inside scoop on places to live ON-Campus! You can certainly read about the dorms and where to live from UNF’s web page Housing and Residence Life and get most of the information that you need.  I decided to ask my daughter and her friends to see what they thought of the dorms and get more of an insider’s point of view. When you start during the summer of freshman year, the dorms that are open are limited.  Typically during the summer there are only two dorms that were open – Osprey Cove and Osprey Landings. These two dorms are typically all freshman year round so it would make sense that they would be the two that were open.  During the school year, however, the following are all the dorms available to students. Osprey Cove – Freshman dorm.  This is where my daughter lived her first summer.  At first, I was […]

Lost and Found – we can help!

Oh No…. It Happened! We’ve all done it, lost something.  But what’s been lost can be found! It’s not surprising that a college student may lose their keys, book, wallet, phone, etc.  They have so many things occupying their minds and are learning to “adult” for the first time.  As parents, the frustration is usually about the security of things (i.e. losing a debit card). Things can be found or replaced, but with so many cases of identity theft, your student is just as vulnerable.  And with students being far from home, fixing the problem can be challenging. It was not a pleasant experience getting a phone call from my daughter, who had just started her first term at UNF, telling me she could not find her backpack with her laptop in it.  Needless to say, I was far from pleased. I did, however, stay calm and remember that I had purchased […]


A Nice Place to Stay Keeping in my that UNF is a small part of the thriving city of Jacksonville, there are plenty of hotel options. The airport is within 20 miles of the school as well as the Port of Jacksonville with a lot of hotels close to those areas so the availability of a hotel close to the school will be great. It is a good idea to stay with one hotel chain allowing you to accumulate points to earn free night stays or other rewards offered by that particular program. The other important point to consider is that there are peak weekends in Jacksonville where it could be difficult to get a room, so I always recommend booking a hotel far enough in advance to get the best rates.  Most hotels will honor AAA and other discounts. Pet-Friendly Hotels For those who are traveling with pets, the hotels that […]

Dance Marathon

You Can Dance If You Want To One of the most popular fundraising events in colleges across the country is Dance Marathon. Dance Marathon is part of a nationwide movement involving college and high school students across the country, all raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in their community. Students spend a year learning invaluable leadership and life skills while raising funds and interacting with patients and families. The year culminates with an event in which students stay on their feet through dancing, games, and entertainment in celebration of the total amount raised that year. UNF’s Osprey Miracle dance marathon is entering its 9th year raising funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. All donations benefit UF Health Jacksonville and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.  Each year dancers take part in a 12-hour event to raise funds and awareness for both pediatric programs. There is dancing, games, […]

So, your child wants to be an Osprey?

Osprey, who could blame them! The University of North Florida, otherwise known as the hidden gem, is a gorgeous campus with its own ecosystem, lazy river, kayaking and ropes course.  Who wouldn’t want to experience college life while being able to float down the lazy river or spend a day at the beach! Although there are many other factors involved in the admission process and decision, grades and SAT/ACT scores play a major role.  The average high school GPA of last year’s admitted freshman class at UNF was 3.73 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily A- students are accepted and ultimately attend. SAT scores range from 1160-1340 and the average score for ACTs is a 24, with a range of 21-16. The applying process for UNF is not complicated. Incoming freshmen may apply for entrance into the spring (January), summer (June), or fall (August) semesters. Students may apply for admission up […]

Away for the High Holidays

Celebrate High Holidays with a New Community Generally, our kids get to come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for those who celebrate the upcoming Jewish High Holidays, it may be your first one without your students at your holiday table. While it may feel strange having that empty seat, it can feel better to know that they are celebrating the high holidays with a new community of their peers. There are options for Jewish students at UNF. You may want to let them know they exist and then hope that they will choose to participate. Rosh Hashana in 2020 will be September 19-21st and Yom Kippur will be September 28, 2020. Time Off Not all colleges give days off for every holiday and it doesn’t look like UNF is any different. Students can certainly inform their professors, in advance, of their absence for the holiday, but chances are class will go […]

How Will Students Stay Safe, Sane and Happy this Fall

Where is a Safe Spot at College? As colleges are doing their best to come up with ideas as to how to keep our students safe and healthy as they reopen campuses, we can only hope that our students will adhere to those rules when they leave their classrooms. Let’s face it; it is not easy to enforce social distancing among a population that has a tendency to want to gather. Isn’t one of the best parts of college, the socializing? We realize we can’t replace a good frat party, but there are alternatives to fun near campus and since outdoor fun appears to be the safest alternative these days, we have come up with open-air ideas. Given that we are living under such unprecedented circumstances; we always recommend double-checking on hours, etc. before heading out as activities may be modified or limit the number of persons in each party. Our Ospreys […]

Get on the Bus

A Guide to UNF’s Bus System Getting to and from campus or around campus at UNF can be a little stressful, however, UNF’s Bus system Osprey Connector can make things much easier.  The UNF “Osprey Connector” is the university’s shuttle system that provides transportation around campus and to the St. Johns Town Center when UNF classes are in session. This service is available to all students, faculty & staff, and campus visitors. Take advantage of the shuttle system,  it is fast, safe, clean and free!  All Osprey Connector shuttles are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. The shuttle runs Monday through Friday from 7 am – 3 am, Sundays from 6 pm to 12 am (modified housing route) but does not offer service on Saturdays. The Osprey Transit is a dedicated shuttle to assist students, faculty, and staff with mobility needs and/or temporary mobility needs that extend beyond the assigned standard shuttle stop […]

Sorority Recruitment: What to Expect & What to Wear

Here Are Tips & Tricks On What to Wear If you are planning on going through recruitment at UNF, we have all the tips and tricks on what to wear to ensure you are prepped for the week. The University of North Florida hosts its recruitment in the Fall from September 4th to the 7th. Registration is already open and runs until August 27th.  Unlike other Florida colleges, UNF’s recruitment begins after the fall semester starts. When you sign up for the formal recruitment process, you become a PNM. PNM stands for Potential New Member. Once you accept a bid to one of the seven chapters, you then become a new member.  Then when recruitment begins, you’ll have a recruitment counselor who is referred to as your Rho Gamma. This woman has gone through recruitment from your side so she is sure to have plenty of advice should you need it. Always […]

Meal Plan at UNF

Burgers and Pizza and Fries – OH MY! Your student is away at school and many of you might be envisioning your student’s diet as burgers, pizza, fries and ice cream! Sure, we have been making meals for our kids for as long as we can remember. And yes, some of our kids know how to cook or even enjoy cooking but most have come to rely on their meals being ready the minute you yell “Dinnertime?” We get it… but what happens now that they will be on their own to figure out their meals? What’s the plan? Before you get ready to go on a cooking frenzy, packaging and labeling items to send with them, stop. Because we assure you, college food choices have changed since many of us went to college. That’s not to say they won’t be tempted by the vast array of food choices … we’ve all […]

Taking the Campus Tour

What To Do On Tour! Touring college campuses is so important before your student decides where they want to attend school. Some students will tour campuses before they apply and some will tour after they have been accepted. Obviously, whichever works best for your students is the way to go. I have three kids; one toured before he applied, one toured after she got accepted and one didn’t tour at all. Discuss with your child what they feel is best for them. Because of the size of UNF, touring the campus is very manageable in just a few hours. Tours are typically led by current college students and include classrooms, state-of-the-art labs, the Student Wellness Complex, and a residence hall room. HaveuHeard that UNF tours are available on weekdays and Saturdays for groups of about 25? Virtual tours are available as well. Schedule a virtual tour. When you take the tour, be […]

Move-In Day  – Are You Ready? 

