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Exemption Request

If you need to live off-campus, you must complete an Exemption Request to the On-Campus Housing Policy for review by University Housing Services. If you wish to live off-campus, you must complete an On-Campus Release Request. It is important to note that if you do not have an approved request or contract on file by your registration date, you will experience a block until it is complete.

University Housing may grant exemptions to the on-campus housing policy for an individual's circumstance related to marital status, the proximity of the parent or guardian’s 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.

Sophomore students that are active 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 the spring semester only. The sorority or fraternity chapter must be in good standing with the University. Any exemption request to live in a sorority or fraternity on probation will not be granted.

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

    1. Log into the Housing and Dining Portal and select Manage Your Housing & Dining from the red bar at the top
    2. Select Housing from the drop-down menu and then select Exemptions on the following page.
    3. Follow the steps in the Portal for submitting an exemption request online. Remember, pre-signing a lease does not qualify you for an exemption. University Housing Services will review and respond to exemption requests within 15 business days.

2024-2025 Exemption Dates

For current students: On September 19 at 8:30 a.m., the 2024-2025 exemption process will be available in the Housing and Dining Portal under Manage Your Housing & Dining. From there you will be able to start an application and submit an exemption request. At this time you can only submit an exemption request, the rest of the application processes will open in February.

For new students attending fall 2024-spring 2025: The 2024-2025 exemption process will open in mid-February.

For spring 2024 admits: The exemption process opens on October 10 at 8:30 a.m.

Who is the exemption process for?

The On-Campus Housing Policy states that students in their first two years out of high school are required to live in university housing (residence halls and Cardinal Court apartments). Most students who have recently graduated high school are best served in on-campus housing. However, we realize that some students may have unique circumstances, which may qualify for an exemption such as:

  • Are married or in a documented domestic partnership.
  • Have dependent child or children.
  • Plan to live with their parent/s or legal guardian within 40 miles of campus as measured by Google Maps. (A legal guardian is a person appointed by the appropriate legal jurisdiction to act on behalf of the student in place of parents. Legal documentation may be requested for verification.)
  • Have been out of high school for one year and want to live in their fraternity or sorority house beginning in August of their second year at Illinois State.

Please Note:  Once your release request is approved you will no longer be eligible to sign a housing contract during the renewal period as you will not be guaranteed on-campus housing. You are always welcome to inquire as to the status of available on-campus housing but once your request is approved, we will no longer hold a space for you.

We encourage you to discuss this process and financial implications with your family prior to submitting your request.

Exemption Appeals Process

If you wish to appeal a decision concerning your petition for an exemption to the University On-Campus Housing Policy, we will consult Student Access and Accommodation Services to confirm if an exemption is needed as part of your accommodation. Students who think they need special housing accommodations due to health or medical concerns should contact the department of Student Access and Accommodation Services to discuss possible accommodations.

If a student has submitted and been denied an exemption request and is interested in appealing, they must be aware of the following:

  • Exemption appeals are rarely granted.
  • University Housing Services’ first obligation is to make appropriate accommodations for students with serious health problems and/or disabilities. Therefore, our goal is always to try to find a solution within on-campus housing to whatever is prompting your request for an exemption.
  • The appeal process is not to be taken lightly. Many individuals are coming together to review each and every appeal. Students are requested to carefully consider whether their situation cannot be resolved within on-campus housing, or that the consequences of remaining in on-campus housing would have a severely negative effect on daily life.
  • Students who decide to appeal will have only one opportunity to do so. All appeals MUST be submitted in writing. Students may choose to be present when the Board Reviews their appeal. Students will be contacted if they indicate on the Exemption Appeal Form that they wish to be present. Students will have the opportunity to address the Board. This is not a legal or judicial process; therefore, students are not to invite “witnesses” to be present on their behalf. To review an appeal, the Board needs the completed appeal form, the written statement (which should not exceed one to two pages), and any supporting documentation the Board may need to consider.
  • Members of the Appeals Board include representatives from the student body as well as experts from various departments within the University to ensure a thorough and knowledgeable review of each appeal. Therefore, the decision of the Appeals Review Board is final. No additional appeals past the Appeals Board will be considered.

In order to appeal, students may print and follow the directions on the following two documents:

See the University On-Campus Housing Policy for additional information.