Institutional and national research suggests that students who live on campus are significantly more inclined to remain in college, graduate in 4 years and achieve higher GPAs in comparison to students living off campus. In support of the mission of Montana State University, all students taking six or more credit hours, with less than 30 credit hours or 2 semesters accomplished in a residence hall setting, are required to live in university owned residence halls. A limited number of exemptions to this policy may be granted by the Residence Life Office.

If you think you qualify for an exemption based on the criteria below, please submit this request online by clicking on the button below and uploading your supporting documentation. Requests will not be reviewed until online request is received with all supporting documentation. 

Request for Exemption

Request for Exemption Criteria:

  • Marriage:
    • Must provide a marriage certificate
  • Physical custody of a dependent child:
    • Must provide copy of child’s birth certificate
  • Completed one full academic year at a college or university while living in a residence hall: An academic year is calculated as 2 semesters or 3 quarters.
    • Must provide documentation of residence hall living (housing bill, letter from the university, etc.)
  • 5 or fewer credits: Will be taking five or fewer credit hours.
    • Subject to verification
  • Financial hardship: Such as death, accident or severe illness of primary family wage earner, recent substantial change in the family or student financial status beyond the control of the student, or unusual circumstances well supported by documentation.
    • Must provide a letter from student
    • Must provide a Financial Hardship Worksheet and documentation of recent financial change
    • If traditional freshman, must also provide a notarized letter of support from parent/legal guardian
  • Medical/disability related condition: A medical or disability condition that precludes you from living in the residence halls. Will require evaluation by the Office of Disability Services. You may be required to provide medical documentation that supports your request to the Office of Disability Services. 
    • Must contact the Office of Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services can be contacted at 406-994-2824 or
    • Must provide a letter that explains briefly the basis of the request to the Residence Life Office
  • Living with family member: Living with an immediate family member (parent, grandparent, sibling, or legal guardian) at their principal, established local residence within a commutable radius.
    • Must provide a copy of a power/heating bill or lease for proof of physical/service address
    • Must provide a notarized letter from parent/legal guardian. Letter should contain the name, relationship to the student and address of the immediate family member with whom the student will be living.
  • Current active military or veteran's status: 
    • Must provide a copy of the DD Form 214.
    • If DD Form 214 is unavailable, must provide a copy of the Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) and/or other documentation that shows active military status
  • Unusual circumstances: Circumstances have arisen that are not within the scope of the above listed criteria that make living in the halls a hardship. 
    • Must provide a letter from the student including all pertinent information and documentation to the unusual circumstance
    • If traditional freshman, must also include a notarized letter of support from parent/legal guardian


Request for Exemption

Request for Exemption Information

  • Request for Exemptions are reviewed on a regular basis, by a campus committee, and can take up to 2 weeks to receive a response by email.
  • Submitting a Request for Exemption from the First Year Live-In Requirement is not a guaranteed approval to be exempt from this university requirement.
  • If the Request for Exemption is denied, the student will be required to move into the residence halls and will be billed the full amount of room and board charges under the terms set forth in the Residence Hall Contract.
  • If the Request for Exemption is approved, the student is not required to live in the residence halls, billed, or obligated to pay room and board charges.
  • If the Request for Exemption is approved after a student has completed a residence hall application and paid the housing application prepayment the application will be cancelled but the $300 nonrefundable prepayment will not be refunded.
  • Being able to live less expensively off campus does not necessarily qualify a student for an exemption.
  • Students who furnish false information regarding their housing status will be referred to the Dean of Students Office for a Student Conduct Board hearing under section 632.00, part B “Acts of Dishonesty”, of the Student Conduct Code.