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Residency Requirement

All first-year and freshmen students at Geneseo are required to live on campus through the spring of their second semester or sophomore year. 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. 

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 Housing Requirement

The Director of Residence Life or designee must approve all requests for waivers of the sophomore 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. Approval is not guaranteed upon submission of these forms. Consideration for release based on a desire to commute from a legal guardian's residence or for financial reason must be accompanied by a notarized letter from a parent or legal guardian. 

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 your Geneseo e-mail address.

Please note: Unless you receive approval of this request, your student status requires compliance with the housing policy. Alternative arrangements for housing, including a lease commitment, will not be considered sufficient reason for approval of this request.

Justifications for Release from Housing Requirement and Documentation Required

Justification Documentation Required





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 A notarized letter of residence from a parent or legal guardian is necessary in addition to the release form. Students wishing to commute must live within a 50 mile radius of campus.
Graduating Students graduating in December should submit a Release From Housing Application.
Diet 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.
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.