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Required Housing Policy & Exemptions


All full-time undergraduate students are required to live on campus for two years.

The live-on experience that the Department of Housing & Residence Life is committed to providing, is an essential part of the educational experience at Western Kentucky University. 



Students who have not lived on campus for two years who choose to live off campus will be charged the lowest residence hall rate that HRL offers.

New and transfer students are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of Housing & Residence Life prior to signing any off-campus lease to determine their eligibility to live off campus.



Data shows that students who live on campus their first year are nearly 10% more likely to return for classes in the spring and almost 7% more likely to return the following fall than students who do not live on campus. Additionally, WKU students who live on campus for four semesters are over 25% more likely to graduate in six years than students who only live on campus for three semesters.


HRL is committed to providing staff and resources for each student to be successful in their WKU experience.



Students who are:

- Veterans of military service (181 days or more)

- Married

- The primary caregiver for dependent children

- 21 years of age or older, prior to the first day of classes

- Members of fraternities or sororities living in the chapter house (two semesters on campus and 30 credit hours earned)

- Commuting from their parent/guardian's permanent home and primary residence (50 miles or less).

Are able to live off campus prior to earning 60 credit hours.


Requests for accommodations based upon special circumstances (defined as unique and unusual) will also be considered. Three types of special circumstances are permitted:

- Medical/Psychological

- Other Unique and Unusual



Students requesting an exemption citing medical needs related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must begin by contacting the Student Accessibilities Resource Center at (270)745-5004. Please note that we are able to accommodate many students on campus with a variety of medical needs. A request for exemption is not guaranteed, if we feel that we can accommodate your situation on campus. It is the student's responsibility to meet with us before assignments are made to discuss how we will accommodate them on campus.

Student Accessibilities Resource Center



Deadline to Request an Exemption

Requests for exemption must be submitted by the first Friday of classes for that semester. If filed after, a $150 fee will be charged to the student’s account only if the exemption is granted.


Frequency of Requests

Approved accommodations apply to the academic year or semester for which the request is made. Students should submit a request for accommodation for each academic year or semester they are required to live on campus.



Please upload the document(s) relevant to your circumstance when making your request:

- MARRIED: Copy of marriage certificate

- HAVE A DEPENDENT CHILD: Copy of child's birth certificate 

- COMMUTER STUDENT: Completed parent/guardian statement for commuting students; must be notarized. Download Form 


- 21 YEARS OLD: No upload required 

- VETERAN: Documents showing active military service of 181 days or more (DD214, etc.) 

- SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Written explanation as to why your situation is unique or unusual

For any requests, you may attach additional documentation (such as a letter of rationale) to fully explain your exemption request(s).

The burden of providing necessary documentation and evidence to support an accommodation request rests with the student. Students who have provided false information in an accommodation request or fail to apply for housing per the required housing policy will be charged for housing each semester. Students may also be adjudicated for violating the student code of conduct for providing false information.


Department Response 

The Department of Housing and Residence Life will respond to the accommodation request within five business days in writing to the student’s TopperMail account.

Please note: a pending request or appeal does not defer your housing payment. If your appeal is approved, adjustments to your account will be made.


Frequently cited but rarely granted reasons for requesting an accommodation:
Already signed a lease

Students who sign leases without having received a housing accommodation decision in writing from the Department of Housing and Residence Life will still be responsible for fulfilling the on-campus housing requirement. Do not sign a lease unless you have received a decision from Housing and Residence life in writing that you are permitted to live off campus. 

Allergies and/or asthma

Many students come to campus with allergies, asthma, or some other type of chronic health problem and some students develop allergies after they arrive. In cases of allergies and asthma, the university can offer an accommodation that can help. If an accommodation is needed, please contact our office and the Student Accessibility Resource Center. 

Bad experience with roommate or floormate

Hall staff (professional hall directors and resident assistants) are equipped to mediate conflict between residents. Additionally, students may request a room change.


Western Kentucky University offers a wide variety of dining options and types of food that all students can enjoy. Dining Services has a registered dietician who works with students with dietary concerns. Dining Services can almost always assist students who are on special diets.


Request an Exemption or Contract Termination

To request an exemption or contract termination, please access the WKU Housing Portal and click "Request an Exemption / Contract Termination" from the main menu in the top navigation bar.


Request Exemption - Access the Portal


Questions? Contact Us:

Phone: (270) 745-4359

Email: hrl@wku.edu


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 Last Modified 4/23/19