Off-Campus Housing for 2019-2020

As a four-year residential college, Gustavus requires that all full-time students live in college housing. However, there are circumstances for which students may receive an exemption to the college's policy. Students wishing to reside off campus must obtain prior and proper permission from the Director of Residential Life.
There will very likely be no off-campus permissions granted for 2019-2020 based on overall enrollment numbers at Gustavus. You may certainly apply and remain on a wait list, but do NOT count on off-campus permission as your only housing option for next year. Take the Room Draw process seriously!

The Off-Campus Application Process

Permission is granted based on seniority. Students who are graduating in 2020 or 2019 may apply. Those in the class of 2020 have the higher probability of receiving permission if any permissions are possible. 

You should know:

  • No students who applied through our general application process were granted permission for 2017-2018. 

  • Only students who met automatic qualifying criteria were permitted to live off campus (that info is listed below) for 2017-2018.

  • If permissions can be granted through general applications, we will use Room Draw numbers if necessary (if number of applications exceed the number of permissions we can make we will use the AVERAGE number for your group)

You must complete an Off-Campus Housing Application by the deadline (March 8, 2019). In addition, ALL students applying for off-campus permission MUST complete the housing contract information via WebAdvisor.

Students wishing to live off-campus may participate as an individual or as a member of a housing unit. Attention will be given to groups so that all eligible members of a group wishing to live together will receive permission if appropriate. Groups can be as large as 8 individuals. EACH MEMBER OF A GROUP MUST SUBMIT AN OFF-CAMPUS APPLICATION.

Important information about leases: Occasionally, students enter into leases or other agreements with landlords before they are sure of their off campus status. Students are strongly encouraged NOT to enter into any agreements for off-campus housing prior to receiving written notification of the approval of your application from the Residential Life office. The college is not obligated to grant permission to students who have entered into rental agreements before proper approval has been given.

Notification of approval: Students will be notified by the Residential Life office via email if the Off-Campus Housing Application is approved. This initial notification will happen before Spring Break. Any subsequent permissions happen on an as-needed, individual basis utilizing wait lists consisting of those who did not receive permission during initial notification. All students who apply but do not meet automatic consideration criteria will be placed on the wait list.

Notification of acceptance/rejection of off-campus offer: Students who are granted off-campus permission will receive email notification. This assumes that you are accepting your permission to move off campus. If you choose not to accept, you should notify Res Life as soon as possible so we can keep you in the Room Draw process.


  • Submitting an off-campus housing application does NOT guarantee that off-campus residency will be granted.
  • Individuals wishing to be considered for off campus housing are strongly encouraged to pay their $500 fall registration to Student Accounts deposit by the off-campus application deadline. Paying after the deadline but before March 29 will NOT negatively affect your off-campus application this year. This is NOT an additional fee - it is the deposit fee you pay each year as a commitment to return to the college and so that you may register for fall courses.
  • Students who receive off-campus permission MUST report their rental address and landlord information to the Residential Life office by the first day of class (September 2019) in order to get a refund from your student account for housing fees. Students who do not submit this information will be responsible for all appropriate room and board charges on campus.


  • How many people are allowed to live off-campus next year?

    Not sure yet. It's a calculation based on several factors including how many students we have, how many people transfer away or withdraw, how many first-years we have, etc. 

  • Will the College honor a lease that I have signed and give me off-campus permission then?

    No. A student in this case will have two commitments for housing for the fall and will most likely have to honor both commitments. Gustavus is NOT responsible for your decision to lock into a lease before being granted off-campus permission.

  • Where can I ask questions about this process?

    Stop by the Residential Life office in the Johnson Student Union Suite 209.

  • What happens if I'm put on the wait list?

    You patiently wait. There is no set timetable for when we may go to the wait list (if at all). Wait list permissions still use Room Draw number as a starting point, but permissions are influenced by specific gender needs on campus and if letting a group off campus helps free space on campus (e.g. If 4 people are on the off-campus wait list and then divide up during Room Draw, you are less likely to get permission because you do not free up one single usable space on campus if you are taken off the wait list). 

