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The South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) housing policy states that students must live and dine on campus for their first two years in college following high school graduation. We recognize living on campus and/or on-campus dining, for various reasons, may not be in the best interest of all students. We offer applications for live-on requirement exemptions and meal plan requirement releases for exemption from SDBOR Policy and/or residence hall occupancy contracts.

Requests must be submitted by July 15 for the fall term and December 15 for the spring term within the academic year. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed documentation to the University Housing office within two weeks, from the date the form is sent to the student via email (return date may be extended upon request if needed). The request will be denied if the student has not returned their completed paperwork, or received an extension, to University Housing within two weeks. If a student is a late admit to USD they will have ten days from admittance to file an exemption. Students who are denied have five days from notification to submit an appeal if they have new information to present. 

Live-On Requirement Exemption Application

The live-on requirement exemption, if granted, releases students from the obligation to live on-campus. Students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Within two years of your high school graduation date
  • Taking six or more credit hours on the USD main campus
  • Have not signed a residence hall occupancy contract for the term/academic year 

Students who have signed a residence hall occupancy contract and wish to be released must fill out a housing exemption application. This application must be completed for all residence hall occupancy contracts, regardless if contract term dates have begun.

Students meeting one of the following categories may be considered for exemption from the live-on requirement. All forms will be available online or sent via email to your USD email address.  

Financial Need  For those students with extenuating financial hardship usually verified through a student's completed FAFSA report.

  • Must have a Completed FASFA on file by June 1
  • You have returned your Award Letter to the Financial Aid Office
  • Exemptions are not based on the assertion that living off-campus may be cheaper

Medical, Psychological or Disability

  • Submit the Medical, Psychological or Disability completed form to University Housing, must include medical providers fax number or email address on this form.
  • University Housing will request documentation from your medical provider identifying specific verifiable condition for which it is medically or mentally necessary to reside off-campus.

Sorority and Fraternity

  • 2nd year student
  • A minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average
  • Be a member of one of the chapters
  • A minimum of 28 credit hours

University Sponsored Program – to study abroad, an internship off campus or online classes only.

  • You must be registered for your program and/or your class roster updated prior to submitting this request.
  • Request must be submitted by the add/drop date (Census date) of each semester to be considered for exemption. 
  • Requires written communication from a USD faculty/staff member including the type of program and duration (semester or academic year)

Withdrawing from USD

  • Confirmation is required prior to approval from Admissions, Financial Aid Office or the Registrar’s office that you have  from classes at the University of South Dakota.

Commuter Exemptions are only available to students who do not have a signed housing contract for the requested exemption term. For students that reside full time with their parent or legal guardian within 60 miles of USD’s main campus.

Graduating from USD

  • University Housing will confirm your graduation date with the Registrar’s Office.

Married – must provide a valid marriage certificate

*Engagement does not qualify as marriage for an exemption

Legal Dependent – must provide a copy of birth certificate for their dependent.

For additional information, please review the housing exemption procedure. If you have questions, contact us at or (605) 677-5663.

Apply for a housing exemption

Meal Exemptions

To apply for meal exemptions, please visit Campus Dining.

Meal Plan Exemption Policy & Process

South Dakota Board of Regents Policy 3:6 requires all students enrolled in six (6) or more on-campus credits live in on-campus housing and have meal plan during the first two (2) years following their high school graduation. The meal plan exemption request process is in place to provide recourse for those students who wish to have a review of their request to not purchase a full meal plan for medical or other reasons. Students who feel their circumstances should exempt them from the requirement may submit a meal plan exemption request form. Once the form has been reviewed, a meeting will be arranged with the appeals board. If a student does not agree with the decision made by the meal plan appeals board, they may appeal this decision to the Associate Dean of Students office within one week of the board's decision.

Documentation advised

  • Exemptions are typically based on medical or financial reasons that are not able to be accommodated by Dining Services. In both cases, the appeals board strongly encourages the student to provide supporting documentation. It is the student's responsibility to provide documentation with the exemption form.
  • Students needing to provide medical documentation may attain this documentation through the Sanford Clinic Vermillion at 20 South Plum Street or through your primary care provider. A medical professional will assess previous medical documentation or provide an assessment of the student's current status. The Sanford Clinic staff are familiar with both the appeal process and the dining options available through USD Dining Services, and is USD's medical partner in this exemption process.

Housing and Meal Plan exemptions require signed and verified documents that can take time to gather, please note that the deadline for submitting an exemption request is July 15 for the upcoming fall semester and December 15 for the upcoming spring semester.