Skip to main content

Off-Campus Housing 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 in special circumstances or when space is unavailable on campus.

When do I apply for authorization to reside off-campus?


How does the Office of Housing and Residential Experience determine who is authorized to reside off-campus?

A seniority driven, random selection (a lottery) is conducted to determine successful students/groups of students.

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

Yes.  New applicants 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?

Yes, but forming a mixed seniority group 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 authorized to reside off-campus, can I still participate in the on-campus room assignment process?

Students who receive authorization to reside off campus will allotted a period of time to decline their authorization offer.  If students decline their authorization to reside off campus, they can participate in the on-campus room assignment process.  Students who accept their authorization to reside off campus will not be permitted to participate in any on-campus room 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 authorization to reside off-campus as a group, one or more members of the group can decline the offer without impacting the rest of the group.

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

We do have an Off-Campus Housing Service available here.  Students can log in with their Vanderbilt credentials and search the available listings in the area.

I plan to study abroad/take a leave/participate in an internship for the fall 2021 semester. Should I still apply for authorization to reside off-campus?

Students who decide to study abroad, take a leave  of absence, or participate in an out-of-town internship for the fall 2022 semester will forfeit their off-campus authorization for the entire 2022-2023 academic year and will be required to reside on-campus for the spring 2023 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 2022. Will graduating in December 2022 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.