Who isn’t required to live on campus at UAB freshman year?

Exceptions to new UAB housing rule

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB is enforcing a new rule this coming Fall semester—requiring all freshmen to live on campus.

There are certain exceptions to that rule, though. UAB officials realize that not every incoming freshman will be able to live on campus, and they’ve allowed exceptions for those.

First, those who are married and/or have children living with them will be exempt. UAB started as a commuter college with several students going to college later in life. That’s increased the chances of freshmen being in this situation as they are starting their college career.

Second, it applies to students who graduated high school more than 12 months before becoming a full-time student for the first time.

According to their website, anyone for whom the policy presents an undue hardship may apply for exemption. An “undue hardship” can mean if there is a financial, medical, or other type of situation they are not aware of. This new rule is something officials have been phasing in over time.

"Beginning Fall 2017 we said all freshman students will live on campus their first year except those that live within Birmingham’s metropolitan statistical area, which we identified as seven primary counties. And that policy was in place Fall 2017 and Fall ’18. Then this past Fall, Fall ’19, we reduced the number of exempt counties from seven to two which left Jefferson and Shelby County. So this Fall, Fall 2020, is really a continuation and expansion of an existing freshman residency program,” says UAB’s Vice Provost of Enrollment Management Bradley Barnes.

Keep in mind, if you are requesting an exemption, you have to be living with relatives—and live a reasonable distance from campus. Each exemption is reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a committee of university officials.

However, they make it clear that granting those applications for exemptions are rare so you’ll need to provide strong evidence for your request.

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