Freshman Residency Policy

South student smiling by Southpaw statue.

 

Beginning Fall 2021, first-time freshmen will experience campus life to the fullest with South's new freshman residency policy. First-time freshmen who are enrolled in 12 or more hours and who graduated from high school within the preceding 12 months are required to live on campus for the academic year.

Students who believe they have circumstances not listed above which warrant an exemption may also submit a request for review. To access the exemption request form, please log in to MyUSAHousing and select Freshmen Residency Exemption.

Overview
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 indicate students who live on campus report a greater sense of belonging on
campus and to college life.

Therefore, in an effort to enhance student success and the undergraduate student experience as well as
improve student retention and graduation rates, the University of South Alabama will require first-time, fulltime freshmen to live on campus in university housing beginning in fall semester 2021.

Policy
Beginning in fall 2021, first-time freshmen who are enrolled in 12 or more hours and graduated from high school
within the preceding 12 months of enrolling to the University are required to live on campus in university housing.
Exceptions will be made for students meeting the following criteria:

  • Commute from the permanent residence of a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian
  • Military veteran
  • Married and/or have dependent child(ren) in residence

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.

Residency Exception

Students who believe they have circumstances not listed above which warrant an exemption may also submit a request for review. To access the exemption request form, please log in to MyUSAHousing and select Freshmen Residency Exemption.

  • Should be requested in writing and will be reviewed by a committee of University officials. Students will be
    notified of the committee decision through their JagMail email account.
  • Will be granted in other well documented circumstances. Students for whom the policy presents an undue
    hardship should provide compelling evidence of such circumstances.
  • Can be appealed to the Associate Vice President of Student Academic Success or the appropriate designee.