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”. In most cases, this period comprises the freshman and sophomore years at OHIO. 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. Students should allow 14-21 days for the initial review process.
Those seeking an exemption must meet one of the following criteria:
Student is enrolled
(11 hours or less) for each academic semester and fewer than 5 hours during a summer session both of which are subject to random validation.
Participation in a recognized
Fraternity / Sorority (Greek Housing)
(1) Must have completed one academic year (3 full-time quarters/2 semesters) in residence prior to fall term.
This exemption is not available to continuing students once the academic year begins. Newly elected officers who are required to reside in the house will be considered for review.
Student request for Greek Housing must be approved by the Campus Involvement Center.
Student is a
Submit a copy of DD-214 discharge papers. 18 months of active duty is required in order to be exempt from the parietal rule.
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. Spouse or child must reside with the student within the 50 driving mile commuter radius (see below) in order to qualify for this exemption.
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 (using 88 University Terrace as the Ohio University address). A “permanent residence” is defined as a dwelling that has been owned, maintained and inhabited for a minimum of 12 months by the parent or legal guardian. NOTE: 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 must be provided.
Students requesting an exemption/termination for “other” reasons including extenuating circumstances should provide detailed explanation and documentation of their particular situation. “Other” categories include but are not limited to:
Recent medical documentation (within 90 days) must be provided along with a completed 1.) Provider Report Form
2.) Authorization for Release of Confidential Information (to allow Residential 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.
Students requesting an exemption/termination from the campus housing requirement/parietal rule based upon financial hardship must provide documented evidence of extreme financial 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 Financial Information Form.
NOTE: Requests for residing off campus for financial
is not a valid reason for a financial hardship.
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- The student submits a Housing Exemption Request Form or a Meal Plan Termination / Change Request Form along with supporting documentation/forms to the Housing and Residence Life Office at 215 Living Learning Center, 111 South Green Dr. Athens, Ohio, 45701.
- The application 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 Assistant Director 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. The first level is an in person appeal to the Exemption / Termination Appeal Board which is comprised of members of the University community including one student. At this appeal, the student will have five minutes to present additional information or to further clarify their request. The board may ask questions of the student and will render a decision within three business days. The student will be notified of the decision via their official Ohio University email.
If this appeal is denied, the final level of appeal is a vice presidential review by the Vice President of Student Affairs of Ohio University. The Vice President may or may not decide to review the decision.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 740.593.4089 or delivered to 215 Living Learning Center.
- 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 two to three weeks for the appeal board meeting.
* 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
* Note: This form is only for students who are not required to live on campus but have chosen to do so.
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