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University of North Florida

University of North Florida 1 UNF Drive Jacksonville, FL 32224 (904) 620-1000 www.unf.edu

Best Apps For Students

App?  What is that?   Did someone forget to add the “le”?  My kids make fun of me and 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 App Store for Apple products and Google Play Store for Android products and download the free-of-charge app. Quizlet – My kids actually used this in high school too, but the good news is this great study tool is still useful. Quizlet is a free study app that allows the user to take other people’s quizzes or create their own. A user can create multiple choice, matching, true/false, and open-ended questions and […]

Best Places to Study

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 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. 3rd Floor of Thomas G. Carpenter Library, Reading Rooms These rooms are perfect for homework or catching up on some class reading. Bring headphones […]

Budget 101

The 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?” “Should my student get a job?”  These questions are very personal to each family and their financial circumstances. When I was in school (many, many years ago), my parents paid for my expenses i.e. dorm, meal plan, books etc.; however, any spending money came from my own earnings.    I felt this was difficult for me so when I dropped off my oldest son at school, I decided to give him cash “as needed.” Well, let’s just say that the first semester cost me a ridiculous amount of money and I quickly learned that Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks and Einstein’s were “needed” every day.  After this, we set up a reasonable budget for him that both of us could manage. One of the […]

Cell Phone and Computer Repair

When Disaster Strikes 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 you 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 a verified […]

Dinner, It’s Time

All Within 2 Miles of UNF Campus Here are the places we love to frequent, which is your favorite restaurant? Angie’s Subs – Highly recommended by many of the UNF students, this sub place is anything but ordinary.  More on the casual side, you can order at the counter and have your sub brought to your table.  Serving everything from tuna sub to vegetarian, this beachside location also has 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 am-11:00 pm Monday – Thursday and open until midnight Friday and Saturday. California Pizza Kitchen – […]


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 restaurant. 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. A comedy club is always […]

They’ve Been Accepted

Now What do You Do? Congratulations Class of 2023… Swoop and Welcome to The Nest!!  You can now take that sigh of relief that a decision has been made and 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. Next step is setting up your official UNF email account.  UNF will only correspond with you via your official UNF email account. It is essential that you set up your […]

Favorite Apartment Rentals

Our Fav – Rentals Save U Time! Most students cannot wait to move into an apartment 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 an apartment for your student. 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 costly will be […]

Fix It!

If it’s Broken, You Must Fix It Fix it and repair shops are 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.  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. Cars are still the main transportation for students off campus, and as we know cars breakdown or little accidents happen. Keeping your student mobilized is important.  Listed below are different repair shops for bicycles, skateboards, and autos. Bicycle Repair Shops – These lists are in order from closest to farthest away from UNF Bikes Direct Bike Shop 4624 Town Crossings Drive Jacksonville.  (904) 928-2453 Performance Bicycle 4421 Southside Blvd Jacksonville (904)899-1056 Bird Legs Bicycle 1313 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville (904) 246-4433 Skateboard Repair Shops   All Wet 8550 Beach […]

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 […]

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 student plenty of clubs, organizations, social and academic group and must 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 job 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 student 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 […]

Wakey Wakey- Eggs and Bakey Breakfast

Here are Our Favorites for Breakfast or Brunch 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.  Hours are 7:00 am-2:00 pm, come early because there is usually a wait. Canopy Road – 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 […]

Bright Futures – Shining Bright

The Future Is So Bright You’ll Need Shades! In 2018, former Governor Rick Scott signed the SB4 bill, which amongst other items encourages universities to graduate students within four years and increases funds for Bright Futures scholarships and scholarships for low-income students. Academic scholars in Bright Futures can now receive 100% of tuition, Medallion scholars will get 75% of tuition and recipients will be able to use the money for summer credit hours beginning in the 2018 Summer term for the Florida Academic Scholars award, and Summer 2019 for the Florida Medallion Scholars award.   A Florida Academic Scholar who is enrolled in a certificate, diploma, associate, or baccalaureate degree program at a public or nonpublic postsecondary education institution is  eligible, beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, for an award equal to the amount necessary to pay 100 percent of tuition and fees and is eligible for an additional $300 each fall and […]

Getting There – Transportation

Planes, Trains, Buses, 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: Air Canada, Allegiant Air, American, Delta, Frontier, Jetblue, Silver Airways, Southwest and United Airlines.  Fares to and from Jacksonville are usually reasonable with connecting flights to most major cities. Trains Jacksonville Station, […]


Can they Already be Finished? 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 year, spring graduation is April 26, 2019. There will be three graduations that day – 9:00am will be for Brooks College of Health and College of Education & Human Services. 12:30pm will be College of Arts & Sciences […]

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. 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 Fitness Center, the Counseling Center and the Campus Alcohol and Drug Information Center. It is […]

Home Sweet Dorm

Turn Their 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. Over the […]

Eating on a Budget

Teach Them This 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 them […]


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 For those who are traveling with pets, the hotels that […]

