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Off-Campus Housing Accommodation Information

Bridgewater College was founded as a residential college and is committed to remaining a residential institution. The College believes that participation, engagement and incorporation into campus life through the residential experience are key elements to the holistic development of every student and integral to our liberal arts tradition of education.

Although there are limited exceptions, the expectation is that all full-time students will live on campus. Students are strongly discouraged from signing a lease for an off campus rental property until you receive written approval from the associate dean of students or the housing accommodation review board. If you are not approved to live off campus and sign a lease prematurely, you will have to pay room and board fees on campus as well as your off campus rent. 
A student can apply to live off campus if he/she meets one of the following conditions and has a letter of support provided by the student’s parent or legal guardian:

  1. The student lives at home with his/her parents or legal guardians within one of the following counties: Augusta, Highland, Page, Rockingham and Shenandoah. The student’s address will be verified with the registrar’s office. Students approved to live off campus with parents and are found to be living elsewhere may be billed for on-campus housing costs.
  2. The student is 23 years of age or older at the start of the school year at issue. The student’s age will be verified with the registrar’s office.
  3. The student is/was a member of the armed forces. The student must include a copy of a service record or discharge papers with the application.
  4. The student is married or is a custodial parent. Verification must be provided via a legible copy of your marriage license and/or completed tax forms. 
  5. The student is a transfer student from another institution who has accumulated 12 credits or more from a post-secondary institution at the time of matriculation. A transfer student will not be eligible to live off campus once they have established residency on campus. Transfer credit verification will be obtained from the registrar’s office.
  6. The student is enrolled as a part-time student (taking fewer than 12 credit hours per semester). Part-time status verification will be obtained from the registrar’s office. If a part-time student returns to full time status, the student is no longer eligible for off campus status for future semesters.
  7. The student is a fifth year senior. A fifth year senior, for purposes of off campus housing, are defined as students who have lived on campus for eight semesters at Bridgewater College (or the equivalent with transfer credits). Housing will be verified with the residence life office.

Disability-related Housing Accommodations
A student may request a medical exception from the housing accommodation review board for extreme medical circumstances (physical or mental health).  Possible outcomes of the review board include: no accommodation needed, single room, or possible off campus housing. The medical circumstances must go above and beyond basic illnesses and diagnoses. Requests for common issues like seasonal allergies will not be approved where the medical issue can be addressed by requesting an accommodation in housing (for example, a seasonal allergy request can be addressed either by placement in an air-conditioned facility or by a window air conditioning unit, humidifier or dehumidifier). In order to establish whether the student qualifies for an exception, the assessment and description of the impact of their condition that limits them from living on campus and/or with a roommate, is needed. Medical exceptions are only granted in situations where a single room or off-campus facility can provide an alternative that cannot be accommodated on campus. Requests for disability-related housing accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis and space availability.

Disability-related Housing Accommodation Process:

Students applying to live in a single room or off campus because of a medical exemption due to disability must submit the following:

  1. Medical housing application form, to be completed by the student to describe the need to live in a single room or off campus, and how this accommodation will mitigate the effects of their disability in a way that cannot be provided on campus.  
  2. Medical housing form (to be completed by licensed health care provider). 
  3. Authorization for release of confidential health information form to be signed by student, granting permission for correspondence between the health care provider and the director of academic and disability services.
  4. In the case of an off campus housing request being made for disability reasons,
    a letter from a custodial parent or guardian, describing the need for the exception is required.

Students are responsible for all appropriate documents being completed and returned.
Decisions regarding housing exception requests due to disability are made by the housing accommodation review board. The board is comprised of professionals with a comprehensive range of expertise to most helpfully consider student requests, including the director of health services, director of counseling, associate dean of students, director of residence life and the director of academic and disability services.  The committee reserves the right to ask for further supporting documentation.

Within three weeks of the fully completed housing exception application documents being returned by the student and health care provider, the Bridgewater College housing accommodation review board will meet regarding the housing request. The committee will respond in writing to the student within three working days of the decision.

A written appeal of the board’s decision can be made to the dean of students, if new information, not previously considered, is presented.