Two Year Residency Requirement 

The Board of Regents at Southeast Missouri State University requires that all full-time students (enrolled in at least 12 credit hours) live on campus for two academic years (four semesters, excluding summers) with some possible exemptions listed below. On-campus housing provided by the Office of Residence Life is an essential part of the educational experience at Southeast. Students are strongly encouraged to contact Residence Life prior to signing any off-campus lease to determine their eligibility to live off campus. 


To request an exemption to the residency requirements, complete the Student Residency Release ApplicationEmail your completed release to Residence Life at 

The Office of Residence Life does not use verbal notification for any residency release decision. You will receive written notification via your Southeast email of the decision regarding your release request.  

Possible Exemptions 

  • Student will be 21 years of age or older before the first day of fall classes 
  • Married and/or the primary caregiver for dependent children (documentation required) 
  • Commuting from your parent/legal guardian's permanent home and primary residence within 50 driving miles of Academic Hall 
  • Have completed 57 credit hours towards a degree with at least 42 hours earned after high school graduation 
  • Transfer student having been enrolled as a full-time student (excluding summers) at another institution for at least two years (four semesters), following high school graduation. Transcripts may be required. 
  • Have lived on campus for 4 semesters (excluding summers) 
  • Attending classes exclusively at a Southeast Regional Campus or taking classes exclusively online. 
  • Veteran of military service: military veteran having served one year of active-duty military service, post Initial Entry Training (IET), DD214 (long) required. 

Second Year Academic Achievement Exemption 

  • Student has completed 30 Southeast credit hours during the first year of living on campus, achieving a 3.25 GPA in those classes, and be in good judicial standing. 
  • Transfer, advanced placement, dual enrollment, etc. hours do not count towards the second-year academic achievement exemption. 
  • Only Southeast credit hours taken while living on campus will be applied for this exemption. 

Financial Hardship Exemption 

  • The following are examples of reasons for financial hardship that may be granted (documentation required): loss of primary provider's income due to death, catastrophic health issues, natural disasters, or bankruptcy. 
  • Frequently cited, but rarely granted reasons for requesting a financial hardship – 
  • Already signed a lease: students who sign leases off campus without having received a release decision in writing from Residence Life will still be responsible for fulfilling the on-campus housing requirement. Do not sign a lease unless you have received a decision, in writing, from Residence Life that you are exempt from the on-campus requirement.  
  • Financial savings: requests for residing off campus for potential financial savings is not a valid reason for a financial hardship. 

Medical Exemptions 

Please note that Residence Life is able to accommodate many students on campus with a variety of medical needs. A request for exemption is not guaranteed if Residence Life can accommodate your situation on campus. If an accommodation is needed, please contact Residence Life and/or the Center for Behavioral Health and Accessibility.

Students requesting an exemption citing medical needs related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must begin by submitting the Medical Accommodation Application form

Applicants requesting an exemption on this basis must provide information from the attending physician stating the specific verifiable condition for which it is medically necessary for the student to be released and why. It is the student’s responsibility to provide necessary documentation and evidence to support an accommodation request. 

Allergies or Asthma 

Many students come to campus with allergies, asthma, or some other type of chronic health problem and other students develop allergies after they arrive. In cases of allergies and asthma, the university may be able to offer an accommodation that can help. If an accommodation is needed, please contact Residence Life and/or the Center for Behavioral Health and Accessibility. 

Any student providing false, inaccurate, or misleading information as a basis in an accommodation request or a residency release form will be held accountable through any and all appropriate Residence Life, Student Conduct, civil, and criminal systems. 

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