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 requires all freshman and sophomore students to live on campus. 

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. **PLEASE NOTE - the application for the spring 2022 semester will be available in mid-late October.** 
  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-11pm, residents may use any exterior door to access their building.  After 11pm resident card access only opens the front door of residence hall.    

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

Where do first-year students live?
For 2021-2022 all residence halls are mixed in year in school.  Residence Life clustered first year students to be around other first year students.

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?

Residence Hall Guest Policy - update 8/16/2021

Any enrolled student or college faculty/staff who is fully vaccinated or following weekly pool test requirements (unvaccinated/partially vaccinated/exempt from vaccination) will be allowed to visit residential students in their residence hall, including student bedrooms and public spaces open to residents. Guests should be prepared to show a college ID and proof of vaccination/testing participation if asked by the residential staff.

 Any person who is not enrolled at or employed by the college is prohibited from entering the residence halls.

An assessment/review of this policy will happen by October 1, 2021 by the College to make a decision to adjust this policy based on local community and campus data.

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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