Navigating housing while attending Ohio University can be tricky no matter what your circumstance. As an Ohio University student, you’re responsible for making sure that your off-campus housing is aligned with the guidelines set forth by the university. However, there are special circumstances that allow you to be exempted from the standard housing regulations.
In this article, we’ll cover the off-campus housing guidelines set forth by Ohio University so that you can be confident in where you live as an OU student. We’ll also highlight some of the many benefits that come from off-campus housing.
Freshmen and Sophomores
All students are required to live on-campus and participate in a meal program during their first two full academic years. The university considers a fall and spring semester as one academic year. The university refers to this as the “parietal rule”.
However, some students are exempted from this requirement due to special circumstances. So before you start looking at dorms, make sure that you don’t qualify for an exemption from the parietal rule.
In order to apply for an exemption to the housing guidelines, you must meet the following criteria:
- Veteran: Those who have served at least 18 months of active duty may be exempt from the parietal rule.
- Commuter: To qualify as a commuter student, you must live with a parent or legal guardian that owns a property within 50 driving miles of the Athens campus.
- Married or Parent: To qualify for exemption from the parietal rule as a parent, you must provide the university with a marriage certificate or a birth certificate as well as a copy of your tax return with the child listed as a dependent. Additionally, the spouse and/or child must also reside within 50 miles of the university.
- Part-Time: You qualify as a part-time student if you’re enrolled in 11 hours or less during Fall or Spring semester, or 5 hours or less during the summer.
- Financial Hardship: To apply for exemption under financial hardship, you must provide the university with evidence of financial difficulties. Requesting to live off-campus to save money does not qualify as financial hardship.
- Dietary Restriction: If you have a medical condition that requires a special diet not accommodated by the university meal plans, you may be exempt. However, you must submit medical documentation and other relevant information for the university.
Do you meet one of the exemption criteria? If so, refer to the Ohio University Housing and Residence Life website for information about applying for exemption status.
If you don’t meet at least one of the above requirements necessary for exemption, then you are required to live on-campus during your first two full academic years. But, if you’re a Junior or Senior, then the university allows you to live off-campus.
Pros of Off-Campus Housing
While Ohio University on-campus housing definitely has its merits, there are some amazing benefits to living off-campus.
Here are just a few:
- Cheaper Rent: Many students can find better rates for housing options off-campus than on-campus. The savings also come from being able to make your own food and do your own laundry.
- More Freedom, Less Rules: As you may know, dorms and on-campus housing have regulations that students must adhere to in order to keep their housing. However, Ohio University’s off-campus housing allows you more freedom.
- Your Choice of Roommates: While you can request roommates on-campus, the university may not honor your request, leaving you with a stranger or someone that you don’t get along with. With off-campus housing, you can find great places to live with your friends, guaranteed.
- Kitchens, not Meal Plans: After two years of cafeteria food, you’re probably missing home cooked meals. While you can’t have your mom’s cooking, you can at least follow her recipes in your own kitchen.
- Commuter Lounge: Worried about missing the action on campus? Don’t be! Ohio University provides a commuter lounge for students that don’t live on campus. In the lounge, there’s a kitchen to store or heat up your food, couches to nap on, computers for homework, and other resources so that your apartment doesn’t seem so far away.
How To Find Great Off-Campus Housing
Interested in learning more about off-campus housing near Ohio University? Luckily, we’re experts in helping students find amazing apartments that are close to campus but still come with all the benefits of independent living.
Wharton Rentals offers everything you need to make the best housing decision. We’ll help you understand your options, explain the leasing process, and get you moved into a beautiful residence. Reach out to us today to learn more about our off-campus properties!