First-Year Residency Policy
The University of South Alabama requires all first-time, full-time students to live on campus for up to one academic year. Living on campus provides educational and social benefits not available to students who live off campus. The residence halls provide students with a supportive living environment, proximity to academic resources, and convenient access to organized student activities.
The University of South Alabama is committed to providing students with a vibrant, comprehensive, and successful undergraduate student experience. National studies show that students who live on campus are more successful, have higher grade point averages, are more engaged, and have higher rates of retention and graduation. This is true for students who live on campus at the University of South Alabama. Data from USA’s Office of Institutional Research suggests that students who live in University Housing at South Alabama have higher grade point averages, have a higher rate of first to second year retention and are more likely to graduate within six years (national average).
Additionally, results from the Annual Resident Student Satisfaction Survey indicates students who live on campus report a greater sense of belonging on campus and to college life.
- Go to the MyUSAHousing portal and login using your Jag Number and JagMail password.
- Click the 'First-Year Residency Exemption' link in the red menu bar.*
- Read over the policy and complete the form provided. The exemption request will be
sent to the USA Housing team who will review the request.
*If you do not see this link, please contact the Housing office for assistance.
First-time, full-time students are required to live on campus for their first academic year.
Students who first enroll in the summer are required to live in the residence halls for the summer, fall, and spring semesters during their first year attending the University.
Students who first enroll in the fall are required to live in the residence halls for fall and spring semesters during their first year attending the University.*
Students who first enroll in the spring semester are required to live in the residence halls for the spring semester during their first year attending the University.
Exceptions will be made for students meeting the following criteria:
- 21 years of age or older by the first day of classes
- Enrolled in less than full-time (12) credit hours each semester on campus
- Graduated high school more than one (1) year before the first day of classes
- Have dependent child(ren) in residence
- Live within 80 miles of USA with relative(s) (i.e., parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle) or legal guardian
- Military veteran
*The listed exemptions are not applicable to students who have received their room key and moved into their room for their currently active contract. These exemptions are not valid for cancellation requests. For example, if a student moves into their room on campus in the fall, they may NOT request a first-year exemption for the spring semester.
**Students who believe they have circumstances not listed above which warrant an exemption may submit a request for review. Exemptions will be granted in situations where the policy presents an undue hardship and in other well documented circumstances. To access the exemption request form, please log in to MyUSAHousing and select 'First Year Residency Exemption'.