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Off-Campus Authorization FAQ’s

Am I required to live on campus?

Yes. All unmarried undergraduate students must live in residence halls on campus. Authorization to live elsewhere (Greek chapter houses and off campus) is granted at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments and Operations in special circumstances or when space is unavailable on campus.

When do I apply for off-campus authorization?

Please visit the Off-Campus Authorization website for application dates and deadlines.

How does Housing and Residential Experience determine who is granted off-campus authorization?

A random selection process (a lottery) is used to determine which students will have their requests for off-campus authorization granted.  Please visit the Off-Campus Authorization website full details.

Requests for off-campus authorization are prioritized as follows:
First Priority: Students residing off campus for the 2023-2024 academic year with authorization to do so who properly re-apply for 2024-2025 off-campus authorization
Second Priority: Students entering their 4th year of study or greater for the Fall 2024 semester

Can I apply with friends for authorization to reside off campus?

Yes.  New applicants (second priority group) are permitted to form off-campus roommate groups with up to two (2) other students.  Groups larger than three students are not permitted. Properly matched roommate groups will either be granted authorization or denied authorization as a group.  Students authorized to reside off campus for the current academic year can re-apply only as individuals.

Do I have a greater chance of receiving off-campus authorization if I form a roommate group?

No.  Forming a roommate group simply links you together with your requested roommates for the random selection process (lottery).

Can my roommate group include students with different seniority?

For the 2024-2025 academic year, only students entering their 4th-year of study or greater are eligible to request off-campus authorization.  Rising 3rd-year students may sign up for the off-campus authorization waitlist.

In years when students with fewer years of study are eligible to apply, mixed cohort groups are permitted; however, doing so will affect your group’s chances in the lottery.  For the lottery, rising 4th-year students each have four points and rising 3rd-year students each have three points.  If you form a roommate group, your seniority points will be averaged with your roommates’ to produce a point value for your group.  Here are the possible point values for individuals and groups:

  • 4 (one or more rising 4th-year students)
  • 3.67 (two rising 4th-year and one rising 3rd-year students)
  • 3.5 (one rising 4th-year and one rising 3rd-year students)
  • 3.33 (one rising 4th-year and two rising 3rd-year students)
  • 3 (one or more rising 3rd-year students)

Applications will be considered in the seniority order above. That is, four-point applications will be considered before 3.67-point applications and so forth. Ties in seniority are broken by the random selection (lottery) process.

If I am granted off-campus authorization, can I still participate in the on-campus housing assignment process?

Students who receive off-campus authorization are allotted a period of time to decline their offer.  If students decline their off-campus authorization, they can participate in the on-campus housing assignment process.  Students who accept their off-campus authoirzation will not be permitted to participate in any on-campus housing assignment processes.

If I apply with a roommate group and we receive authorization to reside off campus, do we all need to accept the offer?

No.  We recognize that plans can change.  Offer acceptances and declines are managed on an individual basis; therefore, if you apply for and receive off-campus authorization as a group, one or more members of the group can decline the offer without impacting the rest of the group.

Will Housing and Residential Experience help me find a place to live off-campus?

Students with off-campus authorization are responsible for securing their own housing.  Students are welcome to utilize the Off-Campus Housing Service to search available listings in the area.

I plan to study abroad/take a leave/participate in an internship for the fall 2024 semester. Should I still apply for off-campus authorization?

Students who decide to study abroad, take a leave of absence, or participate in an out-of-town internship for the fall 2024 semester will forfeit their off-campus authorization for the entire 2024-2025 academic year and will be required to reside on-campus for the spring 2025 should they decide to return to Vanderbilt.

I receive financial aid. How will my financial aid be impacted if I am authorized to reside off-campus?

Students currently receiving aid who have questions about how residing off campus will impact their aid are strongly encouraged to reach out to their Financial Aid Officer.

I plan to graduate in December. Will graduating at the conclusion of the fall semester give me higher priority in the authorization to reside off-campus process?

No.  Early or mid-year graduation dates do not give students higher priority in the process.