More Move-In, Less Stress-Out ***Move-in day for fall is undetermined at this point, however, please check back in July for an update. Move-in day, one of the most exciting, nerve-wracking, filled-with-emotion days is the day I moved my daughter into UNF.  I had been preparing for this day with her since she found out she was accepted to UNF in January – six months earlier.  I told myself that I would not get into the emotional goodbyes at the end of the day, but I will say that large sunglasses to cover my watery, red eyes was my savior. Everyone’s experiences moving in their child are a little different but here are a few tips to make your move-in day a drop easier. Be Prepared and organized – Make sure that you print college-ready lists from different websites, from the UNF page and our carefully curated list from parents who have done this […]

Should You Take a Gap Year Before Graduate School?

Gap Year Answers. I remember when I started graduate school and on the first day of class, we were assigned to read over 300 pages and write a paper before the next class. My jaw dropped and I wondered if the professor was serious. Not every class is like this, but after four years in college, some students may choose to take a break before jumping into graduate school; whether it’s medical school, law school, an MBA or just about any other advanced degree. Graduate school can be a grind. There are other reasons students choose to take a break; or gap year, before going on to pursue an advanced degree. Many graduate programs prefer students to have some time out in the working world before grad school. It is not uncommon for students to partake in internships that will provide them with experience in their proposed field. Shadowing a professional in […]

Finding An Internship

Learn About Your Options, Find an Internship I have three children; one graduated from FSU, one is a junior at FSU and one is a freshman at UNF. Each one has had and will have, a different experience finding an internship. My oldest son called a family friend and was hired almost immediately for the summer vacation of his sophomore and junior year. Easy as pie for him – not the norm for most. In the case of my younger son, a junior and a Finance Major at FSU, the search was pretty typical, resumes emailed, phone calls, and follow up. For my daughter, a freshman at UNF, her major is Early Education so her search will be different as well. HaveUHeard which companies were selected as the 100 best internship programs in the U.S.? WayUp presents their Top 100. Vault also has their list of the Top 20 Most Prestigious Internship […]

Moving In

All the Tips and Tricks to Make Moving Easy Once your student has been given their move-in date and dorm or residence assignment, the process of handling what can be a stressful, labor-intensive and often expensive process of moving begins. Traditionally, female students tend to take a full-on decorating approach complete with wall décor, signs, pictures frames, string lights, desk accessories, and many other decorative items. Male students do not go that full in and often just want a comfortable bed, maybe a poster or two and perhaps a rug. It is quite humorous after each drop-off, whether it is for summer or fall, to see my friends’ postings on Facebook and Instagram and see the obvious male/female difference between a completed dorm room. This may be one of those sticker price shock moments. According to the National Retail Federation, back to college spending averaged $1300 in 2019. This is big business […]

Eating Healthy at college

Eating healthy, not an easy feat! It can be hard to eat healthy when at college. While on-campus dining offers healthy options, sometimes having the option for pizza, burgers, and ice cream staring us right in the face makes it difficult to choose.  Don’t get discouraged yet though. Today’s college students are demanding higher quality foods varied in taste and economically priced. There are several apps that many students can download for the latest promotions and deals at some of their favorite places. HaveUHeard that UNF’s wellness center has an assessment center where students can get immediate access to fitness and nutritional information? UNF student recommendations on where to eat healthily. Chicken Salad Chick – Chicken salad made many different ways from traditional to fruity to spicy – add a soup or salad for a balanced meal. House of Leaf & Bean –  An Organic Restaurant & Cafe- Located on Beach Boulevard this […]

Trouble in Paradise

Trouble, It Happens… Is your student having trouble or in trouble? Are they having problems with a roommate, an apartment lease, underage drinking, academic troubles including plagiarism, parking tickets and so on? You send your student off to college with the best of intentions. You’ve had the discussion about budgets, walking alone at night, binge drinking, hazing, and drugs. You’ve even discussed being a good roommate and following the University’s code of conduct. But there are situations that do come up no matter how responsible and mature your student is. First, breathe. Your student is probably freaking out and is terrified to talk to you. Remain calm and get all of the facts. Remind your child to obtain and keep all paperwork and information. Go over the dates and processes that they have been given. HaveUHeard about the services provided by the Office of the General Council that include aid to students? […]

Moving Out

Is Moving Out Harder? For some, the process of moving in is easier than moving out. When your student moves in, they neatly pack their items in a suitcase. Their towels, sheets, comforters, and décor are new, clean and many times still in its original packaging. Moving out? Not the case. Items are shoved in garbage bags, clothing is piled into a suitcase and the suitcase is sat on so that it can be zippered. Towels and sheets haven’t been washed all semester and can practically walk home! Needless to say, it can be just as stressful as moving in. For some students who are coming back to school for the summer session, their items can be stored. Some students can move their items into their next year’s apartment and some just don’t want the hassle or see the necessity to bring their refrigerator or microwave home. For these students there are […]

21 And Oh So Fun!

You’ve waited 21 years for this fun! As each year ticked off, you waited for the fun of being ‘legal’! Anyone over 21 in Jacksonville will know about the infamous “Beach Bars”. The beach bars are more or less the area right on Jacksonville Beach where many lively bars are open until 4 am, providing a great place to ‘bar crawl’ with friends. Some of the most popular bars here are Lynch’s Irish Pub, Flask and Cannon, Surfer, and The Shim Sham Room, more commonly called Shim Sham. These are just a few of the different bars you can find on the beach, all with different atmospheres, food, fun, and drinks. (These bars are known for being strict about IDs, though, so don’t try anything if you’re under 21!). A lot of UNF students will argue that the beach bars are almost a “rite of passage” to attend for your first time […]

Nature vs. Nurture

So Much More Than You Think Thinking back to when my daughter went to orientation at UNF, we never imagined that Jacksonville had much nature to explore. We always thought Jacksonville had some pretty beaches, however, we figured the area was just a big city with a lot of hustle and bustle. Were we wrong, nature galore!  The good news is that there is so much to see and do outdoors that you will not be disappointed. Jacksonville has some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches. There are actually four main beaches. They are Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Mayport Beach, and Atlantic Beach. You can paddleboard, dive, rent a beach cruiser, and surf. All are a short distance away (approximately 20 minutes). If you are visiting from May 1st through October 31st, it is Sea Turtle nesting season. Jacksonville proudly boasts the largest urban park system in the country with more than […]

Need Advice?

