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UNH Housing announces new on-campus housing requirement

The policy requires students to live in dorms for their first four semesters, leaving guaranteed housing to upperclassmen a thing of the past.
UNH housing will no longer guarantee students housing for all four years of their undergraduate degrees.
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UNH housing will no longer guarantee students housing for all four years of their undergraduate degrees.

In early August, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Housing Department announced a drastic change in on-campus housing requirements for first-year students and transfer students under 21-years-old.

In an email sent on Aug. 4, the department states: “Beginning Fall 2023, UNH has implemented an on-campus housing requirement for new first-year and transfer students.”

The policy calls for full-time first-year and transfer students under the age of 21 to live on campus for their first four semesters at the school. That means first-year students must spend their freshman and sophomore years in a residence hall. 

The requirement does not apply to students 21-years-old or older, part-time undergraduates, graduate students, or those taking exclusively online classes and students from UNH Law, UNH Manchester and Granite State College.

There also is an extensive list of exemptions on the housing website, including if a student’s parent or legal guardian lives within commutable distance to campus (about 30 miles), if the student is approved to live in a UNH-recognized fraternity or sorority house or if there are “extenuating financial circumstances,” among many others.. The department also states that students can request an exemption based on more specific reasons, which will be further reviewed by the exemption committee. Requests are due by January 1 to be exempt for the Spring 2024 semester.

With this change in place, UNH does not guarantee housing to any upperclassmen students who wish to live on campus. But Andy Petters, director of housing, does not anticipate this being an issue.

“I think the (UNH) housing department is very clear on the deadlines for on-campus housing, especially with upper-classmen,” said Petters.

Petters also said that the housing application process for students not required to live on campus will be moved up to October/November, which in recent years was just for on-campus apartments (The Gables and Woodside Apartments). The application will now include all on-campus housing.

“We are still determining how much space will be left over for upper-classmen, but our hope is that this will alleviate any stress regarding housing for next year,” he said.

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