Living on campus versus off campus
Not only does living on campus immerse you in the full college experience, but research shows that students living on campus achieve higher GPAs and enjoy better graduation rates. If you do choose to live off campus, though, this page provides the information you’ll need.
Who can live off campus?
If you’re an upperclassman who’s earned at least 60 semester hours, or you are at least 21 years old, you can choose to live off campus. Otherwise, you’ll need to apply for an off-campus permit. To get a permit, you’ll need to meet at least one of the following requirements.
You’ll be 21 years old by the 12th class day of the starting semester
You’ve earned 60 or more college semester hours
You plan to commute from a parent or relative’s home within a 60 mile-radius
You’ll need to submit a certified birth certificate and show how relationships can be traced. Allowed relatives include mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or grandparents.
You’ll live on property that you or your parent owns in Nacogdoches County
Please note that property is defined as “a residence that is attached to real property.” You will need to provide a copy of the deed to the Residence Life Department.
You have custody of a child
You’ll need to provide the Residence Life Department with the child’s original birth certificate or custody documentation.
You are married
You must be married before the 12th class day of the semester. You will need to provide a copy of the marriage certificate to the Residence Life Department.
You have a medical disability
Disabilities are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. You’ll need to submit a Special Accommodation Request form and documentation from a physician for consideration.
You take 8 or fewer credit hours per semester
You must sign an eight-hour agreement with the Residence Life Department.
You are exclusively taking all of your courses online
The student will be exclusively taking online courses offered through SFA.
How to apply for an off-campus permit
Once you apply to SFA, you will receive a mySFA account. If you meet one of our off-campus living permit requirements, you can download a permit application there. Just follow the steps below.
- Log in to your mySFA account.
- Select the Campus Life tab.
- Select Residence Life Services.
- Log in to Residence Life Services with your mySFA account information.
- Select the semester you are applying to live off campus.
- Select the off campus Permit Request link.
- Complete the form online.
You will need to print and fill out the permit application, and deliver or mail it to the Residence Life Department (address below) with any other necessary documentation.
Don’t forget about extra documentation!
In addition to your permit application, you may need to submit additional documents to the Residence Life Department. Documentation depends on the criteria you satisfy. Read above under the “Who can live off campus” section or contact Residence Life if you aren’t sure.
When will I hear back?
If your permit is approved, you will receive a postcard in the mail from Residence Life. It will be up to you to follow up on your application to see if it’s been approved.
IMPORTANT: If you do not have an off-campus permit in place by the first day of class for the semester, room and board charges will be added to your account. These charges will continue to accrue until your off-campus request has been completed and approved.
How long does my permit last?
All permits (except the 8-hour and online courses permits) continue for the length of time you are a registered student at SFA. The 8-hour and Online permits are only for one semester.
What if my permit is denied?
If SFA denies your off-campus permit application, you will be required to live on campus. You may want to explore our residence halls now just in case!