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Official policies of St. Mary's University

On-Campus Residency Requirement

Approver(s):

Executive Council

Authorizes release:

Vice Provost for Student Development

Responsible office:

Dean of Students

Review cycle:

Annually or as required

Adopted:

November 2016

Last update:

September 2017

Next review:

June 2018

In keeping with the tenets of the mission of the Office of Residence Life at St. Mary’s University:

  • we strive to educate students as individuals;
  • foster awareness of personal values and moral responsibility;
  • invoke a dialogical family spirit.

Studies have shown that students who live on campus are more likely to be satisfied with their collegiate experience, will be more involved in campus life, will achieve higher academic standards, will have a more positive self-image, and are more likely to complete their degree than students who do not live on campus. Living on campus does not guarantee a successful college experience, but the advantages to living on campus are significant.

Effective August 1, 2017, all new undergraduate students with a permanent address outside of Bexar County Texas are required to live on campus and purchase the Rattler 5 or Rattler 7 meal plan if they fall into any of the following categories:

  • Within two years of high school graduation date as of first day of fall semester classes, and under the age of 21.
  • Within 18 months of high school graduation date as of first day of spring semester classes, and under the age of 21.

If students fall into any of the above categories (as of the first day of class for the academic year or term in which they first enroll at the University), they are required to live on campus for the full academic year (or remainder of year if entering for the spring semester). The full academic year contract is binding, even if the student turns 21 years of age during that period. The Summer sessions are not included in the residential requirement.

The Residence Life Housing Agreement is a binding, legal document. Therefore, we will not approve mid-year move-outs after the move-in date without a financial penalty for cancellation.

Exemptions to the residential requirement are limited to the following categories:

  1. Living with family within a commutable distance within Bexar County Texas. The student must live with the family member in their permanent place of residence.
    1. “Family” is defined as a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, spouse, or children.
    2. “Permanent place of residence” is defined as a person’s true, fixed, and primary home and place of habitation, to the exclusion of all others.
    3. Approved commutable zip codes that are within Bexar County (see attachment).

    Students applying to live with family must submit the following documents:

    • A notarized letter from the family member (Print the Residence Exemption Form, which must be notarized prior to submission.)
    • A photocopy of a valid form of ID from the family member you will be living with.
    • A photocopy of a utility bill from the address that you will be commuting from.
  2. Marriage. Occurring before or after the start date of the contract. A marriage certificate to prove legal marriage is required.
  3. A medical condition that prevents the student from living in on-campus housing. A letter of support from the Office of Disability Support Services is required. Contact Disability Support Services at (210) 436-3135.
  4. Academic Internship/Exchange/Study Abroad. Documentation is required.
  5. Pregnancy/Children/Dependents. Medical Documentation, Birth Certificate, and/or Proof of Guardianship (Court order) are required.
  6. Military Relocation. Documentation is required.

In order to be approved for release from the residential requirement, the student must complete a Residency Exeption Form and submit any additional required documents. Fulfilling the requirements for exemption will not constitute an automatic release from the residency requirement.

Any student who falls within the residential requirement and fails to sign up for housing, or be approved form an exemption by May 1st (returning students) or July 1st/December 1st (new students entering in the fall or spring semester respectively), will automatically be assessed a University housing and meal plan charge. New students who deposit to the university after the deadline have 10 days from the date of their deposit to submit a Residency Exemption Form before being assessed a University housing and meal plan charge.

All forms and documentation should be submitted to the Office of Residence Life, One Camino Santa Maria, Box 77, San Antonio, TX 78228 or electronically to reslife@stmarytx.edu by the respective deadline.

While an exemption from the On-Campus Residency Requirement may be granted in a given case, a student may still be subject to financial penalties (i.e. moving out of the residence hall prior to completions of the contracted year regardless of reason). Any student found to be providing false information on the Residency Exemption Form will be subject to University disciplinary action and will be responsible for paying a University housing and meal plan charge.

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