What is the University On-Campus Housing Policy?

The University requires students to live in university housing their first two years out of high school unless they have an off-campus exemption. If you are a transfer student, took a year off out of high school, or have another type of accommodation, contact University Housing Services. Students who fall under the University On-Campus Housing Policy will not be able to register for classes until University Housing Services receives their residence hall contract and initial payment or when they have an approved exemption.

Exemption Information

University Housing may grant exemptions to the on-campus housing policy for an individuals circumstance related to marital status, proximity of home to campus, as well as other factors. Although an exemption is submitted, it does not guarantee approval. Any exemption to the University On Campus Housing Policy must be approved in writing by University Housing Services prior to the beginning of the contract period for which the exemption is requested. The availability of exemptions will be limited to students with demonstrated need once spaces for the incoming class are allotted. Sophomore students that are activated members of fraternities and sororities and wish to reside in their organization's house must apply for an exemption prior to July 15. Exemptions to reside in a fraternity or sorority house are only considered on a full academic year basis; they are not considered for spring semester only. The sorority or fraternity chapter must be in good standing with the University. Any exemption to live in a sorority or fraternity on probation will not be granted.


Check with University Housing Services for exemption request deadlines.

If you are pursuing an exemption, do not sign a lease until the exemption has been granted. It can be financially risky to sign a lease without an exemption. Some students have signed leases, and then were not granted an exemption, resulting in a financial obligation to the University and a landlord.


If you wish to apply for an exemption to live off-campus:

  1. Visit StudentAffairs.IllinoisState.edu/contracts. Click on "Enter Housing/Dining Portal and log in. Select "Housing and Dining Application" from the blue navigation bar at the top.
  2. Choose either the  Residence Halls  term or the  Cardinal Court  term and select "Save and Continue."
  3. Follow the steps in the Portal for submitting an exemption request online. Your request will be reviewed, and a decision will be e-mailed to you within 10 business days.

 Toggle open/close quiz question

What are valid reasons to request an off-campus exemption?