First-Year Live-On Policy


Enhanced academic performance. Maximized access to social, academic, and psychological support. A greater sense of safety and belonging. Higher retention rates. These are just a few of the wide-ranging benefits experienced by our on-campus Cardinals. University of Louisville (UofL) institutional data confirms that first-year students who live on campus are more likely to succeed than their off-campus peers are. For these reasons, all first-year students at UofL are required to live on campus.

First-year status is defined according to enrollment year rather than credit-hour status. This means that students who are enrolled in the university for their first year of study will be considered as “first-years,” regardless of their potential credit-hour status as anything otherwise (e.g. as sophomores or juniors by credit hours).

Exemption Requests

While we encourage all first-year students to reap the above-mentioned benefits by living on campus, we do realize that individual circumstances may result in the need for exemption. 

You may submit an exemption in your New Cards Gateway if you meet one of the conditions below:

  1. You will reside with a parent or legal guardian* for the entire academic year in one of the following counties:

       Kentucky: Bullitt, Hardin, Henry, Jefferson, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Trimble.

       Indiana: Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Harrison, Perry, Scott, and Washington.

*Our office recognizes that not all students have a traditional family structure in which a parent or legal guardian live in the household.  A family can be comprised of people ordinarily living in the same household. Taking this into consideration, if you are living in one of the above counties with a family member who supports you, then you may provide supporting documentation of this circumstance by completing the First-Year Live-On Exemption Form in the Housing Portal on our homepage.

2. You are 21 years of age or older by the first day of classes.

These other situations may qualify you for a standard exemption, but you will still need to submit a First-Year Live-On Exemption Request in the Housing Portal in order to qualify:
  1. You are a veteran or still serving in the U.S. Armed Services.
  2. You are married. 
  3. You are the parent or legal guardian of a child.
  4. You have previously attended another accredited U.S. college or university for at least one full academic year (two semesters) prior to attending UofL. Credits obtained prior to high school graduation do not fulfill this condition.

Moreover, if you feel that you qualify for an exemption not listed in the above standard exemptions, you may still submit the First-Year Live-On Exemption Request in the Housing Portal for an extenuating circumstance. The following conditions are examples of extenuating circumstances:

  1. A financial circumstance which would hinder your ability to reside on campus. Students may be released from their licensing agreement, if the appeals committee determines that the student's financial circumstances hinder the student's ability to live on campus. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis through an examination of the student's financial aid.
  1. A health circumstance which would hinder your ability to reside on campus, e.g. if you require a special Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation that is not available on campus.

Please note that exemption requests submitted to University Housing do not guarantee approval and must be accompanied by the appropriate documentation required to complete your request.  If you are requesting an exemption because you plan to live with a parent or guardian during your first year at UofL, please download and complete this Exemption Request Document. Then, upload the form as part of your documentation when you complete the request in the Housing Portal. Be sure that all signatures are original and hand-signed in blue or black ink. We cannot accept electronic signatures or signatures with red ink. If University Housing is unable to grant a standard exemption based on the supportive documentation submitted with the request, the request will be forwarded to an inter-departmental appeals committee who will then evaluate the request. Any exemption request must be submitted prior to the end of the appropriate term for the request to be valid for that term. Any exemption request received after the end of a term will not be considered for that term.

Non-Compliance Fee

If an exemption request is not approved and the student continues to reside off campus, you will receive a non-compliance fee for each semester during which the you are enrolled but living off campus. This fee is determined in accordance with the respective semester’s housing rate as it applies to a traditional-style double-occupancy room. This means that if you have not been approved to live off campus for the entire academic year, you must pay the non-compliance equivalence of two semesters of housing.

Failure to comply with this policy by living on campus or otherwise seeking an exemption will result in the non-compliance fee, so it is important for you to apply for an on-campus space or seek an exemption unless automatically approved in the New Cards Gateway.

Please note: Students can only appeal the non-compliance fee in the semester in which the fee is assessed.