Office of Residence Life

Special Housing Assignments/Housing Waivers

In instances when Residence Life is informed of extenuating circumstances that require a special housing requirement or waiver, an application form may be use to request a waiver or specific facility needs or assignment to a particular part of campus. Forms are available by email from Residence Life. Needs may include, but are certainly not limited to:



  • Student has a temporary disability and no longer can live on the 4th floor of a building.
  • A student has severe allergies and cannot live in a building with carpeted floors.

Mental Health


  • Student has recently experienced a personal trauma and is having trouble concentrating in a room with other students.
  • Student has a documented diagnosis of depression or anxiety that makes it difficult to share a room.



  • Student uses a wheelchair and must have access to a building that provides appropriate accessibility.
  • A student has a muscular disorder that requires support bars in bathroom facilities.



  • Student practices Kosher living and cannot use shared kitchen facilities with non-Kosher students.
  • Student's religion requires all-female or all-male living environment.

Supporting documentation

All requests for special housing accommodations must be accompanied by supporting documentation to substantiate the request. All supporting documentation must be submitted at the time of the request in order for the request to be considered. Supporting documentation for medical and mental health requests must come from the physician treating the student and must be evaluated by Rensselaer’s Medical Director. Supporting documentation for religious requests should come from the leader of the student’s religious community. Students requesting an accommodation for a disability must be registered with Rensselaer’s Disabled Student Services office.

Waiver/exemption requests

Students who wish to be released from a housing contract must demonstrate a change in financial circumstances, or have documentation of other extenuating circumstances that necessitate a release from housing. Supporting documentation from Financial Aid may be requested.

Release for open discussion

Please note that only the Residence Life Office can process a specific assignment based on a special need. If a student presents their situation to another Institute department, staff member or RA, that does not automatically qualify the student for a special housing assignment – the application form must be submitted to Residence Life. No other Institute department has the authority to place students based on special needs. Residence Life will work with other offices for recommendations based on documentation that the student provides. By signing the form upon submission, you are agreeing that Residence Life may speak with other offices as appropriate (Health/Counseling Center, Dean of Students Office, Advising-Learning Assistance Center, etc.) to determine appropriate accommodations based on the presented information.

Because the number of special housing requests can exceed the number of specific rooms available, the submission of this form does not automatically guarantee a special housing assignment will be granted. Applications will be reviewed, and a decision will be made by the Vice President for Student Life and/or appointed designees.

Last modified: Feb 4, 2009