Housing Exemption

Application process | Reasons and documentation | Policies and process

We’re a residential college. All students are required to live on-campus for all four years they are at Earlham. It’s one of the things that makes our community special and we believe it helps students feel connected to our campus community and be successful during their time here. 

With this in mind, we also recognize that students come to us with different life experiences and sometimes at different stages in their lives. Because of this, we have defined reasons why a student may be approved to be exempt from our on-campus residency requirement. 

Housing Exemption Application Process

Students applying for a housing exemption are required to submit the housing exemption request form. Depending on the reason(s) you are applying for a housing exemption, you may be asked to submit supplemental documentation to support your request. 

Students submitting a housing exemption request are encouraged to discuss this with the Office of Financial Aid as exemption from the campus housing requirement will result in a reduction of your cost of attendance, which has the potential to impact your financial aid package. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss implications of the housing exemption.

Exemption reasons and required documentation

Below are the reasons students may be eligible for a housing exemption and the supporting documentation that will need to be submitted for each reason when completing the Housing Exemption Request Form.

Students who have a parent/guardian with a permanent residence within a 30-mile driving radius of Earlham College may be exempt from the on-campus residency requirements.

To determine the driving radius, our office will utilize maps.google.com and will use the best possible route to evaluate whether or not the residence meets the 30-mile radius requirement.

Students seeking an exemption because they plan to commute from home will be asked to submit the following documentation to support their exemption request:

  • Contact information for the parent/guardian living within a 30-mile driving radius with whom the student will reside during the period of exemption.
  • Proof of residence at the permanent address listed above (i.e. copy of a utility bill, lease, etc.) in the name of the parent/legal guardian noted above.
  • A copy of the parent/legal guardian’s driver’s license or state-issued identification, showing a matching address to the above.

Students who are at least 23 years of age prior to the start of fall semester classes may be exempt from the on-campus residency requirements.

Students seeking an exemption for this reason do not need to submit any additional documentation for your exemption request to be processed.

The Office of Residence Life will verify the student’s birthdate with the Office of the Registrar to determine if they meet the eligibility requirements for an exemption.

Students who are in their final semester before graduation and have enrolled at less than 12 credits may be exempt from the on-campus residency requirements.

Students seeking an exemption for this reason do not need to submit any additional documentation for their exemption request to be processed.

The Office of Residence Life will verify class standing and credit hours with the Office of the Registrar to determine if the student meets the eligibility requirements for an exemption.

Students who are married, joined in a legally recognized civil union or within a domestic partnership–or will be married, joined in a civil union or within a domestic partnership–during the fall semester may be exempt from the on-campus housing residency requirement.

Domestic partnership is defined as an established, long-term relationship with an exclusive mutual commitment in which the partners share the necessities of life and ongoing responsibilities of welfare.

Students seeking an exemption because they are married, joined in a civil union or are within a domestic partnership as defined above will be asked to submit the following documentation to support their exemption request:

For marriages and civil unions:

  • Contact information for your spouse/partner.
  • The date of your marriage/union.
  • A copy of your marriage/union certificate. If you are not yet married/joined, please include the date of your upcoming wedding below and then deliver a copy of your marriage/union certificate within 30 days after your wedding.

For domestic partnerships:

  • Contact information for your partner.
  • Agreement with the “Statement of Domestic Partnership” as outlined in the Housing Exemption Request Form.
  • Copies of at least two documents demonstrating joint responsibility from the following list:
    1. Evidence of a joint mortgage/lease showing six months of cohabitation prior to the deadline.
    2. Insurance policy naming one another as a beneficiary.
    3. Durable Power of Attorney (must be notarized).
    4. Evidence of joint custody of a dependent child/children.
    5. Evidence of joint ownership of substantial property.
    6. Evidence of a joint bank account of at least six months.

Students who are raising a child, children and/or legal dependent(s) may be exempt from the on-campus residency requirements.

Students seeking an exemption because they are raising a child, children and/or legal dependent(s) will be asked to submit the following documentation to support their exemption request:

  • A copy of legal documentation demonstrating the dependent status for each child/dependent, such as a birth certificate or legal proof or custody.

Students who are honorably discharged, U.S. military veterans may be exempt from the on-campus residency requirements.

Students seeking an exemption because they’re an honorably discharged U.S. military veteran will be asked to submit the following documentation to support their exemption request:

  • A copy of your discharge paperwork from the military (DD-214)

Policies and process information

Within the broad context of Principles and Practices, the Residence Life program is shaped by a view of residence halls and houses as learning environments. The most important learning that occurs outside the classroom takes place between students (Schroeder and Mable, 1994). Because of the positive impact an on-campus residential environment has on the learning process and the College curriculum, Earlham College requires all undergraduate students under the age of twenty-three as of the first day of fall semester classes to live in approved on-campus, Earlham College housing facilities.

Because of the limitations of the College’s facilities, any student who is married, joined in a civil union, within a domestic partnership (as defined by the Office of Residence Life) or the parent/legal guardian of a child/dependent or children/dependents may be exempt from the on-campus residency requirement.

Recognizing, also, the unique circumstances of each student, any student who has a parent/legal guardian maintaining a permanent residence within thirty miles of Earlham College, is an honorably discharged military veteran or is participating in an approved Earlham College academic program that requires off-campus residency may be exempt from the on-campus residency requirement.

Students with a qualifying disability may submit documentation through the Academic Enrichment Center to determine what special housing accommodations can be made. An approved exemption from housing shall last for an academic year. Housing exemption must be re-requested for each academic year.

To begin the housing exemption request process, students should submit the online housing exemption request form, including all supporting documentation required to verify their request as outlined in the form. Once submitted, students should receive an email confirming the submission of their request. If no confirmation email is received, please contact the Office of Residence Life to confirm receipt.

Once the housing exemption request form and all supporting documentation are received, the Office of Residence Life will review the request and supporting documentation and will either approve the request, deny the request or ask for additional information. The decision will be sent to the student via their Earlham email.

For consideration for the fall semester, all requests received by July 1 will be processed by July 15. Subsequent requests after the July 1 deadline will be processed within 5-10 business days.

For consideration for the spring semester, all requests received by November 1 will be processed by November 15. Subsequent requests after the November 1 deadline will be processed within 5-10 business days.

Exemption requests must be resubmitted annually for each year that a student wants to remain exempt.

All housing exemption requests for the upcoming academic year must be completed and submitted annually by July 1. Exemption requests from students only seeking to be exempt for the spring semester should be completed and submitted by November 1. Students who submit requests after July 1 (or November 1 for the spring) and are granted exemptions, may be assessed a $250 room cancellation fee.

New students who are accepted to Earlham College after the July 1/November 1 deadline may submit a completed housing exemption request within two weeks after their confirmation to the College. If submitted after this two-week period, the student may be assessed the room cancellation fee described above.

Students wishing to appeal a decision to deny their housing exemption request can submit a written appeal to the director of residence life within five (5) business days of the decision being sent to the student. This appeal should be sent via email to [email protected] or mailed directly to the Office of Residence Life.

In the appeal, the student should clearly and concisely articulate why they believe the on-campus housing exemption policy and its definitions applies to their situation and/or provide any additional information or documentation that was not shared in the original housing exemption request.

The director of residence life will review the appeal and respond, in writing, and their decision is final.

More information

The Office of Residence Life supports and encourages students by providing guidance in contemplative inquiry, opportunities for dialogue, sponsoring celebratory communal events and supporting opportunities that enable students to put their most cherished beliefs into daily practice.