Advice Guide to Getting An Advising Appointment Usually, the busiest time of a semester is when students need to create their schedules for the following semester.  An incoming freshman needs advice and they will meet with their advisor during orientation to select their classes for the first semester. There are prerequisites that they need to take and with so many students needing the same type of classes, like ENC 1101, those are offered at several different times.  However, as semesters go by and majors get chosen, classes that are needed for different majors are offered on a limited schedule. Students often try to pick classes with professors that are popular and have the best rating or classes with schedules that fit into their schedules.  The best advice that I can give is for your students to have their academic goals in mind when meeting with their advisors. An open line of communication […]

Off-Campus Living

Economical to Extravagant Off-Campus Your child moves into their dorm in August and everyone is so excited…new friends, new space and everything is going just great.  Literally 2-3 months later, they are discussing moving into an off-campus apartment. What? Why? and Where? are some common questions that come up about off-campus living.  With some other Florida colleges, picking an apartment and signing a lease becomes a bit of a race to get into the best places which can actually be extremely stressful.  However because of the number of students at UNF, this isn’t the case. Close to campus There are quite a few apartment complexes that are close to UNF, some of which are quite luxurious.   UNF actually houses its own apartment complex right on campus called The Flats at UNF.  These apartments are comprised of eight, three-floor buildings and provides housing for approximately 473 students.  One advantage to The Flats at […]

Having a Car at College

Can You Get By Without a Car? Whether to let your student bring a car to campus will probably lead to many conversations. In order to try to have a student perspective based on their experience, we turned to our intern. These are just suggestions that we hope will bring a productive conversation for you and your Osprey. In my opinion as a student, if you’re living on campus, then being without a car is not a huge problem, as everything on campus is easily accessible with walking or the shuttles. UNF’s Osprey Connection is the university’s shuttle system. It is fast, safe, clean, and free! However, as far as off-campus activities, Jacksonville is known for how expansive and spread out it is, so admittedly it is difficult to get around without a car. Jacksonville does have some interesting public transportation options for students looking for citywide transit. Here is a link […]

You Really Do Want More Veggies!

More Veggies Please – Vegetarian/Vegan Dining With our country’s focus on health and healthy eating, college students are growing up used to “making better choices” and being aware of responsible farming and food preparations. It’s not surprising that colleges are having to provide choices for all types of eaters on their campuses, so more veggies, please! That being said, there will never be a shortage of late-night pizza eaters on campuses. But for those sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet, there are some choices for you to check out. Veggies rule! Green Erth Bistro (no not a typo!) – Downtown Jax.  A beautiful bistro that serves Persian specialties. House of Leaf & Bean, An Organic Restaurant & Cafe – Located within minutes of the beach.  A combination of western and Asian organic food and teas.  Catering available. Southern Roots Filling Station – Downtown Jax.  I loved their mission statement….” We love our […]

Mother Daughter Time

There is Nothing Like It! One of my favorite things to do with my kids is spending one on one time with them.  Typically speaking, my daughter always wants to spend time with just me! As a sophomore and being involved in so many events at UNF I cherish the time that is just the two of us.  Her sorority has a mother-daughter event in the spring I look forward to that event with great anticipation! When she and I are together, there is never a shortage of mother-daughter things for us to do.  We will try to make a trip to the UNF bookstore to buy whatever essentials that she needs or to pick up a few UNF items.  A trip to Target or Publix is always on our list as well as lunch, dinner and some froyo! If we have some extra time, we will fit in some time for […]

Food for Thought, Is Everyone Fed?

No Student Goes Hungry Much like the national campaign No Kid Hungry®, there are many students at colleges throughout the United States that are barely getting by, some putting their nourishment behind paying for college and all of the expenses that go along with college; tuition, books, rent, utilities, to name a few. The USDA average monthly cost of food for a college-age student for a moderate-cost plan, following the recommended Food plans, is $223.55. According to Education Data, in 2018: Nearly 25% of high school students considered middle class indicated they were not planning to attend college because of the expense In 2018, an average of 45% of students experienced frequent food insecurity Over 50% of students from 2-year institutions and 44% of 4-year students worried about running out of food Nearly 50% of students could not afford balanced meals Many students who are struggling just to keep up with the […]

Where Will They Live – Managing the Gap

Managing the Gap Did you know there was a time gap? Although it feels like you just moved your students into their dorms, you now have to move them out. The worst part, aside from the grueling heat, is that some may be returning in just a few weeks to move back in somewhere. And, if they have to be back early in August, whether it be another dorm or an apartment, having to schlep their stuff back home to return in just a few weeks seems a little silly. I know how many carloads it took to get our daughter moved in and, frankly, I am not prepared to rent a U-Haul to get her home and back again. I recommend your students start bringing things home before the semester ends or if you are visiting, bring some items home. Also have your student check with their apartment complex, depending on […]

First Time Loan Borrower

You’ll Need to Do This for a Loan What is the Entrance Counseling? In July of 2016, the U.S. Department of Education made it a requirement that, in order to have student loans disbursed, all students must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. This counseling includes information needed to successfully repay the federal student loans they will be receiving to help pay for college costs. If you have not previously received a Direct or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), the federal government requires you to complete entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming. You must complete entrance counseling before you can receive the proceeds of your first Direct Loan. If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow as an undergraduate student, then the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow a loan […]

Volunteering Turns Your Compassion Into Action

Volunteering with passion is key. From personal experience, I have found that volunteering can feed the soul.  It can provide something that is missing in one’s life or can be a requirement for a particular field of interest or it can be something as simple as giving back to your community. When you volunteer for something that you are passionate about it checks all of these boxes and then some. Many pre-med students who volunteer are not always doing the majority of their volunteering in the medical sector but are doing things they love. During your four years in college and beyond, it is incredibly important to volunteer for any or all of the above reasons, but also to add to your insight about where you really want to go and what you want to do. Academics tell you some of the stories, but you may find by actually doing something, related […]

Dress for Success

Time to Step It Up, Success Is Waiting! As they get closer to graduation, there are many changes that students will have to face.  Although it may not be the most important change, transitioning their wardrobe from yoga clothes, shorts, t-shirts, sweats, and sneakers to dresses, suits, ties, heels, and button-up shirts can be a bit of a challenge. Dressing for success can be daunting in different ways, but the one that stands out most may very well be its cost. Your first impression can make or break your success in an interview. Starting with the career and internship fairs students are attending, students need to put look professional. For the young men, this may mean a suit and tie and for the young women, while they have more options, it may mean a suit, pantsuit, skirt, and blouse, or dress. That’s not to mention shoes. Students need to research the companies […]

How to Choose or Change Majors

Feels Like A Really Big Decision! Considering the University of North Florida offers a multitude of degrees; how is one to choose? Most students begin college with some idea of what they want to study, but it is not uncommon for them to change majors.  I have three kids and none of them really knew what their major would be before they started school. Picking a major became a little easier for them during their orientation and first session with their advisor. My daughter did, however, change her major midway through her freshman year after looking at all the science classes she would have to take. Changing and choosing a major isn’t always easy. There are several ways you can support your student as they are trying to decide or consider changing a major. One of the main reasons students reconsider or hesitate to declare a major is because they do not […]

Orient Yourself, What You Need For Orientation

A Guide to Orientation Congratulations!  Your child has been accepted to UNF!  This is such a wonderful time in your child’s life and the start of the next chapter for your family.  Being accepted to UNF comes signing up for orientation. The university will provide you with everything you need to know to sign up for orientation,  what you will need to bring and how the two-day event will function. However, I will give you some valuable information to help with this process. Just so you know, you will not be spending most of those two days with your students; they have their own sessions. Students will stay in the dorms and parents will stay in hotels.    Try to discuss what classes your student may want to take before orientation so they are prepared when they actually sit down with an advisor for enrollment (at the end of a successful orientation).  If […]

Best Coffee Shops at UNF

Coffee, Cup of Joe, a Cuppa, Java Caffeine is king for most college students and, while generally the most economically savvy way of getting it is making it at home, most students choose to obtain their “bean juice” via more expensive and more social ways. Since these shops are peaceful and quiet, they are my top choice of study spots in Jacksonville. Even if you aren’t a coffee lover, coffee & tea houses are popping up everywhere. They are the perfect places to meet to study, or for a first date or even just to sit and read a book. Coffee houses just make you feel welcome and at home. There is no shortage in Jacksonville including some on and some off-campus. They are also common places for dates, meetups, and hangouts due to the ease of conversation that seems to flow while drinking a dark roast or a cappuccino. Alyona’s – On […]

