WHY, you ask, are we required to live on campus our first year?

The short answer is: “It is GOOD for you!” – Academically, Socially, and in the end, Financially.

The long answer is fact-based on research into the benefit(s) for students living in their first year.


    • Compared to commuter students, students who live on campus participate in more events (extracurricular, social, and cultural) and have more informal interactions with faculty and peers. They are also more likely to persist and graduate.  (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Pascarella, Terenzini & Blimling 1994) -pg. 3 Campus Housing Management, volume 2
    • A positive sense of community at the local level (campus housing) is important for the successful socialization into the broader social (campus community).  pg. 4 Campus Housing Management, volume 2
    • On campus students were more likely to engage in campus activities and relationships with diverse individuals as well as exhibit increased academic effort.   pg. 4 Campus Housing Management, volume 2
    • Campus housing naturally affords students opportunities to develop interpersonal closeness, as housing staff members intentionally nurture student opportunities for connection and community. pg. 4 Campus Housing Management, volume 2
    • First-year students who lived on campus earned higher GPAs and were retained at higher rates than those who lived off campus.   pg. 5 Campus Housing Management, volume 2

WHAT DOES ALL THAT MEAN?  View the First Year Live-In Presentation!

Western Oregon University’s First-Year Live-In Requirement:

First year students who enroll at WOU within one year of high school graduation regardless of class standing must live on campus for the full academic year (Fall, Winter and Spring terms).

Exceptions to this requirement may be requested by petition. Exceptions that are generally approved are as follows:

  • Living at Home with Parents, within a 30 mile radius of WOU.  For the current Academic Year WOU will offer the option for students living within a 30 mile radius to WOU the ability to submit a request via petition (see below) to live at home with parents/legal guardians
  • Having a Dependent that is living with you.
  • Marriage or Domestic Partnership.

QUALIFY? – Need a petition? Use the link below.



University Housing

(503) 838-8311 | or e-mail: housing@wou.edu  | Location: Ground floor of Ackerman Hall

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