Housing Policies

The Residence Hall License contains important information on refunds, fees, policies and prohibited items. All students are responsible for reading the license before completing the Residence Application Form. Additional regulations and policies are outlined in our Code of Student Conduct and Campus Policies booklet.

All newly admitted first-time, full-time freshmen who are single, under 21, and do not live with custodial guardians are required by the college to live in a residence hall for the first four semesters of college.

For the fall 2021 semester, we aim to house approximately 2,900 students on campus.  The college will return to requiring all freshman and sophomore students to live on campus, which was our practice prior to the pandemic. Just like this semester, we will designate buildings for quarantine and isolation.

Residence Hall License
Higgins Hall Alcohol Policy

The Residence Hall License is binding for the entire academic year (August-May), or for 2 academic years (4 full semesters) for incoming first time, full time freshman students.  Release from this agreement is permitted only under specific and/or exceptional circumstances approved by Residential Community Life.  A release will be granted, subject to later verification, when proof of one of the following circumstances is presented to Residential Community Life:

When verified, the following reasons constitute automatic granted release without application:

  1. Official withdrawal from the college
  2. Graduation
  3. Approved leave of absence through from the college
  4. Student involvement in a College-sponsored academic program such as student teaching, study abroad, or other program if the obligations demand commuting to and from SUNY Oneonta.

The following reasons require a release application with appropriate documentation:

  1. Commuting from the legal/home residence within a 60 mile radius to campus
  2. Documented medical need that cannot be accommodated in on-campus housing accommodations
  3. Financial hardships: must provide documented evidence of extreme financial need by providing copies of the most recent financial aid verification/award letter, OR if no FAFSA is on file, copies of the most recent federal tax return, evidence of recent employment termination or other evidence of extreme hardship (i.e.: death of a primary income provider, medical expenses exceeding insurance maximum coverage, etc.)  Note: Requests for residing off campus for financial savings is not a valid reason for financial hardship.
  4. Students who are married
  5. Students who have housing needs that are not able to be met on campus (extraordinary circumstances). Students that have experienced extraordinary circumstances, beyond their control, since entering this agreement. Documented evidence of the circumstances is required. As an example, this may include experiencing a disaster, such as home fire or flood, that has a severe financial impact. 
    Please note: The existence of a pandemic does not meet this criteria, nor does signing a lease for an off campus apartment.


  1. All requests for release from the Residence Hall License must be submitted via the Fall 2021 Application for Release from the Residence Hall License.  
  2. Each request must be accompanied by relevant supporting documentation.  Incomplete request packages will not be considered, and will be returned without action.
  3. Each request will be reviewed by the License Release Committee.
  4. The decision by the Committee will be made in writing to each applicant.
  5. A $350 liquidation fee will be charged to any applicant approved for release from the Residence Hall License.
  6. Application for release does not guarantee that your request will be approved.


  1. The applicant may appeal a denial of release by the Committee by submitting a written appeal to the Director of Residential Community Life
  2. The appeal must be submitted in writing, including appropriate additional documentation, within five business days of the date of the Committee's letter.
  3. The decision of the Director of Residential Community Life is FINAL. No further consideration will be given.


  • The deadline for requesting a release from the Residence Hall License for the fall semester is April 2
  • The deadline for requesting a release from the Residence Hall License for the spring semester is December 1


The application will become available at noon on March 1, 2021.  The application is located here:  Fall 2021 Application for Release from the Residence Hall License

Frequently Asked Questions

Which doors can I use to access my residence hall?
Between 7am-8pm, residents may use any exterior door to access their building.  After 8pm, all exterior doors except the front door are alarmed and will sound after a short period of time.  Residents need to use the front door to gain entrance to their building.  

Are there any non-smoking residence halls?
All 15 of our residence halls are non-smoking facilities.

Where do first-year students live?
All freshmen live in First Year Experience (FYE) Program double-style halls: Golding Hall, Littell Hall, Tobey Hall, Wilber Hall, and Hulbert Hall.  For Fall 2020, Tobey Hall is offline to be used as an Isolation building.

Can I decorate the walls in my residence hall room?
Yes, if you have thumbtacks and adhesives that do not damage wall paint. Please do not use sticky tack as an adhesive or any devices that can put holes in the walls. Wall coverage is limited to 10 percent, and ceiling decoration is not permitted.

What appliances may I bring?
From our residence hall license agreement:

Appliances: Electrical devices such as stereos, TVs, hair dryers, automatic shut-off coffee/tea makers, microwaves (800 watts maximum), automatic shut-off rice cookers, and blenders are permitted, if they are UL approved and portable.  Refrigerators are permitted but must be limited in size to counter-top height (4.8 cubic feet).  The following items are PROHIBITED: Space heaters, 3D Printers, halogen lamps, and other appliances (examples: hotplates, toasters, sunlamps, air conditioners, electric blankets and/or any appliance with an open heating element). 

  1. In addition, items with built in electrical or USB outlets that do not have a grounded plug (three prong) directly in the wall (ex. two pronged cords for desk lamps with USB plugs, bed risers with outlets, etc.) are NOT PERMITTED.
  2. In Higgins: UL approved cooking appliances are permitted.  Full size refrigerators are provided in the kitchen of each apartment.

What is the guest policy?
Due to COVID, guests are not allowed in the residence halls for Fall 2020.  Students may visit family members and friends off campus.  Students living in one residence hall may not visit students in a different residence hall.  We will be working on programming opportunities to interact with students from all residence halls on campus utilizing other spaces where students can meet and engage with one another.

For move in, one family member may enter the building at a time to help students move in.  

Can I have a car on campus?
Resident freshmen and sophomores may not register a vehicle for use on campus. More information is available in the Campus Parking and Traffic Regulations.

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