Housing/Meal Plan Requirements
Benefits of On-Campus Housing
National research has found that living on campus is an important factor related to student retention. In an effort to support student retention, the University has committed to changing the current housing requirements beginning in the fall of the 2013-2014 academic year. West Texas A&M University is committed to the success of each student. Due to the excellent benefits of living on campus and the fact that WTAMU believes that living on campus plays a significant role in the success of students, the University has developed the housing and meal plan requirements listed below.
Please note: The WTAMU Housing Agreement is valid for one full academic year (fall and spring); the agreement cannot be canceled in the middle of the year while the student is still enrolled.
All full-time students (enrolled in 12 or more credit hours) under the age of 21 with fewer than *60 credit hours (post-high school) prior to the start of the first day of class of the semester of initial enrollment/re-enrollment (for each academic year) are required to reside in University-owned housing, unless they qualify for an exemption. This rule applies to new, transfer, relocating, and re-enrolling students.
*Please Note: The 60 credit hours must be post-high school credits. College credit hours earned by a student while attending high school (Dual Credit courses, Advanced Placement, CLEP, etc.) which advances a student academically to a higher class year, will not be considered toward housing or meal plan exemption eligibility.
Students subject to the housing requirement who fail to comply with this condition of registration may have their registration denied or canceled and a hold placed on their student account, as well as housing charges posted to their student account.
Students who meet any of the following conditions are not required to live in University-owned housing:
- Student is enrolled part-time (less than 12 hours) for each long semester (fall/spring) – subject to random validation.
- Student is enrolled only in online classes – subject to random validation.
Meal Plan Requirement
The University requires all students residing on campus to purchase a meal plan, unless the student meets one of the criteria listed below:
- Has reached the age of 21 prior to the first day of class each long semester (fall/spring)
- Has accumulated 45 or more credit hours (earned after high school graduation) by the first day of class each long semester (fall/spring)
Meal plans may be changed without an exemption prior to the first class day of each semester.
Meal plans may be changed with an approved exemption through the 12th class day of each semester.
*Exemption requests for meal plans made after the 12th class day will not be accepted.
The WTAMU Housing Agreement is valid for one full academic year (fall and spring). All exemption requests must be submitted prior to the first class day of the semester for housing exemption requests, and no later than the twelfth class day for meal change requests. Students requesting an exemption from the housing requirement after the first class day of the fall semester will not be released from their housing agreement. Submission of requests does not guarantee approval; students will be contacted regarding the approval/denial of a request.
Exceptions to the housing agreement and exemption due dates may be granted for students who will graduate at the end of the Fall semester or participate in cooperative education, student teaching (not in the local area), or a study abroad program for the Spring semester if written notification and verification of the aforementioned condition is received by the Office of Residential Living by November 15. Whether an exception applies will be determined by the Director of Residential Living or designee.
All exemptions to the University housing and/or meal plan requirement must be documented and approved by the Office of Residential Living. Students requesting an exemption/termination due to extenuating circumstances may complete an exemption form, providing a detailed explanation and documentation of their particular situation. The following are the accepted exemption categories:
- Living with Parents: The student must reside with their parent(s) or a legal guardian whose permanent residence (as defined by University guidelines) is within 50 driving miles of the Canyon campus. A “permanent residence” is defined as a dwelling that has been owned, maintained, and inhabited for a minimum of 12 months by the parent or legal guardian. NOTE: Address must be the same as what is listed on the student admissions application. If the family has changed residences since the admission application, verification of ownership/residency must be provided.
- Financial Hardship: Students requesting an exemption from the University housing requirement based upon financial hardship must have a completed FAFSA on-file with the University, as well as copies of other applicable documentation (i.e. evidence of recent employment termination, bankruptcy filing, evidence of extreme hardship, etc.). The FAFSA on file with the Office of Financial Aid must be for the current academic year for which the student is requesting an exemption. If no FAFSA was completed, the student must complete and submit one; please note that this will increase the timeframe on the approval/denial of an exemption request, as submission of the FAFSA to the University is not immediate. NOTE: Requests for residing off campus for financial savings is not a valid reason for a financial hardship.
- Marriage/Dependent Child: Student must submit a copy of their marriage certificate or child’s birth certificate. Spouse or child must reside with the student in order to qualify for this exemption.
- Medical: Recent medical documentation (within 60 days) must be provided along with a completed Authorization for Release of Confidential Information (to allow Residential Living personnel to speak with the provider of medical services if necessary). Supporting documentation must include the student’s medical condition, specific dietary or living requirements necessary to meet the needs of the medical condition. NOTE: WTAMU can provide on-campus housing that meets most medical needs. Requests for residing off campus due to allergies/asthma are typically not approved.
- Meals with Parents: Students who will be eating the majority of their meals in the established permanent residence of his/her parent(s) or legal guardian, which is within 50 driving miles of the Canyon campus, while attending West Texas A&M University may apply for this exemption; students may select a lower meal plan or no meal plan. A “permanent residence” is defined as a dwelling that has been owned, maintained, and inhabited for a minimum of 12 months by the parent or legal guardian. NOTE: Address must be the same as what is listed on the student admissions application. If the family has changed residences since the admission application, verification of ownership/residency must be provided.
- Meal Change/Exemption Due to Work: Exceptions to the meal plan requirement will be made for those students who, due to work, will not be able to eat 11 meals per week or may not be able to eat the number of meals for which they have contracted for the semester (the University requires that each meal that the dining hall serves be considered). Those students who are exempted will be allowed to select an alternative meal plan.
Exemption forms are available on the Residential Living website (below) as well as in the Residential Living Office. Exemptions are only valid for one academic year (for the year in which you are applying); students must seek approval each academic year while under the requirement. Students should not make arrangements to live off campus until approved by the Office of Residential Living. Students without an approved exemption will be held responsible for room and/or meal charges.
Please note that exemption processing takes a minimum of three (3) weeks, assuming adequate information is submitted. The length of the review process depends on the type of request submitted, as well as the volume of previously submitted exemption requests.
For questions concerning the University housing and meal plan requirements, please contact us.