Off Campus Residency Process – Application closed. Decisions delayed until after April 3rd.

Off Campus Living Resources

Off Campus Applications are due Sunday, March 15  late applications will not be accepted.  This is not a first-come, first-serve type of process.  All submissions made by March 15th are on time – a submission in January is given no more weight than a submission in February.

We will announce off campus decisions between March 26-31, 2020 via email.  Last year there were 198 applications and only 155 students were granted off campus status.  Announcement delayed.

St. Olaf Housing Policy
St. Olaf College has a four-year residency requirement. Meaning that as far as accommodations will permit, all full time students must room in college-owned housing. Full-time students in their fifth year at St. Olaf College will be accommodated as space is available. When college-owned housing is filled, the Residence Life Office will establish procedures for off campus housing.

Process for selection of off-campus residency
Any student in the class of 2021 desiring off campus residency status for the 2020-21  academic year must submit an Off Campus Application. Off campus residency is granted on an individual basis. If granted off campus status students will also need to submit a signed “Cooperating Landlord Agreement” form. Students who do not turn in this form will be responsible for all appropriate room and board charges on campus.  We will not be accepting applications from anyone in the classes of 2022, 2023, 2024.  The only exceptions made will be students who meet the automatic status listed below.

Criteria of Selection for Off-Campus Residency
Off campus residency status is granted for a maximum of one academic year or for the specific term(s) of the year as indicated on the Off Campus Application.

Approval for Off Campus status is based on the following:

  • Specific circumstances of the student making the request for off campus residency status.
  • Responsibility of the Residence Life Office to keep college-owned housing at full capacity.
  • Appropriate behavior by students granted off campus residency status.

If a student submits the Off Campus Housing Application and meets one or more of the following criteria, he/she will automatically be granted off-campus residency status for the academic year or term(s) for which he/she applied.  An Off Campus Application must be submitted to qualify.  The criteria are:

  • 23 years of age or older on or before the first day of Semester I classes. (September 10, 2020)
  • Resides in Northfield with parent(s) or guardian. The address the student is living at must be that of the parent(s) or guardian and the address must be in the Northfield school district.
  • Part-time student.
  • Married student.
  • Custodial parent.
  • Granted off campus status during the 2019-20 academic year.

Medical Requests
Students asking for off campus accommodations for a medical reason will be required to submit medical documentation by March 15, 2020 to the Disability and Access Office in the Center Advising and Academic Support.  Documentation is then reviewed, health care provider may be contacted,  and a decision is made if the student will be allowed off campus for a medical reason.  Most medical conditions (asthma, allergies, mobility issues) can be addressed in on campus housing with some modifications and are not reasons to be automatically granted off campus status.  For students to be considered for off campus status based for a medical reason must submit the documentation by March 15, 2020.  Late documentation will not be considered.

Students who do no qualify through the above criteria but wish to apply for off campus residency status may submit the Off Campus Application. Submitting an application does not guarantee that off-campus residency will be granted.

A students’ off campus residency status may be rescinded if a student’s off campus residence is identified by neighbors, law enforcement or city authorities as a problem. Typically, such complaints involve noise; parking; parties where alcohol is served; vandalism and inappropriate behavior of residents, visitors or guests. Students residing off campus are expected to treat their neighbors and neighborhood with respect and be positive community members, and most have. If you have questions or concerns about these or other expectations, please feel free to discuss them with Pamela McDowell ( in the Residence Life Office.

Notification of Acceptance
Students will be notified by email from the Residence Life Office if the Off Campus Application is approved. Students should realize that approval from the Residence Life Office is needed before they will be allowed to live off-campus. Approval notification will be via email between March 26-31, 2020.   Decisions delayed until after April 3rd.

Occasionally, students enter into leases or other agreements with landlords before they are sure of their off campus status. Without written notification from the Residence Life Office that off campus residency has been granted students are urged not to enter into any agreements for off campus housing.

In order to remain in good standing and receive housing refunds you must provide the Residence Life Office with an address and phone number of your off-campus residence. If either change you must notify the Residence Life Office of the change immediately. Addresses are shared with members of the Deans of Students staff and with members of the Northfield city administration.

Off Campus Application for 2020-21
When you click on the above link it will take you to Form Creator – please log in. You will see an “Off Campus Application” under “Feedback forms you can complete.” Applications will be available from November 1, 2019  – March 15, 2020.