Spring Break, Fun Times

Letting Off Steam Before Finals Spring Break…just the words conjure up so many different feelings, memories, and emotions.  Some of the memories are from my own spring break during my college years. Goodness, those were some fun times with some of my closest friends.  Other thoughts about spring break are of my kids – safety, cost, and fun! I am from South Florida and I have seen my share of crazy spring break scenes so being a parent of college-age students can sometimes be a daunting job. Spring break vacations these days are a bit different than years ago. Cruises are a very popular spring break trip.  What could be better than to be on a floating party for 7 nights with 300 of your closest friends? Usually, four kids (one of which must be 21 or older) cram into the cheapest cabin possible, purchase the all-you-can-drink package (this does not mean […]

Transfer to UNF

You Can Change Your Mind and Transfer It is not uncommon for students to start at one university and find that it is not the place for them or to begin their college journey at a local community college and transfer to a larger school at the right time.  Transferring to UNF can be done as a lower-level student, upper-level student or from a partner school. Lower Level Student Lower-level students are defined as those with fewer than 60 hours of college coursework. In order to be accepted as a transfer student, they must satisfy the same admission requirements as incoming freshman applicants and have a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.0 (“C”) or higher and in good standing.  They must complete an admissions application, pay a $30 application fee, send their official high school transcripts and all SAT/ACT test scores and official post-secondary transcripts as well. Transfer students may apply for […]

Money, Money, Money

When Will Financial Aid Disburse? Or, Show Me The Money! The time has come to pay for your college costs and panic sets in. I have three kids and each experience has been different. My oldest son’s financial aid took forever to disburse and we had to make sure that the school would not assess any penalties. My younger son’s financial aid disbursement has been like a dream. Disbursement has been on schedule with a certain amount left over for his books, rent, or whatever he needs. Although my daughter’s funds were disbursed on time, UNF requested a lot of financial information for her financial aid. With each child, I wonder when does the money get disbursed this time? Can you get a deferral for books, living accommodations, and student fees if necessary? For your student’s specific account details, you should log into their mywings account. UNF encourages all students who receive financial […]

UNF Care, How to Adjust to a New Life

Transition Can Be an Adjustment, We Care Moving to college is a huge adjustment for many students. Some students don’t know where to start when they are on their own and free to make their own decisions when it comes to eating habits, health, and wellness care. Luckily, UNF has many programs that can help students with that transition as well as other aspects of health and wellness. Through UNF’s Health and Wellness Center, students are not only connected to various resources around campus but also receive numerous resources directly in their office. UNF Health and Wellness specifically focuses on physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and environmental well-being. The university has identified these topics as the most important in the success of college students. Some of the programs offered include psychological services, wellness coaching, time-management courses, outdoor recreation, nutrition coaching, and personal training. HaveUHeard that UNF also has apps that they recommend for students to […]

Graduation Restaurant Reservations

Reservations! The Earlier, The Better! I can’t believe that graduation is right around the corner! UNF’s Fall Graduation is in December and is held in the UNF Arena. With two graduations that day, scheduling a time and place to eat around your student’s ceremony is important especially as family and friends join in on the celebration. Hopefully, you have read our blog Graduation at UNF and already arranged your hotel rooms. But, if you are coming up with your entire family, you may want to make your restaurant reservations as many of the restaurants get extremely busy. With that being said there will be many places that will require reservations for brunch, lunch, or dinner depending on the time of your student’s graduation.  To help you out, we are listing the restaurants that take reservations and if they require a deposit to hold the table (some do, depending on the size of your party). […]

Parking at UNF

Get the Last Spot! When getting ready to send your student off to UNF, the decision of should they bring their car to school, and then what to do with it when they do, must be decided.  Having a car on campus makes things easier for your student – getting to Publix, CVS, the mall; however, parking can be a little bit of a hassle. UNF has some parking information and rules that can make the whole car situation a bit more manageable. One of the first things to remember is immediately upon registering for classes, buy your permit as soon as permits go on sale! Permit sale dates can be viewed through Osprey Update for Students and on the UNF parking information page. Permits are sold on a “first-come, first-served” basis, because some of the more desirable permits, such as Blue Lot permits, have set sales limits and will sell out. The Gray […]

Technology Needs for UNF Students

Here is What You Get For Free! HaveUHeard that Microsoft Office 365 is free for all enrolled UNF students? And it’s free for up to five devices. That is a huge cost saving for a college student.  For information about downloading this great technology. Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of tools from Microsoft. With it, you also have Microsoft OneDrive which provides cloud storage and sharing files. It can also be accessed from your mobile device. Here is other information for Class Prep technology. While the computer of choice for many students is trending toward Macbooks, before you head out to get a computer for your student, some of the colleges have specific requirements that differ from general recommendations. For the individual college and degree program hardware and software requirements. However, if you do decide to purchase a MacBook, make sure that you have your student ID with you for a discount. You […]


Are U an Osprey? Unlike almost any other Florida university, UNF does not have a football team.  To some this may seem like a major disappointment; however, to most Ospreys, it is not the focus of our athletic program.  Basketball, tennis, golf, cross country and beach volleyball are just a few of the sports that UNF focuses on. UNF Ospreys compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference Division I program and fields teams in seven men’s sports and ten women’s sports. For students at UNF, there is no charge for any sporting event.  Students can watch an exciting game of men or women’s basketball in the UNF Arena, baseball or softball at the Harmon Stadium.  Most ticketed games, such as men’s and women’s basketball, a student needs to print a ticket and have their student id. Click here to ticketing information including dates, cost, and seating in the Arena. The University of North Florida […]

Great Grad Gigs

Great Gigs That May Pay for Tuition Finally, you’re a grad, but you need a little side gig to help with costs. In the Florida university system, there are several employment classes that fall under the general category of a teaching assistant. UNF uses three of these titles: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Graduate Teaching Associate, and Graduate Assistant. Graduate Assistants are highly sought after and amazing positions for graduate students. There are tons of different types of GA positions at UNF that revolve around specific work and allow students to work closely with faculty, participate in research, and see the inner workings of the University. Graduate Teaching Assistants teach a class at the University who instruct on a regular basis and give grades to students. Another type of GA is a Grad Lab Assistant, who instruct undergraduate students in lab sections across campus. They are required to teach, observe, and facilitate experiments to […]

Places of Worship for Students

Continuing Traditions Whether you are away from home as a first-year freshman or a fourth-year senior, it is always comforting to know that you can carry on your religious traditions and worship customs at school. Besides being able to continue your faith at school it is also a great way to meet other students. UNF is a very diverse campus. At or around UNF, there are places to worship, regardless of your students’ faith. In addition to the on-campus religious organizations, Jacksonville has many places of worship. Here is a list of the religious organizations on or near campus at the University of North Florida. On-Campus Worship Jewish Student Union – The Jewish Student Union (JSU) is a student organization that provides programming for Jewish and non-Jewish students at the University of North Florida. Located on campus at 1 UNF Drive or email. Jewish Ospreys – The UNF Chabad Jewish Student Center […]


