As a residential college, Cornell requires students to live in campus housing. Students who intend not to live on campus must either meet one of the exceptions of the residency policy or must go through the off-campus lottery. Exceptions to the residence policy must be requested through the Residence Life Office.

Exceptions to the residency policy

The following students may request exception to the residency policy and should refer to our information on off-campus housing process to learn about the process to request an exemption:

  1. Students who live at the primary, permanent residence of their parent or guardian within a 30 mile radius of Mount Vernon.
  2. Married students.
  3. Students who have their child or children living with them.
  4. Students who have lived in college housing the equivalent of eight fall and spring semesters (supporting documentation is required for transfer students).
  5. Students who have served in the armed forces.
  6. Students who are 23 years of age or older by September 1 for that academic year.
  7. Students who have been authorized to live off campus when sufficient space is not available to house all students in the residence halls. Seniors are given preference through the off-campus lottery. If spaces remain, a junior off-campus housing lottery may be conducted. Refer to our information on the off-campus lottery for more details.
  8. Students with special medical or dietary needs, as verified by a doctor's completion of the Documentation of Medical/Psychological Conditions form and recommended by the Director of Student Health Services or the Director of Counseling. The Director of Residence Life makes the final decision.

To ensure sufficient space for those students required to live in College housing, the College reserves the right to house any student who meets one of the above criteria after all other students are housed. Decisions regarding space availability for the upcoming academic year would likely be made in late July.

Local address

Any student approved to live off campus is required to maintain his or her local address with the Office of the Registrar (the process and deadlines will be provided by Residence Life). This address must reflect the student's place of residence while attending classes at Cornell College. Any student whose local address changes during the academic year must update that address with the Office of the Registrar and must notify Residence Life immediately; in these cases, the student may need to reapply for an exemption to the residence policy.

Updated documentation

Housing exemptions are provided for the academic year only. Students who have been given an exemption must resubmit their request annually (during the room selection process held each spring). They must also be prepared to resubmit updated documentation as requested by the Residence Life Office.  You must notify us if the circumstance surrounding your initial reason for the exemption has changed.

Housing and dining for part-time or continuing education students

Students who meet one or more of the following criteria will be charged housing and dining for the full semester:

  • Students who are required to live on campus per the terms of the residency requirement;
  • Students who select a room during the room selection process; and/or
  • Students who are in housing three or four blocks a semester.

Students not meeting one of the criteria above and who wish to live on campus for one or two blocks may be eligible for College housing provided they are a registered student during the semester they are wanting housing and provided space remains in College housing. Students who live on campus one or two consecutive blocks a semester will be charged housing and dining for those blocks that they live on campus provided they make those arrangements with residence life before selecting a room. For these students, billing will be based on full blocks only, and so a student who moves in or out in the middle of a block will be charged housing and dining for the entire block. Housing on a block-by-block basis for two non-consecutive blocks a semester is not permitted.