Living Off-Campus

Undergraduate students who wish to live off campus must apply for and receive permission from the Office of Residential Life. Approximately 70-80% of seniors live off campus in a given year, while availability is limited to  a small number of juniors (perhaps 10% of the class) depending on annual housing figures.

It is imperative that students not sign a lease to live off-campus until they receive written notification from the Office of Residential Life indicating their off-campus approval. Until approved for off-campus permission, the Office of Residential Life will hold each student to the six-semester residency requirement and conditions of the on-campus housing contract. Students who sign a lease without receiving off-campus permission will be responsible for paying for both on-campus housing and off-campus rent, as off-campus landlords will hold them to the conditions of the lease they signed. Additionally, students will be unable to sign a lease for properties owned and operated by Brown University Auxiliary Housing without off-campus permission.

Applying for Off-Campus Permission (2020-2021)

Do not sign a lease to live off campus until you receive written permission from Residential Life via e-mail.

Rising Seniors

While rising seniors receive automatic approval to live off campus, they must first complete the 2020-2021 off-campus online registration form. This form will be open from October 22, 2019 - November 5, 2019. Upon verification of their semester level, our office will send confirmation to each eligible student who has registered offering them off-campus permission.

We highly recommend that you do NOT sign a lease to live off campus until you receive an email confirmation of your registration receipt and off-campus approval from the Office of Residential Life.

In recognizing that not all rising seniors have confirmed their housing arrangements for next fall, we will hold a second wave off-campus registration period which will take place in late January 2020 through early February 2020. After the conclusion of the second wave, any rising seniors interested in obtaining off-campus permission must email [email protected].

Important Dates for Rising Seniors Requesting Off-Campus Permission

Off-Campus Registration and Approval Wave #1:

  • Online registration form opens: October 22, 2019 1:00 pm (EST). The registration link will be emailed to eligible students at this time.

  • Online registration form closes: November 5, 2019 11:59pm (EST)

Off-Campus Registration and Approval Wave #2:

  • Online registration form available: late: January 2020
  • Online registration closes: early February 2020
  • Specific dates will be shared in mid-January 2020 

Rising Juniors

Please know that Brown University and the Office of Residential Life are committed to the six-semester residency requirement and truly believe that living on campus enhances the overall Brown experience. That being said, we currently do not have enough spaces on campus to accommodate all first-year, sophomore, and junior students. As such, we will release a handful of rising junior students from the residency requirement in a two-wave process.

Off-Campus Application and Approval Wave #1

 Wave 1 of the off-campus application process for rising juniors will consist of the Extenuating Circumstances Process, whereby rising juniors who demonstrate unique and extenuating circumstances or those with compelling reasons for why living off campus would be beneficial to their overall success at the university may apply for off-campus permission. This includes students that have significant needs and/or limitations that cannot be met by living on campus. Petitions will be reviewed by a committee who will attempt to balance concerns for the individual against concerns for fairness and equity. Extenuating circumstances can include but are not limited to: medical, psychological, or disability-related conditions which cannot be accommodated on campus, religious observance that cannot be accommodated on campus, and severe changes to individual or family financial situation.

Students who are released from the residency requirement due to extenuating circumstances may indicate up to three additional students, who must also be rising juniors, with whom they intend to live off campus. These three students will also receive approval to live off campus through this process.

Rising juniors who do not exhibit extenuating circumstances, but still desire to live off campus during the 2020-2021 academic year, may apply for off-campus permission during wave #2.

Off-Campus Application and Approval Wave #2

Wave 2 for rising juniors will consist of two processes which will occur simultaneously. The first will be a repeat of the Extenuating Circumstances Process, this time focusing on students who did not exhibit extenuating circumstances in the Fall, but whose circumstances have changed since then. The second will consist of individual and group applications that have existed in past years (off-campus lottery). Any rising junior, including those who do not exhibit extenuating circumstances, may apply for off-campus permission through this latter process. More detailed information on this latter process will be sent out via email in mid-January to all eligible students.

Important Dates for Rising Juniors Requesting Off-Campus Permission


Off-Campus Application and Approval Wave #1:

  • Extenuating Circumstances Application for Fall 2020 rising juniors opens: October 22, 2019 1:00pm (EST). A link to the application will be emailed to eligible students at this time.
  • Extenuating Circumstances Application for Fall 2020 rising juniors closes: November 5, 2019 11:59pm (EST)
  • Extenuating Circumstances notification of decision: no later than December 3, 2019 12pm (EST)

Off-Campus Application and Approval Wave #2:

  • Application for Fall 2020 rising juniors: late January 2020
  • Wave #2 notification: early February 2020
  • Specific dates will be shared in mid-January 2020

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Important information to note:

Undergraduates applying for permission to live off-campus are subject to the following:

1.    Undergraduates who study away for a semester or year in a Brown approved study program, for which academic credit is given, will receive on-campus residency credit equal to the number of semesters of tuition credit awarded. Please note that students are required to live on-campus for six (6) semesters in most cases.

2.   Undergraduates who have taken a leave of absence for any reason other than a Brown approved study program will not receive on-campus residency credit.

3.   The University reserves the right to deny an application for off-campus permission to a student who has a record of a violation of the Student Disciplinary Code or other University Rules and Regulations.

Undergraduates receiving permission to live off-campus are subject to the following:

1.    The formal acceptance of off-campus permission on the part of the student is final and binding for the next full academic year.

2.   All students living off-campus are required to pay the non-resident fee.

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Commuting Students

Students living at their permanent address (within a 30-mile or 30- minute radius) who choose to commute to the University do not require off-campus permission. All commuting students are required to register with the Office of Residential Life and to pay the non-resident fee.

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Married Students

Any undergraduate who will be living with their spouse in the Providence area must register at the Office of Residential Life (Graduate Center E, 42 Charlesfield St.). All married students are required to pay the non-resident fee.

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