Residential Living Requirement

Since it was founded in 1891, SPU has been committed to the education of the whole person. For this reason, the residential experience is considered an integral part of a student’s education. Research shows that students who belong to a campus residential community have a more productive, and ultimately more satisfying college experience than those who live off campus. Recent SPU data also indicates that students who live on campus are more academically successful and more likely to persist in their educational journey.

As a part of the strategy to facilitate student success, students are required to live on campus for their first two years at Seattle Pacific. Undergraduate students who are registered for eight or more credits are required to live on campus unless they graduated from high school two or more years before the start of the current academic year. SPU strongly encourages all students to live on campus.

Students who wish to petition for an exemption to the Requirement can submit a request by using the Residential Living Exemption Form that is available on the Housing Portal. Exemptions are rare and may be considered based on a student’s marital status and/or parental responsibilities, if a student is living at home with parents/guardians, their commute distance, or in light of significant financial circumstances

Students who petition due to financial hardship should be aware that this requires greater rationale than that living expenses could be lessened by off campus housing arrangements. Financial exceptions to the residential living requirement are only considered in situations where a student’s financial circumstances are so severe that they jeopardize the student’s ability to enroll or to continue enrollment at Seattle Pacific. Even then, other elements of a student’s situation (distance from home, etc.) are involved in making a final decision. Decisions about financial hardship appeals will be made in consultation with Student Financial Services and will utilize information from the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid); students are strongly encouraged to complete and submit this as they are able.

Exemptions are also granted as an approved reasonable accommodation in response to a documented medical/health related issue (as evaluated through the Disability Support Services office).

The Residential Living Requirement is evaluated yearly to support the residential experience, as well as to respond to housing demand. Students will need to seek and have an approved exemption each year that they are required to live on campus.

For questions regarding this, please email the Residential Living Exemption Review Committee.

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