Great Places to Eat! Like any college town, there are literally hundreds of dining options from fast food to fast-casual, from family-style to fine dining. You will find your burgers, pizza, Mexican, Chinese, barbecue, sushi, salads, Mediterranean, a restaurant for every palate and every price point. When coming to Jacksonville to visit your student or tour the campus with a prospective student, what restaurants are must-visits? Below we give you a breakdown of some of our favorites.  During peak weekends and at some of the more popular selections, expect waits. Jacksonville is a huge city with a tremendous number of restaurants near UNF.  We have broken it up by meal selection with some restaurants listed for breakfast, brunch, and dinner.  Most of the restaurants are open for lunch but here we focus just on these dayparts. There are many chain restaurants near UNF, focusing a lot in St John’s Center.  But, the […]

Being Thrifty

When You Need to Stay on Budget, Be Thrifty! Being a college student, it can be stressful to be thrifty and stay on budget throughout the semester. There can be interviews, social events, and many occasions for a new outfit. In between, living in a rental, I like to redecorate my room and living space with my roommates. Spending money at the mall, popular house décor stores, Target, or discount stores, such as Homegoods, can add up quickly. Fortunately, Jacksonville has many great options for thrift shopping for almost any type of item. From gently used kitchen appliances, wall decorations, lamps, clothing, and much more, thrift shops allow for students on a budget to not only enjoy their living space but feel confident at interviews as well! Additionally, many thrift stores in Jacksonville are non-for-profit. For example, The Hubbard House Thrift Store offers high-quality clothing and household goods for sale.  The Hubbard House, […]

Are Your Student’s Valuables Safe?

Keep Them Safe As we were preparing my daughter for college, one of the most popular subjects discussed on my UNF parent’s Facebook page was safety.  I’m talking about how to keep all of their “stuff” safe. There were opinions and suggestions flying around weekly. No matter how many suggestions, opinions, and items you buy, they only work if your student actually heeds the advice, and uses these items to keep stuff safe. That being said, do not be surprised when your child calls you to tell you that they lost their ID, phone, keys, etc.  It’s bound to happen. But worse than that is when they call you to tell you that something was actually stolen from them.  When I was in college, the biggest thing to be stolen was a bike or a meal plan card (back then it was a flimsy laminated punch card).  Today, students come to school […]

Safety Matters

How To Handle The Fact You Are Not There I am a neurotic mother, yes, I admit it! When my older sons left for school, I realized that I no longer had them in my “clutches.” It was a totally eye-opening experience for me. I had to understand that no matter how much I stressed and worried, their safety was not in my hands.  So, when my daughter left for UNF last June it was both a bit easier because I had experience with my boys and also a bit harder because she is a girl. The school has a variety of safety programs that keep us both informed. Safety App UNF has a safety app, Safe Ospreys, that can be downloaded on any smartphone.  The app allows students to complete their emergency contacts, automatically call 911 or UPD and has an emergency plan screen that allows the student to be prepared […]

The Stress of College

Stress, It Happens to All of Us One of my biggest worries when my kids left for college, was would they be able to handle the stress of college life. There are a lot of things to juggle when they are away at school for the first time. Besides the adjustment of living away from home, they are now dealing with classes, homework, and exams that are all heading them down the path for their future. Being able to cope with new situations, parties, new friends, can be a lot for many new college students. I encourage you to talk to your child often, even if they don’t want to, just to make sure that they are adjusting well no matter what year they are in. UNF offers different ways to cope with the stress of college. As a part of UNF’s health and wellness/wellbeing program, they offer diverse programs and services that […]

Staying Fit

Keeping Fit Counts! Freshman 15? No way! Keep fit! We have all heard about the dreaded freshman 15 pounds that is so easy to gain the first year away at school. Our kids are away at school and basically free to eat whatever they want so it is not difficult to understand how weight can be gained the first year, I know I did my freshman year! However, health and food are far more important these days than it was years ago. Colleges offer many different types of foods catering to different eating styles, whether it be vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free. If your student finds that they are gaining weight or they just want to live a healthy and active lifestyle, UNF has many options to keep fit. UNF has a beautiful wellness center that is located directly across the street from the bookstore and next to the arena. This state-of-the-art comprehensive […]

Rushing Her Way

Sorority Low-Down When my daughter was accepted to UNF she was thrilled!  She starting talking about where she would live, who her roommate would be and how they were going to decorate their room. Before too long, the topic of rushing and joining a sorority came up. I went to UF and one of the best experiences of my college life was rushing and joining a sorority – well maybe rushing wasn’t the best experience; however, joining a sorority was.  So, when my daughter brought up the subject of going through rush, I thought it was a great idea. UNF is a smaller school and with that also brings fewer sororities to choose from and a different Greek life than I went through.  However, none of that would take away from the experience she would embark on. So, what is Greek life all about? First of all, there are different requirements to […]

Just Desserts!

Who Wants Dessert, Is My Favorite Sentence! Seriously?!  My favorite meal of the day is dessert.  When my kids were little, many times I would give them ice-cream for breakfast, typically on the weekend of course!  Who doesn’t love delicious desserts to start or end the day? Jacksonville has some amazing dessert places, below are just a few.  Some locations are not near UNF, however, all are within the Jacksonville area. Desserts For You! Amaretti Desserts – Located in San Marco and Mandarin this made from scratch bakery serves cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries. Cold Stone Creamery – Ahhhh delicious!  Cold Stone offers a wide array of ice cream flavors with mix-ins.  Cups, cones and homemade waffle cones and bowls are available. Cookies and Cream – Jax Beach.  HIGHLY recommended by my daughter and her friends! Donut Shoppe – In downtown Jacksonville.  Cash only. This incredible donut shop, located off the beaten […]

Family Weekend, Fun and more!

Fun Family Time Family or Parent’s Weekend is a fabulous weekend when you get to visit your son or daughter at UNF.  They will want to show you all their new favorite places around campus and town and introduce you to their new friends. UNF Parent’s Weekend 2020 date, usually in October, has been postponed to the spring of 2021 this year. Having two sons at another state college, one of the first questions I asked when my daughter moved into UNF was “when is Parent’s Weekend?” I knew from experience Parent’s Weekend can be very crowded and chaotic and wanted to book my hotel and if possible, make dinner reservations. Surprisingly enough, everything about UNF Parent’s Weekend was simple and easy.  I had no problem making a hotel reservation, the prices were not increased for the weekend, local restaurants were not overly crowded (I did not need a reservation at any […]

It’s All about the Delivery and Ease

There’s a knock at the door! Taking time away from studying can be the difference between dinner or a bag of chips and a soda. Sometimes it pays to turn to delivery services, particularly when they have been studying for hours on end or they aren’t feeling well. It’s good to know that food can be delivered right to their dorm or apartment. Here are some of the ones we found and what they deliver and how they work. As you will see, not every delivery service is for food. Delivery Services Bite Squad – There is a chat option if you would like to review your order or ask why your order is taking so long. You can schedule a delivery for later in the day and check the order status. Gift cards are available. Bite Squad has partnered with Doorstep Deliver which delivers restaurant food directly to your student. Place […]

