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Housing Requirement

All enrolled students under the age of 23 with fewer than four academic year semesters (fall/spring semesters only) in the residence halls prior to the start of the semester in which they enroll must reside in university-owned housing and participate in the associated mandatory meal plan, subject to the exemptions listed below. Once a student moves in, the contract is binding for fall and spring if the student remains a registered student. Students achieving their fourth academic semester at the end of fall semester will not be permitted to cancel their contract for spring semester.

College credits earned by a student while attending high school (Advanced Placement, College Credit Plus, Senate bill 140, etc.) which advances a student academically to a higher-class year, will not be considered toward housing exemption eligibility.

Returning students must have spent four academic year semesters (fall/spring semesters only) in residence prior to the beginning of the fall semester to be exempt. This rule applies to transfer, relocating, re-enrolling and students graduating from high school a semester early. Summer enrollment does not count for off-campus eligibility unless substitution for missed fall or spring semester. If there is a limitation of on-campus housing, off-campus eligible students will be notified during the fall semester of the inability to return to on-campus housing for the next academic year.

Students subject to the housing regulation who fail to comply with this condition of registration may have their registration denied or canceled and have a hold placed on their student account.


Students who are required to reside on campus but meet any of the following conditions can request to be exempt from the housing requirement. Documentation may be required to support the exemption request.

  • Part-time: If a student is enrolled part-time (11 hours or less) for each academic term and fewer than 5 hours during a summer session both of which are subject to random validation.
  • Fraternity/Sorority (Greek Housing): A student participating in a recognized Fraternity/Sorority (Greek Housing) house, (1) Must have completed one academic year (2 semesters) in a residence hall prior to fall semester. This exemption is not available to returning students once the academic year begins. Newly elected officers assuming the President, Finance/Secretary or Housing Manager Position who are required to reside in the house will be considered for review. Student request for Greek Housing must be approved by Housing and Residence Life in collaboration with the office Sorority and Fraternity Life.
  • Veteran: A student who is a veteran must submit a copy of their DD-214 discharge papers. 18 months of active duty is required 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. The student's spouse or child must reside with the student within the 50 driving mile commuter radius (see below) in order to qualify for this exemption.
  • Commuting: To commute to the Athens campus, the student must reside with their parent(s) or a legal guardian whose permanent residence (as defined by Ohio 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 as well. 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 particular 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 and Residence Life 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/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 savings is not a valid reason for a financial hardship.

For more information on the exemption process, please see the exemption page.

NOTE: Returning students with two years in residence prior to the beginning of the fall semester, and new transfer students with two years in residence at another institution may reside in off-campus housing. The University bears no responsibility for the living conditions or problems arising therein with either the homeowner or the student resident.

SPECIAL STATUS STUDENTS (OPIE, Study Abroad): All special status students must comply with the above regulation. Please direct questions or concerns about special status housing needs to