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Housing Live-On Requirement

The Benefits of Living on Campus

As a residential campus committed to the education of the whole person, the residential experience is considered an integral part of a student’s education and the SDSU experience.  Research during the past 40 years demonstrates a more productive and more satisfying experience for students who reside in  residence halls than those who live off-campus.

The South Dakota Board of Regents policy requires that during the first two years from the time they were or would have graduated from high school, all unmarried students who enroll in courses delivered on a main campus for six credit hours or more are required to enter into a housing agreement with the institution unless special permission to room elsewhere is received from the institution.

Permission ordinarily shall be granted to students with dependent children.

Students who desire to reside full-time during the academic year with parents or legal guardians may apply for approval through the residency requirement online application contained within the housing application.  University approval for residency exemption requests are based on Academic Requirements exemption, Health exemption, Financial Hardship exemption, Greek Organization Member exemption, Below Six Credits exemption, Attending University Center in Sioux Falls/Rapid City exemption; and Commuter exemption.

Meeting the criteria for eligibility for a residency waiver, does not mean a student will automatically be granted an approved waiver, it means that their request will be advanced for final consideration.

A limited number of students will be granted an exemption.

Failure to obtain an approved exemption from Residence Life will result in the posting of the semester housing charges to the student’s SDSU account. Any first or second-year student registered for the fall semester who fails to sign up for housing and has not been approved for an exemption will automatically be assigned a room and meal plan and will be responsible for those charges unless a Request for Residency Exemption from the housing contract is completed and approved. These forms are available in the online Housing application – specifically Tab #3 must be completed for consideration of an exemption request.

Nonpayment of this charge may result in the cancellation of classes and/or restriction from registering for any additional classes.

Any student found to have provided false information on the Request for Residency Exemption form or during this process may be subject to university disciplinary action.

Exemption requests will not be reviewed after the first Friday of classes, both fall and spring semesters.

Petition for Exemption

  1. Academic Requirements Exemption: Students requesting a contract release because of academic requirements such as student teaching, study abroad, University Center, nursing, pharmacy, etc. must have their academic department provide verification of this academic requirement to the Assignment Coordinator. Students who leave the residence hall for academic requirements will be released and reimbursed only for the number of days needed to complete their academic requirements.
  2. Health Exemption:   Allergies and Asthma are considered common medical issues, which in most cases Housing can provide the same accommodations as an off campus apartment.  Requests will be considered only in rare or extreme cases.

    ADHD/ADD: students must provide documentation of a disability from a qualified medical or mental health provider to the coordinator of Disability Services who will evaluate the circumstances to determine what accommodations are necessary. If a determination is made that it is living on campus is not congruent with the student’s success, a petition for a release from housing may be submitted.

    Applicants requesting an exemption based on this criterion must provide information from the attending physician or certified mental health care provider stating the specific verifiable condition for which it is medically necessary for the student to be released and why specifically, off-campus housing would provide better living conditions in regard to this medical condition. 

     Applicants requesting a release based on mental health or emotional needs must provide a specific recommendation from a licensed mental health provider.  Applicants not seeing University Counseling Center personnel must provide Disability Services a written statement evaluating the student’s specific needs or problems written by a certified mental health care giver who is not a family member.

    Applicants must obtain a Supplemental Medical Need Verification Form from Residential Life personnel.  The form must be completed in detail and signed by the attending physician or mental health care provider and sent to the Release Coordinator at Housing and Residential Life.  Applicants may be required to provide a second opinion from the SDSU Student Health and Counseling Services or other referral physicians before a final decision is made.

  3. Greek Organization Member Exemption:  The Greek Council grants Greek releases each year for members of Greek chapters, who at least have sophomore status (by hours), to live in approved chapter housing.  Students applying for a Greek exemption must be approved by the President of the Greek Council and the program Advisor for Greek Affairs, and must submit a completed Request for Petition form.  Applicable deadlines are May 1, for the following fall semester, and December 15, for the following spring semester.
  4.  Financial Hardship Exemption: Applicants requesting a release based on verifiable extenuating circumstances must complete a Supplemental Financial Need Verification Form which can be obtained from Housing and Residential Life. Exemptions are not based upon the assertion that living off campus may be less expensive. A release will be considered ONLY:
    • When the applicant has a significant verified need for financial assistance as indicated by the SDSU Financial Aid Office and that need is not fully funded by grants, scholarships, loans or other available funding identifiable by the University; AND
    • After a Residence Hall Contract is signed, “extenuating financial circumstances” are defined as situations over which the applicant has had no control (such as loss of parental support due to death, divorce, loss of employment, catastrophic health issues, bankruptcy) which create a financial hardship and which have occurred after the contract was signed.
  5. Below Six Credits Exemption: Applicants requesting an exemption based on carrying less than six credits for the semester must already be registered for five or less credit hours in order to cite this reason. By citing this item, the student agrees to stay below six credits for the duration of the exemption period. Housing and Residential Life personnel will periodically verify the credit level of students approved for this reason.