Lost and Found

Oh No…. It Happened! We’ve all done it, lost something.  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 this summer to get 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 insurance for her through […]

Insider’s Guide to Living on Campus

We have the inside scoop on places to live! 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 freshman 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.  This past summer there were 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 this past summer.  At first, I was concerned […]

Meal Plan at UNF

Burgers and Pizza and Fries – OH MY! The start of college at UNF is right around the corner 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 […]

Move-In Day   

More Move-In, Less Stress-Out 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.  Everyone’s experiences are a little different but here are a few tips to make your move-in day a drop easier. Move-in day for summer session is Sunday, June 23, 2019, and August 16, 2019, for fall session – and it will be here before you know it. 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 before. This list will give you all the information that you will need for the dorm.  Obviously, your child will be attending the orientation prior to move in and will get an […]

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. Read about those apps here. HaveUHeard that UNF’s wellness center has an assessment center where students can get immediate access to fitness and nutritional information? Below are some 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. Jamba Juice – This couldn’t be more convenient as it […]

Moving In

All the Tips and Tricks to Make it 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 quite 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, (because that is the social media that parents are most comfortable with), and see the obvious difference between a completed dorm room. This may be one of those sticker price shock moments. According to the National Retail Federation, […]

Finding An Internship

Learn About Your Options 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. There are quite a few avenues to take when looking for an internship.  My first recommendation would be to check with the college. Many times professors and other professionals within the college will […]

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 […]

Trouble in Paradise

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? UNF […]

Off-Campus Living

Economical to Extravagant Your child moves into their dorm in August and everyone is so excited…new friends, new digs and everything’s 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.  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, I believe, because of the number of students at UNF, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Close to campus There are quite a few apartment complexes that are close to UNF, some of which are quite luxurious.  Visit our blog regarding favorite apartment complexes to view a variety of choices. 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 […]

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.  With 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. Time on Their Own Just so you know, you will not be spending most of those two days with your student; 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 […]

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 was 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 […]

Dress for Success

Time to Step It Up 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, heals 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. 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 they will be interviewing with and eventually working for. Some companies are very conservative in […]

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. […]

Graduation Restaurant Reservations

The Earlier, The Better! Can’t believe that graduation is right around the corner! UNF’s Spring Graduation is Friday, April 26th and is held in the UNF Arena.  With three 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 will reserve and if they require a deposit to hold the table (some do, depending on the size of your party). Obviously, we […]

Paws at UNF, Pets at School?

All About Pets Most every time I facetime 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 her dog on campus?  Buying her a pet of her own. Unfortunately for her, most of the dorms do not allow any type of pet except for a non-aggressive fish.  My assumption is something like a piranha or a baby shark would not be acceptable. If you read properly, I did say “most of the dorms” because there is one area on campus that students are allowed, with […]


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. School spirit is high at […]

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.  Click here 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. Other information on Class Prep technology can be found here. While most college students choose to have Macbooks, don’t run out and buy something just yet. Be sure that if your classes or major require compatible software or hardware, you look into that first.  However, if you do decide to purchase a MacBook, make sure that you have your student ID with you for a discount. Individual college and degree programs may have […]

Places of Worship

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 for more information jsu.unf@gmail.com Jewish Ospreys – The UNF […]

Teaching them to Budget

My Best Advice as a Parent Teach them to budget. Third times the charm. Well, I suppose that isn’t fair; all three of my kids are charming and adorable. The difference is the first two are boys and my third is a girl.  However, this really didn’t matter when they each left for school the first time. The best advice I would give to a parent of a new college student is to give them a budget and make them stick to it. 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 me a ridiculous amount of money and I quickly learned that Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks and Einstein’s were “needed” every day. That first semester his dad and I went through […]


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. […]

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 […]

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 parent 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 said items. 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 with computers, tablets, and dozens […]

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 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 join. In order […]

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 […]

Family Weekend

Fun Family Time Family/Parent’s Weekend is a fabulous weekend when you get to visit your son/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 Parents Weekend is usually in October and there are many planned events for the weekend that you can sign up for. Having two sons at another state college, one of the first questions I asked when my daughter moved into UNF was “when is Parents Weekend?” I knew from experience Parents Weekend can be very crowded and chaotic and wanted to book my hotel and if possible, make dinner reservations. Surprisingly enough, everything about UNF Parents 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 restaurant) […]

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. Cinnaholic – This is not your typical cinnamon roll shop.  100% vegan offering so much more than a typical cinnamon roll.  You can get your choice of almost 20 frosting flavors with an incredible array of toppings. Cold Stone Creamery – Ahhhh delicious!  Cold Stone offers a wide array of ice cream flavors with mix-ins.  Cups, cones and […]

It’s All about the Delivery

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.  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. DoorDash – More food delivery at your fingertips. Some say it is more efficient than UberEats too. Use […]

Rushing His Way

What Is the 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. This is what the rushing process is like.  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 […]