Campus Resources for Students of Color

Campus Guide to Resources for Mulitcultural Students Campus diversity amongst students has grown considerably over the years and most colleges acknowledge the need to honor various student groups. Colleges also propose to create campuses that maintain an inclusive atmosphere; allowing all its students to gain exposure, perceptions, global awareness, and a willingness to collaborate peacefully and freely. College campuses strive to support their black organizations and students. Students are supported through varying resources at each school. While there are quite a few national associations, often colleges have localized branches that provide a more personalized experience. While each groups’ overall goal may differ somewhat, the overall goal of all the on-campus organizations is to encourage a welcoming space for black students to make connections. Some organizations for students of color are sponsored by professional societies, while others focus on diversity, mentoring, networking, college achievement, and other types of support. There are many Black […]

Making the Most of Summer B

It Can Be The Best Season Ever! (Unfortunately Summer B at UNF will be remote for 2020.  Please see our blog on Distance Learning to help with any transitions.**) Starting school over the summer is the way many Florida colleges are accepting new students.  In my opinion, it is the best way to start school. Campuses are quieter with fewer students attending school and students aren’t taking a full 4-5 class load.  All three of my kids and I started our college experiences during the summer. Summer is a quiet time and really gives students an opportunity to get acclimated and adjusted to college life. The state of Florida requires students to have a minimum of 9 summer credit hours and some people may consider this to be an inconvenience especially with summer travel; however, if your student spends more than one summer taking classes and they accumulate more than the required […]

Rushing His Way – Frats

What Is the Rushing Real Story? So many times, we think about a fraternity and think of the movie Animal House.  The brothers are living in a house that is disgusting, everyone is partying, drinking alcohol, and doing drugs.  Certainly, if a fraternity is engaging in behavior that crosses the line, they should, and will, end up either on suspension or maybe even kicked off-campus. But talk with many of the young men in fraternities at UNF, and they will speak of brotherhood, a lifetime of friendships and access to leadership positions on campus. UNF has 28 chartered fraternal organizations.  Some of these are social in nature and some are academic in nature.  The academic fraternities are based on a lot of factors, all of which are academic in nature.  Typically, an academic fraternity will invite members based on grade point average. Whichever your son chooses, Greek life will be an incredible […]

Preparing for Graduate School Exams UNF

Just Keep Going… Deciding to go to graduate school is a major decision for a lot of students.  Having a master’s degree is a great way for students to further their education and to increase their marketability.  Some jobs require a master’s degree while others do not. My son, who is going into his senior year at FSU as a finance major, has decided that he wants to get his masters. With all of that being said, preparing for graduate school exams can take a minimum of 6 months to a year. If your student is interested in getting their master’s degree at UNF, they should contact the Graduate School.  HaveUHeard that UNF’s graduate school offers over 44 graduate degrees and certificates with a wide range of concentrations in arts and sciences, business, computing and engineering, education, and health?  Click here to apply for a program and click here for a full list of degrees […]

Spring Sports at UNF

So Many Sports, So Little Time As most students and parents know, UNF does not have a football team.  So the usual hubbub and spirit surrounding football season doesn’t really occur at UNF. However, what UNF may lack in the fall and football season, it more than makes up for during the spring semester with several different sports being played.  Swoop! HaveUHeard that UNF hosts both men’s and women’s teams?  Actually, UNF has more women’s sports teams than men’s. Some of the popular spring sports include baseball, basketball, softball, tennis, track and field, swimming and beach volleyball.  For the whole list of teams and calendars, this site has all of the info.  And, we list many of the games in our calendar. Also, new this year is the UNF Athletics Department along with UNF Campus Life and Student Government have partnered to create a new opportunity for UNF students to engage with […]

Birthright Israel

Young Jewish Adults Israel Trip What exactly is Birthright Israel?  Birthright began in 1999 with a bold idea—offering a free, life-changing trip to Israel to young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 26 and, in doing so, transforming the Jewish future. Their mission is to give every Jewish young adult around the world, especially the less connected, the opportunity to visit Israel on an educational trip. Today, Birthright Israel is the largest educational tourism organization in the world and it aims to strengthen Jewish identity, communities, and connection with Israel.  Each 10 trip is 100% funded by 30,000+ donors each year. Both of my sons went on Birthright in the last five years and had an amazing time. They went with some friends that they knew from school and also met some new friends as well.  The experience of Birthright is one that they will remember always. UNF does not have […]

Is A Grade A Really An A?

Those Pluses and Minuses Do Count! Get the Right Grade. Getting good grades in school really does matter. The grade you are given will have an effect on your overall college experience, and possible graduate schools you would like to attend. The college grading system can be confusing, especially coming from high school.  Is an A the same points as an A- or that matter is a B+ the same as an A-? Here is a look at the UNF Grading System. Grade   GPA A             4.0 A-           3.7 B+           3.3 B             3.0 B-            2.7 C+           2.3 C             2.0 D             1.0 F              0 Some students may end the semester with W or withdrawals and these do not factor into their GPA.  Typically speaking, students are aware of classes they have withdrawn from and students are aware of their grades going into finals. As a parent, while I am thrilled with my children if […]

Homecoming for all Osprey’s

Calling All Ospreys…it’s Nest Fest! Homecoming has a lot of meaning for college sports teams and it is always a special event and the homecoming at UNF is known as Nest Fest. It is a week-long celebration that has something for everyone: students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends. Check back in the fall of 2020 or early 2021 for updates on next year’s homecoming.   To give you an idea of the events that went on this year here is a schedule of events.  There are many events that take place and these are worth highlighting! Homecoming Village  – A HUGE party in the plaza!  A free family-friendly event with food trucks, games, activities, live music, and bounce houses. Homecoming Carnival – Free for students and held at night, it features rides, giveaways, and food Swoop the Loop – A family-friendly 5K Blue and Gray Bash –  The Blue and Gray Bash […]

Student Accessibility Service

Consideration for Providing Accessibility for Everyone For students with a disability, UNF takes great care in providing resources for their students, whether it be ADHD, Autism or any other disability.  The primary mission of the Disability Resource Center (DRC) is to ensure that all students with disabilities have equal access to educational opportunities at the University of North Florida. Accessibility for all! Students with disabilities must apply to UNF through the regular admissions procedure. There are no special admissions procedures.  Applications are accepted via the UNF Admissions page. Once a student with a disability is accepted, UNF will request documentation regarding the disability.  Based on the disability, different documentation will be needed. For a list of documentation requirements and registration click here. Options to submit documentation are as follows: Upload via Clockwork during online intake application through mywings account. Drop it off at the DRC in person, Building 57 room 1500, Attn: India Hamilton. […]

Roommates and Residential Life

First Time Living With Someone You’re Not Related To! For many students entering college, this may be their first time away from home for an extended period of time. While dorm living can be an enriching and wonderful part of the college experience, it can also be a source of great stress and discomfort if the roommates are not a good match. Granted, the fit does not have to be perfect. Prior to starting summer B, my daughter had searched for a fall roommate through Facebook. She did not want to live an entire year with a friend, preferring to meet new people; all part of the college experience.  As my daughter is almost finished with her first year at UNF, the roommate that she randomly picked has turned out to be an excellent choice. Of course, they have had their share of differences and annoyances with each other but that’s to […]

Beauty and The Beast

Is That How Your Favorite Fairy Tale Begins? When planning for school, we often think of all the essentials, dorm room decorations, meal plans, registration, etc; however, one of the things that are not often thought of is haircuts, manicures, waxings, etc. Beauty and beast! Most of our children at some point and time will need to get some type of service.  After asking my daughter, her boyfriend and some of their friends where they go, here are some of their suggestions and others that we found. Barbershops Empire Latin Barbershop – Cuts only Fades and Combs Barber Lounge – Offers cuts, beard trim and shave. Luxury Hair Studio for Men – located at the beach.  Cuts, shaves, waxing and mani/pedis. Precision Barber Shop Regis Salon – Men’s and women’s services. Open 7 days. Nail Salons Glitz and Glam Salon – Mani/Pedi Ooh La La Nails & Spa – Mani/Pedi, waxing, lashes, […]

