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Residence Life


A. Value of On-Campus Living

Student Success
Living on campus increases the chance that new students will achieve academic and personal success. Several studies on the effects of residence hall living have been conducted throughout the United States which demonstrate the importance of living on campus. A summary of this research (Pascarella and Terenzini, 2005) points towards the following positive effects of living in the residence halls during one's college years:

  • Enhanced effort and involvement in academic, social, and extracurricular activities
  • Greater personal growth and development
  • Increased openness to diversity
  • More involvement with other students, faculty, and the institution as a whole
  • Increased satisfaction with the college experience
  • Increased likelihood to persist in college and graduate

"The Department of Residence Life supports students by providing a vibrant, healthy place to live and learn."
This mission defines the core purpose of the Department of Residence Life and serves as a strong foundation from which to build.

Living Learning Program
Building on its mission, The Department of Residence Life has developed a comprehensive system to help all on-campus students be successful during their time at NDSU. The Living Learning Program purposefully and intentionally fosters skills and experiences which will assist students throughout their lives. It is grounded in the University's theme, "students are paramount" and the Division of Student Affairs theme, "connecting students with people who care." The foundation of the Living Learning program is our trained and caring staff. The paraprofessional staff includes more than 100 Resident Assistants. The 12 Hall Directors provide supervision and support for staff and students in each residence hall. The custodial staff supports a living environment that is clean and well maintained. This team works together to foster positive floor and hall communities, assist students with their personal development and academic concerns, role model appropriate citizenship and community behaviors, foster faculty interactions with students, and maintain a safe environment.

An essential element of the residence hall learning environment is the educating and role modeling of self-responsibility. The University's behavior standards help teach good citizenship and reinforce community standards. Safety and security in the residence hall is a shared responsibility between students and staff. Student involvement in organized hall governments and the Residence Hall Association allows for ownership and investment for students in their community.

Special Learning Environments
In accordance with its mission, the Department of Residence Life has established some special environments to provide additional living options for students to enhance their learning opportunities. These communities are created in collaboration with other campus Departments.

First Year Experience Program (FYE)
The first year of college is one of the most critical times for students and a significant factor in persistence and success. Research indicates that when first year students live in a residence hall, they are more likely to persist to their sophomore year and eventually finish college than students who live elsewhere (Upcraft, Gardner, et. al., 2005). As such, first year experience programs are integral in providing support and opportunities for students to make a successful transition to NDSU. Considering this need, the Divisions of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs are committed to developing and sustaining programs to support first year students. The FYE program is located in all first year residence halls (Burgum, Dinan, Churchill, Stockbridge, Reed/Johnson, Weible, Thompson, Seim, and Sevrinson Halls) and provides a living environment in which first year students have the resources and support to successfully transition from high school to college. This culture provides a solid foundation from which students will grow, learn, and progress toward successful completion of the baccalaureate degree.

Wellness Community
The Wellness Community is a living environment in which students and staff are focused on all dimensions of wellness. Students living in the community choose a balanced and healthy lifestyle and seek to enhance it by supporting each other in making healthy choices. Students are committed to remaining substance-free (alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco) both on and off campus. Community members and staff provide opportunities for mutual support and education in the seven dimensions of wellness (Emotional, Environmental, Intellectual, Spiritual, Occupational, Social, and Physical). The Wellness community is a collaborative effort with the Health and Wellness Center and is currently located on the eighth and ninth floors of Seim Hall.

Engineering Community
The Engineering programs have the largest population of students at NDSU. These floors provide a common living space for students studying in any area of Engineering.  The College of Engineering provides support through faculty involvement with students on the floor.  In addition, Engineering student organizations participate in a fall showcase to encourage new students to join these academic groups.  The Engineering Community is currently located on eighth and ninth floors of Sevrinson Hall.

Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences Community
The Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences Community is available for students within the college of PNAS.  The College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences supports this house by assisting in the recruitment of house members and facilitating programs throughout the year focusing on student success. The PNAS House is currently located on eighth and ninth floors of Thompson Hall.

Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS) Community
The AHSS Community is available for any student whose major is in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.  Students in this community enroll together in one of three 'University 189' classes.  Faculty members from the college plan and attend programs within the hall on a regular basis.  The AHSS Community is currently located on floors four and five of Thompson Hall.

Business Community
The Business Community is for students whose major is within the College of Business.  Classroom activities and residence hall programs are related, giving students a variety of learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.  The Business Community is currently housed in Sevrinson Hall.