    Students registered for internet courses only or a combination of internet and less than six credits on campus may be released from the residency requirement.

  6. Attending University Center in Sioux Falls/Rapid City:  Students must already be enrolled in classes only at University Center for the coming semester before this exemption will be considered.
  7. Commuter Exemption:  A commuter exemption may be granted to students desiring to live at the legal residence of mother/father or guardian and must live within 30 driving miles of campus. The student may NOT live with another current SDSU student, unless the current student is a sibling and both are living at the legal residence of mother/father or guardian.   

Requirements

  • Students in their first fulltime semester who are less than two years removed from high school graduation are required to live on campus, regardless of distance from their permanent address.
  • Students who have a minimum GPA of 2.25 during their fall semester will be eligible to request a contract release.
  • Students who do not achieve a minimum GPA of 2.25 during their fall semester will be ineligible for an exemption or contract release barring special circumstances (e.g., needs specific medical treatment near their home). 
  • Students granted a contract release/policy exemption following based on minimum GPA will be required to maintain the minimum in subsequent semesters. 
  • Cum GPA must be ≥2.25
  • Semester GPA must be ≥2.25

Charges

FALL SEMESTER (applies to students who are both new to SDSU and current enrolled for the fall semester)

  • Exemption/Contract Release if granted on or before May 31:  Refund of entire $75 confirmation fee.
  • Exemption/Contract Release if granted June 1 – July 31: forfeiture of $75 confirmation fee.
  • Exemption/Contract Release if granted August 1 – Opening: $200 late cancellation charge and forfeiture of the $75 confirmation fee.
  • Exemption/Contract Release if granted post-Opening through 60% of the current semester:  forfeiture of $75 confirmation fee, $200 early termination charge, and prorated refund of unused charges.
  • Current residents who receive an exemption any time after the fall move-in date will be assessed a $200 charge for early termination of the Residential and Dining contract. 

NOTE:  Students who are required to live on campus must maintain a 2.25 minimum grade point average (GPA) before an exemption to the residency requirement will be considered, except for those students who are enrolling in their first semester as a full-time students.

SPRING SEMESTER (applies to students new to SDSU in the spring semester)

  • Exemption/Contract Release if granted on or before November 30:  Refund of entire $75 confirmation fee.
  • Exemption/Contract Release if granted December 1 – December 31: forfeiture of $75 confirmation fee.
  • Exemption/Contract Release if granted January 1 – Opening: $200 late cancellation charge and forfeiture of the $75 confirmation fee.
  • Exemption/Contract Release if granted post-Opening - through 60% of the current semester: forfeiture of $75 confirmation fee, $200 early termination charge and prorated refund of unused charges.

NOTE:  Students who are required to live on campus must maintain a 2.25 minimum grade point average (GPA) before an exemption to the residency requirement will be considered, except for those students who are enrolling in their first semester as a full-time students. 

Additional Information

Unless a written notice of approval and/or contract release is issued from Housing and Residential Life Residence Hall and Food Service Contract, a student is expected to occupy the assigned room.  A student is not considered exempt from the residency requirement or released from his/her housing contract until Housing and Residential Life approves a request in writing. Failure to take possession of the assigned space is not grounds for an exemption to the residency requirement and/or to have associated charges reversed.

Contract Release Evaluation and Decision Process:

  1. All requests not completed within thirty (30) days of application will be discarded.
  2. All release requests will be reviewed on the basis of current policies.
  3. Applicants will be notified of the decision in writing.
  4. Failure to appeal any written decision within five (5) business days of the date of the written decision constitutes acceptance of the decision.  No appeals shall be accepted after this time.
  5. Housing and Residential Life generally will respond to initial requests within fifteen (15) business days.
  6. Exemption requests will not be reviewed after the first Friday of classes, both fall and spring semesters.

Releases are granted for one semester, unless otherwise noted in writing.  Students must re-submit a request for release for subsequent semesters based on meeting all exemption stipulations.                                                  

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