Residency Requirements and Waiver Information

Pacific University considers residence hall community living as one of the most valuable learning experiences of a student’s educational experience.

Living in a residence hall is an important factor in the process of both social and academic growth. Residence halls foster a living-learning environment where students can develop interpersonal skills and intercultural understanding among students with diverse backgrounds. Because of this, Pacific University requires students to live and board on-campus until the residency requirement is met, and even after that a significant number of students choose to continue living on campus through graduation to fully reap the benefits of a residential liberal arts experience.

Students must meet the residency requirements as explained below.

Residency Requirement 

  • Pacific University requires all students under 20 years of age by the first day of fall term* to live and board on-campus unless the student has fulfilled the university's two-year residency requirement.
  • All students who sign a Housing Contract and move into housing are required to live and board on campus for the duration of the contract terms (Fall, Winter and Spring Terms).
  • The Housing Contract will cover fewer terms if the student cancels their housing based on approved criteria as mentioned in the Residence Hall Handbook or the student begins their Housing Contract after one or more terms have ended.

*For the 2023-2024 academic year, the first day of fall term is August 28, 2023, so students born on or after August 29, 2003 are required to live and board on campus.

Residency Requirement Waiver Information

Housing agreements are binding for the full academic year, or remainder thereof, and Pacific University students are required to fulfill this obligation unless otherwise approved by the Residency Options Committee. By submitting the Residency Requirement Waiver Request Form, you are requesting to be waived from the residency requirement before moving in or to cancel your agreement after it has gone into effect. To apply for a waiver, log into eRezLife, select "Housing Overview" on the left menu, then click "Apply Now" on the Residency Waiver Request 23-24.

Please note the following are not acceptable reasons for exemption:

  • Roommate conflict
  • Signed off-campus lease
  • Room preference not available during the housing selection process
  • General COVID-19 concerns

Students will need to provide a description of the reason for request following the directions on the form and provide the required documentation for review.

Residency Options Committee

The Residency Options Committee reviews submitted residency waiver requests seven times a year and grants exceptions only when documented extenuating circumstances are deemed unusual for a college student or the automatic waiver criteria is meet (see criteria below).

The Residency Options Committee generally meets per the schedule below but it is subject to change. Therefore, you would want to turn in your request to the Housing Office the week before (Friday at the latest).

Meeting schedule (subject to change):

  • second Tuesday of January
  • second Tuesday of March
  • second Tuesday of April
  • second Tuesday of June
  • second week of July
  • second Tuesday of August
  • second Tuesday of December (December 2023 meeting will occur on the first Tuesday)

The student is notified of the committee's decision via their Pacific email account within five business days of their meeting (see schedule above).

If a waiver is granted it is only for one academic year. A new Residency Waiver Request form must be submitted each academic year until the University’s eligibility requirements to live off campus are met.

Possible automatic residency waivers include:

  • Living with an immediate family member (must be a parent, sibling, or legal guardian with an address within 20 miles of Pacific University, Forest Grove campus). Living with an immediate family member requires legal proof of residence, (e.g. a copy of the immediate family member’s Oregon driver’s license). The Residence Options Committee uses Google Maps to calculate the mileage between the immediate family member's address and Pacific University, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, Oregon. The shortest distance displayed is used. Please Note the mileage exemption to live at home with an immediate family member is not an option once the Housing Contract period begins.
  • Being married. (Requires a copy of the marriage or domestic partnership license.)
  • Having a dependent child. (Requires a copy of the child’s birth certificate and any supporting documentation.)

Documentation Requirements:

Financial hardship documentation

Students requesting to have their residency requirement waived based upon financial hardship must provide documented evidence of extreme financial need. Students must be able to demonstrate there has been a significant change in their financial status and have exhausted their financial options. Students must have submitted the most recent FAFSA. If no FAFSA exists, students must submit copies of the most recent federal tax return and evidence of extreme financial hardship (e.g. death of primary income provider, recent employment termination, medical expenses exceeding maximum insurance coverage, etc.).

Medical and/or psychological requirements documentation

In general, most documentation involving psychological or medical conditions should go to Office of Accessibility & Accommodation Services (OAA) for assessment to see if an accommodation to the university's policy is warranted. Instead of filling out a Residency Waiver, visit this webpage to get started with OAA. This office will recommend a waiver for students who have a disability that cannot be accommodated on in campus housing.

Religious requirements documentation

Students requesting to have their residency requirement waived based upon religious requirements must provide documentation submitted by a religious leader. Documentation must be able to illustrate the religious requirements, how living on campus does not allow the student to meet the religious requirement, and how living off campus would alleviate that hardship.

If your waiver request is for another reason, applicable documentation must be provided.

Waiver requests during the housing contract period:

Students that have signed a housing contract and checked-in to housing and then want to be released from their housing contract, must complete the extenuating circumstances portion of the request form and must demonstrate an extreme circumstance which has occurred during their housing contract period as part of their request for a waiver.

Waiver requests for new students:

New deposited students seeking an exemption for the upcoming academic year can request a Residency Waiver Request form through the new student Housing Application (Residency Waiver Request form is only released to students that have submitted their enrollment deposit to the Pacific University Admission’s Office and the Residency Options Committee only reviews requests from deposited students).

Financial Aid Impact:

Be sure to connect with the Financial Aid Office in advance of submitting a Residency Waiver Request form to see if there will be any implications to your financial aid package if you are approved to live off campus.

Housing Contract Buyout

Applies to students who are at least 20 years of age as of the official Fall move-in date and are currently under housing contract.

  • Students may elect to go through the residency waiver process to see if their request will be approved and contractual obligation waived. If the waiver request is denied, eligible students have the option to either appeal the decision or choose to buyout their housing contract.
  • Eligible students may elect to bypass the residency waiver process and choose to buyout out their housing contract. For more information or to submit this request, email

Maintaining Housing Eligibility

Residents of campus housing must maintain the following eligibility requirements:

  • They are enrolled as a Pacific University undergraduate or graduate student (full-time or part-time) or enrolled in the English Language Institute and actively taking classes.
  • They are in good standing with the Business Office on the day of registration for each term or prior to the assignment of a space

Residence Hall Age Requirements

Cascade Hall, McCormick Hall or Walter Hall

These residence halls are generally for students 18 years old and older prior to the start of the Fall term.

Burlingham Hall or Gilbert Hall

These residence halls are for students that are 19 years old and older prior to the start of the Fall term or have fulfilled one year of the University's two-year residency requirement.

Vandervelden Court

This residence hall is for students that are 20 years old and older prior to the start of the Fall term or have fulfilled the University's two-year residency requirement.