  • Can we change our group members after we apply?

    No, you cannot change the members of your group after application. After notifications are sent out, groups on the waitlist often ask if they can swap out group members, drop people to better their average number, etc., but we do not allow that. Only extenuating circumstances would allow for a group member to be dropped, and the group's average number would not be affected by the change.

  • Is my financial aid affected if I live off campus?

    Yes, it is! If you live off campus, any Gustavus aid will be reduced by $500. If you have specific questions about your financial aid package and how it's affected by off-campus permission, contact Financial Aid at x7530.

  • If I live off campus already, do I have to re-apply?

    If you live off campus during the 2018-2019 school year because you met automatic consideration criteria and you will continue to meet that creteria in 2019-2020, you do not need to re-apply. You will be contacted by Res Life in February about your intentions for 2019-2020. At that point you can confirm your status and maintain your off-campus permission, or you can request to live on campus and be provided information about Room Draw. Students who are already have off-campus permission should NOT be included on new applications - if you are already off-campus, your Room Draw info will NOT affect the new applicants and you should NOT include your name on their application. If you no longer meet the automatic creteria for off-campus housing approval, you will need to apply and do the full off-campus housing request process, and are not garaunteed or any more likely to get off-campus housing.

  • What if I'm student teaching or doing an internship?

    If you are enrolled FULL TIME in student teaching away from the immediate St. Peter area or a for-credit internship outside of the immediate St. Peter area (e.g. no additional courses are being taken on campus during the semester), you may be eligible to live off-campus. Each case will be handled individually by the Director of Residential Life.

Consideration for automatic approval:

If a student submits an application for off-campus residency and meets one or more of the following criteria, he/she may automatically be granted off-campus residency status for the academic year or term(s) for which he/she applied. The criteria are:

  • student who is married
  • student living with and responsible for dependent child/children
  • living in the St. Peter area with their parents/guardian (*within 15 miles from campus) (Simply being from St. Peter or the immediate area does NOT give automatic permission - you must be living with your parents)
  • part-time (below 2.0 credits) for the ENTIRE 2019-2020 academic year
  • veterans of military service (having been deployed and/or providing DD214 paperwork; Those in ROTC, Reserves or basic training do not receive exemption. Residential Life follows the college's definition that is also used for FAFSA requirements - veterans include those who have completed active duty or have been deployed for reasons other than training).
  • 23 years of age or older on/by the first day of class (September 2019)
  • Home ownership (student name is sole name on mortgage), immediate family member owns the home at which you will live (parent/legal guardian or sibling's name is sole name on mortgage) in St.Peter or within 15 miles from Gustavus. Houses owned by investment groups or corporations (group or company name is on mortgage) of which a student or family member is a part of will not be considered for automatic permission.

Students who are members of the categories listed above are automatically considered for off-campus upon receipt of their application AND sufficient documentation to support the request. The exemption is for that individual student ONLY - others cannot receive permission based on your qualification on one of the items listed above. The exemptions listed above will only be granted prior to or in conjunction with the off-campus application & Room Draw process (i.e. exemptions will not be granted midway through a semester or housing contract period). Students who do not qualify for the above exemptions but are seeking accommodation for medical, disability or significant financial reasons must complete a waiver and appeal process. This process is ONLY for students who meet very specific needs and students must provide substantial documentation regarding those needs. Medical and disability requests will be considered with consultation from Gustavus Disability and/or Health Services. Financial requests are specifically for those who have exhausted ALL possible options for loans or financial contribution and will be determined through consultation with the Financial Aid office. Note: Waivers and appeals not received by April 1 will NOT be considered again until May 15.

The 2019-2020 application process will be online - look for more information coming soon about the new room draw process!