Controversial Speakers

Is Free Expression Controversial? UNF has definitely had its fair share of public speakers coming on campus and preaching to those who pass by. While it can be somewhat annoying, they normally refrain from any direct insults or attacks on a specific person or group of persons. This situation is still a delicate one, as UNF is a very forward-thinking and accepting campus and the people who come on campus to speak often hold very controversial or “old-fashioned” ideals, which can often lead to some discomfort or clashing views. UNF, like all Florida public universities, applies something called the Campus Free Expression Act. This act is a law for public universities and colleges in Florida that allows these universities to allow visitors to freely speak in outside areas around campus. UNF has been a campus that has always promoted free speech by every person: an employee, a student, invited and uninvited speakers. […]

What You Should Do Before Heading to UNF

Before you leave… Before you leave to take your kid to college, there are a few items you will want to take care of that are extremely important. Most college students are 18, although a few are younger, which means they are considered to be legal adults. With that comes a whole lot of independence from their parents, regardless of who is footing the bill for their education. Unless they give you permission or their login information, you will be unable to have access to their health records, grades, pretty much anything that has HIPAA laws behind it. Talk to your student about signing over permission for the college to speak with you. Make certain they understand that without that signed permission, everything, and we mean everything, pertaining to the college. From medical records to financial aid, it cannot be discussed with any other person but themselves. While you may be footing […]

Books, Books, Books

To Buy or Rent books, That is the Question. I remember when I went to college, the lines at the bookstore were forever. On the first day of class, the professor handed out the syllabus with the required books.  Immediately after class, I went to the book store, bought all of my books, carried them back to my dorm, and hoped that the “used” books didn’t have too many highlighted pages. Well, things have changed since then.  Students are now able to find their classes online, see what books they need, order the books, and have them waiting at the UNF bookstore before classes begin.  If they prefer, they don’t have to buy the actual textbook they can rent or get a downloaded digital version. Some students, however, prefer to wait until classes have started because many professors either change the requirements at the last minute or others are ok with the […]

Finding A Roommate at UNF

First time living with someone you’re not related to! When I went to school, there was no way to find out who my roommate was until the day I got to school.  The anticipation was high – would I like her? Would we be best friends? Would we both like to do the same things, join a sorority, stay up late? Would we be a roommate match? These days it’s soooo much different. There are websites, FB pages, group texting and much more for students to pick their roommates and get to know them. Roommate Choices Some students choose to live with their friends from high school.  Living with friends gives you the comfort of knowing that person and their personality.  But a lot of friends that live with each other don’t end up staying friends.  That may sound extreme but think about it. Going to college is the chance to reinvent […]

Working While In College

Who doesn’t need extra money… Some students are working to supplement the allowance that their parents are giving them each week or month and some students are working to pay their bills or putting themselves through school.  Regardless of the reason, working while going to school is an excellent way for students to learn to prioritize and organize their time. Some students will find employment on campus.  There are all kinds of opportunities in every single department across campus.  The first step to seeking employment in one of these positions would be to visit unfjobs.org and browse the publicly listed postings of jobs available. A position can be found in most of the UNF’s numerous departments, from chemistry to athletics. However, this isn’t the only way to find a job on campus.  Many professors or departments are actually looking for students to work for them, yet they haven’t advertised it.  So if […]

Sick at School

Mom…I’m sick? When my kids were growing up, I always hated when they said: “I don’t feel well.”  Having my daughter 4 hours away and hearing those words makes me hate them even more.  No one wants their kids to be sick, especially when they aren’t at home near their doctor.  Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help them to get through the illness. I sent my kids to school with a plastic container that had as many things that I could think of to help them if they weren’t feeling well or just needed some first aid.  From band-aids to allergy pills, the box was filled and I told them to wash their hands and change their sheets and toothbrush as often as possible. Sometimes they need care beyond your box. In my experience, my kids and I have had great results taking Source Naturals Wellness Formula. It […]

Sorting Out College Life, Laundry and Beyond

Your guide to washing, drying and never losing our favorite pair of socks! I was never the mom who made her kids do their own laundry, although they knew how to use the washer and dryer and, on occasion, would move the wash from one to the other. I always took on the task of washing their clothing.  So, as I watched my own kids learn to do their laundry a few weeks before they left for school the first time, there was a bit of sadness, a touch of pride and a whole lot of woohoo!! Now that they are at school it is pretty amazing to see just what they are able to do with a load of dirty laundry.  I had to laugh the first time my daughter called me telling me her favorite white shirt was now a lovely shade of pink! Campus Laundry If your child plans […]

Study Abroad

All Aboard the Study Abroad Train! Wow!  Just the thought of my daughter being able to study abroad is so exciting to me!  Nowadays it seems like it is the thing that most college students are doing. From what I hear, the first semester of their junior year is when most kids are going.  The latest national report on Study Abroad showed that more than 238,332 students from colleges and universities across the United States went overseas to earn credit during their academic years.  There are so many factors involved in making the decision. At UNF there are a few study-abroad programs to choose from.  The three study abroad programs are through the Coggin College of Business. The first program is a faculty-led study abroad program.  Your student would register for a business class in fall for the spring semester.  The student studies a particular business discipline and country throughout the spring semester.  During […]

Namast’ay at UNF, Your Yoga Connection

Keeping Stress at Bay with Yoga Ahhhhh, one of my favorite things to do, and by far the best way to get my head cleared is to practice yoga. Very few things have been continuously practiced for over 5000 years with continued success. The practice proves that the mind, body, and spirit are healthier. Whether you are looking to get a workout or to stretch and breathe, practicing this age-old art is an excellent way to move your body. I am relatively new at it and my daughter has only practiced a few times and we have found a tremendous amount of yoga and meditation classes in our home town and at UNF respectively. Haveuheard that UNF offers a bunch of classes in the Student Wellness Center? They offer the following classes which are all 55 minutes. Acro Yoga – This class will teach you how to fly, base, spot, stretch, and […]

High School Graduation Gift Ideas

Get Them Something Practical Yet Fun When my older son graduated from high school, not only did he go to a lot of graduation parties, but he also had a party. He received gift cards, money and a lot of logoed apparel from the college he was going to (FSU). By the time my younger daughter graduated, the gifts she received, in addition to money and gift cards, were from the college registry she set up (plus a bunch of UNF t-shirts.) Today, the lists have gotten longer but so have the places to buy gifts, many of which are now online. Whether your student is having a graduation party, sending out announcements or just has a big family that is looking to get the high school grad a gift, HaveUHeard pulled together a list of the most requested graduation gifts for 2019 according to our very unscientific high school and college […]

Tax Time

TAX, A Necessary Evil Taxes, we have to admit, are not fun but necessary. As you are preparing your return or having a CPA prepare your return, do not forget to take advantage of the Education Tax Credits available which can help offset the cost of your student’s education. Two Credits Available There are two tax credits available to take, The American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit. The AOTC (American Opportunity Tax Credit) was made permanent by the Protecting Americans from the Tax Hikes Act signed in 2015. The AOTC allows credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. The AOTC/Lifetime Learning credits are based on the payment of “qualified tuition and related expenses.” These are the expenses for tuition and academic fees that are required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Qualified tuition and related expenses do not include student activity fees, […]

The Next Four Years at UNF, here’s what to expect.