Graduation Gift Guide

Finally, They Are Graduating! It seemed this day was always way off in the future, but it’s true; graduation is almost here. Many people, including Aunt Sadie, will be asking what good gifts for college graduates are these days; so HaveUHeard pulled together a list of the most requested graduation gifts according to our very unscientific college student survey. Choosing the right gift can be tricky but this list will help! We’ve added links to websites and products, (and yes, the ads and links that appear on our blogs are partners of HaveUHeard. ALL opinions and products mentioned in our blogs are 100% our own. We hope you will patronize these businesses. Partnerships like these make HaveUHeard possible.)   Electronics TV– One of the most requested items by students as many of them will actually be moving into their own apartments and can no longer share with their roommate or the family. […]

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 The Barbershop – Closed Sundays 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/pedi’s. Precision Barber Shop Regis Salon – Men’s and women’s services. Open 7 days. Studio 904 Barber Shop – Cuts, shaves, beard trim, women’s cuts as well. Nail […]

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 […]

Credit Cards for College Students

What Every Student Should Know About Credit Recently I told my daughter to go pay something with a check. She responded by asking me if she had those somewhere. She literally had never written one. In a day of Venmo, Zelle, debit and credit cards, people, students included, just don’t seem to carry cash anymore and checks are becoming more and more archaic. Credit cards, though, can be scary for students; particularly when they see the word “limit” and somehow skip over the fact that those balances have to get paid. Given that we made some serious errors with our oldest regarding money management, we decided to approach things differently with young adult #3. As she entered her sophomore year, we actually encouraged her to get a credit card. We began by explaining the reasons why: Establish credit Learn to manage money Provide ease and convenience when paying for things Take advantage […]

Student Accessibility Service

Consideration for Providing Access 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. 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. (Mon-Thurs 8am-8pm, Friday […]

Books, Books, Books

To Buy or Rent, That is the Question.  I remember when I went to college, the lines at the bookstore were forever. The first day of class, the professor handed out the syllabus with the required books on the first day of class.  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, some 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 […]

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 HPPA 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, cannot be discussed with any other person but themselves. While you may be footing the […]

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 University’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 […]

Finding A Roommate

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?  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. 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 here’s a warning: 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 yourself and to put yourself […]

Sick at School

Mom…? 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 make 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.  This program involves the student registering for a business class during the spring semester.  The student studies a particular business discipline and country throughout the spring semester.  During […]

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 Tax Hikes Act signed in 2015. It now includes required course materials (think books, supplies, equipment) in addition to tuition and required fees (local, technology – you know, all those fees not included in tuition). The AOTC allows credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student for which $1,000 is refundable for […]

High School Graduation Gift Ideas

Get Them Something Practical Yet Fun When my older daughter graduated from high school, not only did she go to a lot of graduation parties, but she had a joint one with her best friend. She received gift cards, money and a lot of logoed apparel and decorations from the college she was going to (UF). 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. 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 2018 according to our very unscientific high school and […]

The Next Four Years

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 […]


When Additional Help is Needed Students who attend UNF, face the same challenging classes, taught by respected and renowned professors, then 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, of course! FAFSA is the national Free Application for Federal Student Aid based on how aid is distributed. 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. Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students were able to file using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. As a result of this change, you could submit the FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year on October 1, 2018, using your 2017 tax and income information. (Summer applicants for 2019 need to submit a 2018-2019 application using the 2016 tax and income information). If you have not done so already, you will also need to complete that year’s application as well.  In addition, if an amended return was filed, the IRS will notify the individual financial aid […]

New Student Shopping Guide – we know what you need!

We’ve got what you need by university! Shopping for your soon-to-be college student is exciting, exhausting, expensive. HaveUHeard how much there is to shop for? Look at the college checklist from the top retailers and you will see an average of 126 items. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of shopping with your student for college; the lists can get overwhelming so we tried to break it down for you by college because not every item is allowed at every university. The average traditional dorm size is only about 130 square feet and most likely, that is shared space. It is hard to think that all of your student’s belongings will find a rightful place, but there are some practical, multi-functional products out there that will allow your student room to walk/sleep/study in their room. Let your student help with picking everything out; most will want to […]

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 to pack everything from her closet.  Unbeknownst to me, her closet 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 brought. Before she started last […]

When the Wind Blows

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 times 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 airwa47ves, 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 […]

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Interning in New York

Who doesn’t want to live in the City? Ok, I am a little partial. I am a born and bred New Yorker, living in S. Florida for 25 plus years, and I still love it. And so do many of our students, which is why New York is so popular for summer internships. They will need a place to live in. Where to look for housing? There are many options. Most interning students live in dorms in various colleges throughout the city. New York University – is the most popular and fills quickly. My daughter lived downtown on the border of Little Italy in an NYU dorm one summer. The dorm wasn’t very fancy, but the security was tight and the living space was huge, well for NYC. NYU has multiple dorms in a few parts of the city. To save money living in the NYU dorms students can share a room. Depending […]

Searching for Scholarships

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, […]