Off-Campus Residency

Grinnell College is a residential college. All full-time students are required to live in student residences and board with College dining all four years. Exceptions to our residential policy are granted to the very few students who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • are 24 years of age by September 1 (of the upcoming academic year),
  • live with their parents in the Grinnell area,
  • are legally married (or legally partnered in a civil union) and live in the Grinnell area, or
  • have a child(ren) who lives with them.

Please note students eligible for automatic permission must complete and submit the required request form by the sign-up due date.  All students who receive permission to live off-campus are required to live within 10 miles of the city of Grinnell, whether permission is granted through automatic approval or per Room Draw order.

Exceptions are also granted to a limited number of seniors and third-year students (not studying abroad or taking a leave of absence during the fall term) who request and have been granted permission to live off-campus by Residence Life.  Students may only live off-campus if granted permission by Residence Life.

Students must request permission to live off-campus EACH academic year, or when returning from a leave of absence or studying abroad, even if permission was granted previously.

Students interested in requesting permission to live off-campus must complete and submit the electronic request form by the due date.

Students studying abroad in the fall do not request permission at this time (please see Fall Abroad/On Leave section below).  Students planning to study abroad during the spring term must complete and submit the online application (at this time). 

Following the due date, offers are sent via email to students based on standard Room Draw practice.  Students requesting off-campus permission are sorted by their class status (year) and room draw number(room draw numbers are assigned and distributed in  February).  Off-campus offers are NOT determined by when students sign-up or request off-campus permission.  The number of students granted off-campus permission is determined by projected total enrollment for the upcoming term.  Students are not approved  to live off-campus until an offer is received from Residence Life.  The offer must be accepted or declined by the deadline indicated below.

Students who accept an offer to live off-campus:

  • must live in the Grinnell area
  • are approved for the entire academic year
  • do not attend Room Draw
  • must notify Dining Services of their choice of meal plan (even if cancelling their meal plan)
  • must provide Residence Life with their contact information by August 1

Students who do not receive an offer to live off-campus are notified via email and are automatically placed on a waitlist.  Offers are sent to students on the waitlist IF off-campus spaces become available.  (Spaces may become available if other students decline the off-campus offer or if enrollment increases.)  Students who miss the sign-up deadline are placed on the waitlist at the end of their class year in the order the requests are received.

Fall Abroad/On Leave:  Students studying abroad or on leave in the fall may request permission to live off-campus for the following spring term.  Fall off-campus study students will receive a Residence Form via email (late fall) and students on leave will be sent a Residence Form once their request to return is approved.  Students may request permission to live off-campus by completing the off-campus section of the Residence Form and returning to Residence Life (via email) by the due date indicated. Off-campus offers for spring term are sent in late November.  Students are not approved to live off-campus for spring until they receive an offer from the Residence Life Department. 

Please Note:

  • First semester third year students (as of the spring semester) are not eligible to request off-campus permission for the spring term.
  • Students who accept an off-campus offer may, at any time, request on-campus residency; however, single room assignments are not guaranteed.  Assignments depend on availability.  
  • Students who decline or cancel their off-campus offer / status must reapply for off-campus permission, regardless of class year.

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