Skip to main content

Residency Requirement

All first-year and freshmen students at Geneseo are required to live on campus through the spring semester of their sophomore year or four consecutive semesters (two year residency requirement).  This includes transfer students admitted in January with fewer than 30 credit hours from another college, exclusive of AP credits or credits obtained by testing.  The housing release process is rigorous and releases are not granted without a major demonstrated change in circumstance that prevents the student from residing on campus. Resident students who are bound by the residency requirement, must apply for a waiver if they do not plan to reside with their guardian at their residence/home. 

Housing Contracts

Housing contracts are for the entire academic year. Contracts begin in August are in effect until the following May. Housing contracts that begin in January also conclude in May of the spring semester. If you wish to be released from your housing contract, please fill out the Release From Housing Application. Completed applications for release should be turned into the Residence Life Office in the College Union, Room 319.

Release from Residency Requirement

The Director of Residence Life or designee must approve all requests for waivers of the sophomore or two year (four semesters) residency requirement. Students who believe they have justification for a release from the housing requirement may submit an application by filling out the Release From Housing Application and Request for Waiver of Residency Requirement

Completed applications should be submitted to:

  • Residence Life Office, which is located in the College Union, Room 319
  • Email as attachment to
  • Mail completed form to address below

Department of Residence Life
1 College Circle, 319 College Union
Geneseo, New York, 14454

It will take up to five business days (longer during busier times of the academic year) for the committee to review each Release From Housing Application. Notification of approval or denial will be sent to the Geneseo e-mail address.

If a student was released from housing during spring 2020, fall 2020, or spring 2021 because all of their classes were online due to the College's response to COVID-19, and bound by the two-year residency requirement, the resident must reside on campus the following semester or the next semester that classes resume in person.  All students must live on campus for four (4) semesters.  This is a temporary release.  Residents who are current sophomores and did not live on campus during their first/freshman year are still bound by the two year residency requirement.  

Release from Housing: Justification and Documentation Required

Justification Documentation Required
Online Course Schedule (Spring 2020, Fall 2020 - Spring 2021)

To make a formal request to telecommute from their guardian's residence/home for the semester, resident should email reslife@geneseo.eduRequests to be released from housing will be considered on an individual basis.  Students will not be automatically released from the residency requirement.  In order to be considered for release, students must provide the following documentation, along with a completed housing release form, attached to their email:  

  • Copy of their course schedule indicating that all classes are online
  • Include statement on the Release from Housing application that you are telecommuting from your guardian's residence/home:  please include full address

Students should express whether they plan to reside on campus for the semester.  If the student is still bound by the two year residency requirement, they must apply for a waiver if they do not plan to reside with their guardian at their residence/home. If approved for release, students should be aware that it is not a permanent release from the residency requirement.  If a student is released from housing because all of their classes are online due to the College's response to COVID-19, and still bound by the two-year residency requirement, the resident must reside on campus the following semester or the next semester that classes resume in person.  This is a temporary release.

Students who are intending to telecommute because they have a hybrid course schedule (some classes online and some in body/person) must follow the "Commuting from Home" directions below.





For medical releases, residents are directed to the Office of Accessibility Services located in Erwin 106 to meet with Assistant Dean of Accessibility Services, Dr. Amy Fisk. A letter detailing the medical needs for living off campus is required and must include the documentation necessary which is outlined below. The letter to Accessibility Services must be very specific about why moving off campus is necessary for the student access to education. Questions the letter should address: (1) What about the living in the residence halls would bar access to the activities and programs of the college? This must be tied directly to the student's current functional limitations of the disability. (2) How would moving off campus address these limitations?

Documentation Criteria

To meet ODS’s general criteria, all documentation must:

  • Be prepared by a professional (unrelated to the student) who is licensed to practice within a field directly related to, and associated with, the student’s condition.
  • Be printed on official stationery and include (if applicable) printed name, profession, license number, contact information, and signature of the provider.
  • Include a clear statement of diagnosis identifying the disability and describe by what means the condition was diagnosed.
  • Meet specific guidelines as outlined on the ODS website for: learning disabilities; attention deficit/hyperactive disorder; autism spectrum disorder; psychological, mobility, hearing, vision, neurological, or medical impairment/ disorder.
  • Be completed within the last five years. Conditions subject to episodes of progression or improvement may require updated documentation every six to twelve months. Sensory and/or mobility conditions unlikely to change significantly over time, provided the documentation adequately establishes the presence of significant limitations, may be acceptable if over five years old. For conditions in which diagnosis is dependent on results obtained from standardized testing, the adult versions of all instruments must be used.
  • Contain information supportive of the student’s request for specific academic supports, auxiliary aids, and accommodations.
  • Contain a clearly defined logic relating provider recommended accommodations/strategies to specific functional limitations.
ODS does not accept the following documentation:
  • Handwritten letters from licensed professionals
  • Handwritten patient records or notes from patient charts
  • Documentation provided by a member of the student’s family
  • Diagnoses on prescription pads
  • Self-evaluations
  • Research articles
  • Correspondence from educational institutions or testing agencies not directly addressed to ODS
  • Individual Education Program (IEP) and 504 Plans
    • A possible exception would be an IEP, CER, or 504 Plan that meets all of the requirements defined by the above guidelines. 
Commuting from Home Please include a statement on your Release from Housing Application that you are commuting from your guardian's residence/home. Students wishing to commute, must reside with a legal guardian at their residence - please include full address. The residence must be within a 45 mile radius from campus. Note: signing a lease with an off campus apartment is not a justified reason for release and is not considered commuting from home.
Graduating Students graduating in December should submit a Release From Housing Application.
Diet/Nutrition Student will be asked to meet with Campus Auxiliary Services Dietician to discuss accommodations that campus dining can make for medical needs before requesting a release.
Transferring/Approved Leave of Absence/ Withdrawal No need to complete a release form. Students are referred to Enrollment Management in Doty Hall. Students are asked to visit the Enrollment Management website to complete the Leave of Absence request.
Study Abroad Students should provide an acceptance letter from the Study Abroad Office with the Release From Housing Application.
Personal Requests based on personal reasons, such as general dissatisfaction or unhappiness, are not approved because they are based upon personal feelings, which are subjective -- and therefore do not allow the department to be consistent or fair in the administration of the Residential License. Documentation such as meetings with Residence Life staff should be included in the appeal. Note: signing a lease with an off campus apartment is not a justified reason for release.
Demonstration of an extraordinary change in financial condition beyond your resource base, which cannot be remedied through existing College financial aid programs, includes supporting documentation from the Financial Aid office. Parent or guardian will need to provide a notarized letter as well.  Students who qualify for loans and other types of aid, but choose not to accept, will not be granted a financial release. A detailed, notarized letter from the guardian and student outlining their family's financial constraints should be submitted. 
Note: the ability to save money by living off campus is not a justification for exemption. 
Note: signing a lease with an off campus apartment is not a justified reason for release.