Welcome to the Nest Do you have a student ready to spend the next four years as a UNF Osprey? SWOOP and Welcome to the Nest!  The next four years will be some of the most amazing times for your student, and without a doubt for yourself as well, in the Jacksonville area.  Jacksonville, perfectly positioned along the Atlantic Ocean in northeast Florida, is a natural paradise. Otherwise known as the “River City by the Sea”, this beautiful city boasts more than 20 miles of wide and uncrowded beaches, close to 40 miles of the tranquil Intracoastal Waterway canal, and the longest stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River. Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the nation, with 10 state and national parks. Its authentic cuisine, incredible shopping areas, historic district and more, “Jax” is definitely making its mark on the map. There is something for everyone in […]

Cultural Resources for Hispanic-Latino Students

Support, Empowerment, and Connection for Hispanic-Latino Students Campus diversity amongst students has grown considerably over the years and colleges vie to maintain an inclusive atmosphere; allowing all students to gain exposure, perceptions, global awareness, and a willingness to collaborate peacefully and freely. Whether serving as a forum for communication, helping students build strong social networks, or simply in pursuit of a welcoming space amongst other Hispanic or Latino students; UNF undoubtedly has a place where you will find your connections. With over 10% of the student body being Hispanic, UNF has formed LASO the Latin American Student Organization which is a UNF student organization that promotes values and spreads awareness of the culture of Latin American to the UNF campus and community. This organization is one of the most successful cultural clubs at UNF and has a strong partnership with Greek life. LASO has hosted many events ranging from dance classes, guest speaker […]


When Additional Help is Needed Students who attend UNF, face the same challenging classes, taught by respected and renowned professors, than any other competitive college. Using tutoring assistance to keep up with studies is an excellent idea. They are no longer in high school where a student can often coast by; succeeding at UNF requires taking classes seriously. At the same time, there are many opportunities to get involved and enjoy these four years including basketball games, Greek life, and outdoor activities. A student needs to be able to balance all of this, which can prove daunting to many. But since the admissions process has grown more selective, the understanding is that many of these students have already been faced with balancing academics, social and civic activities. If your student mentions that they are having trouble in classes, there are many places that they can turn including speaking to their professor. On-Campus […]

What is FAFSA?

First Applicants Find Substantial Assets, FAFSA of course! First Applicants Find Substantial Assets, of course! FAFSA is the national Free Application for Federal Student Aid but, based on how aid is distributed, it may as well stand for First Applications Find Substantial Assets. Because aid is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, every student that hopes to receive aid for college must fill out this form to even be considered. Every college has its own deadline. UNF’s school code is 009841. UM’s priority deadlines are October 15th each year. After October 15, applications are reviewed in the order they were received.  Of course, if your student did not know if they were accepted back then, but they can speak with the Office of Financial Affairs to update their application if your circumstances have changed substantially from what was reported on the Federal Income tax return for the year submitted. If your student […]

What Not to Bring to College

No, you don’t need that! I remember when I first went to college – many, many years ago, I packed my car and my parents’ car full of my clothing, accessories, bedding and as much of my childhood as I could. I wanted to bring everything. Needless to say, there was no way that my stuff from my room at home was now going to fit into a college dorm room that was shared with two other girls. Now that my daughter is a freshman at UNF, I tried to tell her she didn’t need to pack everything from her closet.  Unbeknownst to me, her closet at UNF was huge along with a very large dresser. She was able to bring all the clothing that she wanted and had plenty of room to unpack them.  UNF has a specific list of items that can be brought to the dorms and items that cannot be […]

When the Wind Blows a Hurricane is coming!

Being prepared for a Hurricane Having lived in Florida since 1983, I have seen and experienced a lot of hurricane preparedness and fortunately, I have not experienced a direct hit of any storm. Most of the time with hurricanes, the preparation is the most chaotic, stressful time. Gas lines will be long, Publix and Walmart will run out of water and batteries immediately and parents will worry about their home and children. For those who have students who are from out of state, the first mention of a potential storm or hurricane and the unknown sends parents into a justifiable panic. When the news about a potential storm starts dominating the airwaves, especially in the area to which the storm is headed, parent’s concerns go into overdrive. The level of panic for in-state residents is equivalent to the category storm being forecast. Floridians seem to look at Cat 1’s with an almost […]

Searching for Scholarships at UNF

Congratulations on Your Child Being Accepted! Now that that’s settled, the idea of actually paying for college looms.  Hopefully, you have prepared in some way but fear not. Finding a scholarship can help with the cost of college. If you live in Florida and have purchased a Florida Prepaid plan, then that will start working for you immediately. And, if your student received assistance from Bright Futures, that too helps offset some of the costs. Every year, I hear stories about thousands of dollars in scholarship money that are never applied for.  It does take a lot of work and time to research scholarships, apply for them, and to validate the authenticity of them.  But, that work can pay off at a reduced cost to you. Some are quite competitive, some last for four years, and some are downright silly, but pay for something.  Some scholarships require essays and believe it or not, […]

Diversity and Inclusion for LGBTQ College Students

LGBTQ Campus Support and Resources College can be challenging for all students, therefore finding ways to make connections with others who identify similarly can make a big difference. The American College Health Association estimate that at least 10% of college students identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, asexual, pansexual, or questioning. Although LGBTQ PRIDE is becoming more prevalent, the LGBTQ community often face additional pressures or concerns. UNF and its surrounding community offer resources and information to both help LGBTQ students navigate the college environment and make connections in a group setting. The LGBT Resource Center, located in the Student Union, is constantly updating events, like LGBTQIA+ Support Groups, HIV & STI testing, presentations, festivals, and local and campus events, like Pride-U-Cation, Coming Out Week, and Sex Week for the LGBTQ Osprey community throughout the year. Sign up to receive updates. The LGBT Resource Center also has its own library with books, […]

Care Packages for UNF students

Who doesn’t enjoy getting a package delivered? We know you really care, you care a lot about your student and want them to be happy. Whether it is for a birthday, a little something to ease the stress of midterms or finals, a pick me up when they are feeling sick, holiday treats, or congratulations on a job well done; there are many options that will surely bring a smile to your student’s face. Sometimes it is nice to go with the local shops; most all deliver. Then again, there are some excellent national choices too. We have given you plenty to choose from– all of which our kids, interns, or we like. All you have to do now is decide what to send. There is variety there too. For instance; if you are looking for sweets (and who isn’t?) for a birthday, pick me up, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, religious holidays, or […]

Trick or Treat The College Version

That Was Then … I would race home from school so my mom could put together some sort of costume for me then rush to meet my friends to go trick-or-treating. Somehow, by the time I had my own kids, Halloween included much more; carving pumpkins, putting up decorations, more formal costumes, and, of course, trick-or-treating throughout our neighborhood, but not without a parent escort. This is Now… Halloween traditions in college are, well, a far cry from the pumpkin carving, candy apple making gatherings we had in our driveway before the kids started their trick-or-treating. Many places, including the bars and the frats, will have parties – all week. Keep in mind this is Jacksonville and there is a lot of Halloween-themed partying going on in general. It may not be a bad idea to remind your students of all the nice parts of Halloween and to keep their good judgment […]