Off-Campus Housing Policies at Residential Liberal Arts Institutions

Topics: Residence Life, Student Experience, Student Affairs

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Research Questions

  • What off-campus housing policies are in place at other institutions?
  • How do institutions determine the number of students living off campus?
  • When and how do students inform the college of their intentions to live off campus?
  • How do other institutions encourage or require students to inform the college of their plans?


Student desire to move off campus poses a budgetary challenge for primarily residential liberal arts institutions, which must fill bed space to capacity. This brief examines off-campus housing policies at eight institutions, focusing on the strategies housing administrators use to determine off-campus eligibility, ensure timely student notification of housing intent, and maintain strong town-gown relations.

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