Learning Objectives
The outcome goals for the Living Learning Program are summarized in The Student Life Learning Agenda. Intentional activities and actions take place to assist students in learning the following:

  • To Lead
  • To Serve
  • To Participate as Committed Citizens of the Community
  • To Execute Tasks to Completion
  • To Function Collaboratively
  • To Negotiate and Resolve Conflict
  • To Live a Healthy Life
  • To Be a Good Student

Higher Grade Point Averages
Results from nation-wide studies indicate that students living on campus generally attain higher GPAs than students living off campus. This trend holds true for students at NDSU.

Average GPA Comparisons of First Year Students

Fall 20092.651.90
Spring 20102.652.43
Fall 20102.881.92
Spring 20112.742.52
Fall 20112.81


Spring 20122.74


Fall 20122.772.54
Spring 20132.782.57
Fall 20132.792.55
Spring 20142.862.52
Fall 20142.942.46
Spring 20152.93


Fall 20152.962.81
Spring 20162.952.75
Fall 20163.052.79
Spring 20173.002.84
Fall 20173.062.81

Living Options
The Department of Residence Life offers a wide variety of housing options to students. Individuals may reside in single-sex buildings or co-residential communities. Students may choose to live in communities based on close proximity to dining centers, the Wellness Center, Memorial Union, or classrooms. First-year students are free to live in a special learning environment for which they qualify. Facilities offered include traditional double-corridor hallways, suite-style arrangements, and apartment-style rooms.

Cost Value
The residence hall rates include an extensive assortment of benefits for students. High speed internet, local telephone, and cable television are all included at no extra charge. Students do not have to be concerned with separate bills for water, sewer, electricity, or natural gas. Laundry facilities located in each residence hall are coin-free, so students need not bring extra money for laundry. Each weekday morning, a large supply of Fargo Forum, Star Tribune, and USA Today newspapers are delivered to each hall, allowing students to catch up on a variety of current events. Meal plans permit students to have unlimited access to dining centers during hours of operation, without the work of menu planning, meal preparation, or dish washing.

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B. Policy Statement

All first-year students are required to live on campus.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, a first year student is defined as an individual who received a high school diploma in January 2017 or later. For the 2018-2019 academic year, a first year student is defined as an individual who received a high school diploma in January 2018 or later. 

Please note that PSEO and Advanced Placement credits are completed while in high school. Therefore they are not considered when determining first year status with the Department of Residence Life.

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C. Exemptions

Students who may qualify for an exemption from this policy include:

Students who live with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in their primary residence within a 35 mile radius of campus

  • The address of the parent(s) at the time of application for admission will be considered the parents' primary residence.
  • Proof of residency may be required.
  • Exemptions will not be granted for students to live with siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc. unless they have legal guardianship that was established some years prior to application to NDSU.
  • Providing false information to North Dakota State University is a violation of the Code of Student Behavior and may subject the student to disciplinary action. Students who indicate they are living with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) but are found to be doing otherwise will be required to move into an on-campus residence.
  • Note: Having already signed a lease with an off-campus landlord or purchasing a home will not be considered as a reason for this exemption.

Students enrolled in 9 or fewer credit hours

  • Should a student begin the semester with 9 or fewer credit hours and then add a class making him/her a full-time student, the student will be expected to move into a university residence or apply again for an exemption under a different category.

Students with primary custody of a minor child

  • Proof of custody may be required.

Students who are married

  • Copy of Marriage Certificate may be required.

All students who believe they qualify for an exemption based one or more of the reasons above must submit a Request for Exemption from On-Campus Living Policy form to request approval.  This should be received by the Department of Residence Life no later than 30 days prior to the beginning of the first semester of enrollment.

Students are encouraged not to make any other commitments for housing until they receive a written response to their requests for exemption.

Extenuating circumstances may be considered for the following situations. Proper documentation will be required.

Severe medical condition that cannot be accommodated in an on-campus facility.

  •  Students requesting this exemption must first contact the Disability Services Office and request an accommodation. The written recommendation from the Disability Services Office will be considered in making this exemption decision.

Financial hardship for which there is no financial solution.

  • Students must have applied for financial aid prior to making a request for exemption.

Family consideration (e.g. serious illness of parent or sibling requiring assistance from the student on a regular basis).

  • Proper medical documentation will be required.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7557 / Fax: (701) 231-7599
Campus address: Bison Court West 
Physical/delivery address: 1415 14th St N, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 3430 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Department of Residence Life

Last Updated: Thursday, January 25, 2018 4:22:58 PM
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