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Housing Exemption and Termination

Ohio University requires all first and second year students to reside on campus and participate in a meal plan for two full academic years (4 semesters). A full academic year consists of fall and spring semesters. This requirement is commonly referred to as a “parietal rule." Students wishing to be exempted from university housing and/or meal plan must meet at least one of the criteria below and submit a Housing Exemption/Termination Request Form for review and approval prior to the deadline. Students should allow 14-21 days for the initial review process.

If a student is seeking an exemption from residing on-campus Housing and Residence Life strongly recommends that no off-campus lease is signed until an official notification of approval (via email) is made by Housing and Residence Life. Students who are required to reside on campus and have signed a lease prior to receiving an exemption will not be granted an exemption from housing based solely on an off-campus lease. Students must meet the criteria as denoted below to receive an exemption.

Please note, this is not an accommodation process. For information on how to request accommodations due to a disability, please contact Student Accessibility Services.

Criteria  -  Process  -  Appeal ProcessForms

Exemption Criteria

Those seeking an exemption must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Part-time Student: If a student is enrolled for 11 hours or less for each academic semester for both fall and spring or a student is enrolled part-time (5 hour or less) during a summer session. All semester class registrations are subject to random validation. Please be aware that a student who resides on campus fall semester does not qualify for a spring semester exemption due to part-time enrollment status as the housing contract is binding for both fall and spring semesters.
  • Veteran Status: Student must submit a copy of their DD-214 discharge papers. 18 months of active duty is required to be exempt from the residency requirement.
  • Married or a Single Parent: Student must submit a copy of their marriage certificate or child’s birth certificate along with a copy of the most recent tax return showing that child(ren) as a dependent. The spouse or child must reside with the student within the 50-driving mile commuter radius (see below) in order to qualify for this exemption.
  • Commuter: To commute to the Athens campus, the student must reside with their parent(s) or a legal guardian whose permanent residence (as defined by University guidelines) is within 50 driving miles of Athens (1 Park Place, Athens, OH). A “permanent residence” is defined as a dwelling that has been owned, maintained and inhabited for a minimum of 24 months by the parent or legal guardian. The address must be the same as what is listed on the student admissions application. If the family has changed residences since the admission application, verification of ownership/residency and employment verification must be provided.
  • Other: Students requesting an exemption/termination for “other” reasons including extenuating circumstances should provide detailed explanation and documentation of their  situation. “Other” categories include but are not limited to:
    • Medical/Dietary: Recent medical documentation (within 90 days) must be provided along with a completed Provider Report Form AND Authorization for Release of Confidential Information (to allow Housing personnel to speak with the provider of medical services if necessary). Supporting documentation must include the student’s medical condition, specific dietary or living requirements necessary to meet the needs of the medical condition. NOTE: Ohio University can provide on-campus housing that meets most medical needs. Requests for residing off-campus due to allergies / asthma are typically not approved.
    • Financial Hardship: Students requesting an exemption/termination from the campus housing requirement based upon financial hardship must provide documented evidence of extreme financial difficulties, or a change in finances, need by providing copies of the most recent financial aid verification / awards (or if no FAFSA is on-file, copies of most recent federal tax return, evidence of recent employment termination, evidence of extreme hardship ie: death of a primary income provider, medical expenses exceeding insurance maximum coverage, etc.) Documented information must be accompanied by a completed Housing Exemption Financial Aid Information Form [PDF]NOTE: Requests for residing off-campus for financial savings is not a valid reason for a financial hardship.

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Exemption Process

  • The student submits a Housing Exemption Request Form [PDF] or a Meal Plan Termination/Change Request Form [PDF] along with supporting documentation to the Housing and Residence Life Office via email to
  • Forms must be completed and submitted 45 days prior to the start of the semester to avoid accruing charges. Those who submit after 45 days prior must submit no later than the first Monday of the semester and will be subject to the refund schedule.
  • The request will be reviewed by Housing and Residence Life staff to ensure that all documents are complete and that all required supporting documentation is provided. If additional information is needed, the student will be notified via email with a timeline for submission of requested documents. If documentation is not received by the date requested and if the student has not requested an extension for submission of documents, the request will become invalid.
  • If the application is complete, a decision will be made by the Office of Housing and Residence Life and the student will receive written communication of the decision via their official Ohio University email account.

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Exemption Appeal Process

Two levels of appeal are provided for the student.

Level One:

The first level is to the Exemption/Termination Appeal Board which is comprised of members of the University community. At this appeal, the student will have between five and ten minutes to present any additional information or to further clarify their request. The board may ask questions of the student and will render a decision within one week. The student will be notified of the decision via their official Ohio University email.

If the student does not show for their Appeal Board meeting, the student’s request will be reviewed in their absence.

Filing an Appeal

  • The email communication to the student regarding the outcome of the original request will provide a link to this web page to allow for an opportunity for appeal. The petition for appeal must be filed within three business days of the denial notification to the student. The petition may be sent to the Housing and Residence Life Office via email, faxed to 740.593.4089, or delivered to Living Learning Center 215.
  • Once the petition for appeal is received by the Housing and Residence Life Office, an email will be sent to the student indicating receipt of the petition and informing the student that they will be notified once the date and time of their appeal is determined. Students should allow up to four weeks for the appeal board meeting.

Level Two:

If the request to the Appeal Board is denied, the final level of appeal is to the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs of Ohio University. Written request for Vice Presidential review must be emailed to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs ( within three business days of the written notice provided by the Housing & Residence Life Appeal Board. The Vice President or their designee may or may not elect to review the appeal request. The student requesting the review will be notified of any decision within a reasonable period of time.

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Housing Exemption/Termination Request Form for the 2023-2024 academic year [PDF]*

*Note: This form is not to be used for commuter students wishing to apply for commuter status unless they are bound by a current housing contract. Commuter students wishing to apply for commuter privileges who are not under contract should use the Commuter Contract on their Housing Self-Service. Any student applying for an exemption to reside in their recognized fraternity or sorority can do so via their Housing Self-Service during certain advertised time periods.

Petition for Appeal [PDF]

Petition for Vice Presidential Appeal [PDF]

Meal Plan Termination / Change Request [PDF]

Medical Withdrawal or Contract Termination Room & Board Cost Adjustment Request [PDF]

Notice of Relocation to the Athens Campus from a Regional Campus (Online)

Supporting Forms

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