On-campus Residency Requirement

Eastman School of Music requires all first-, second-, and third-year students to reside on campus unless they are approved for a residency exemption. This policy is intended to develop community and position students for success during their time at Eastman. We know that students who live on campus are more successful academically and feel a stronger sense of belonging to the school and their peers. By living on campus students have easier access to resources and are more likely to get involved in clubs and organizations, and we know that this leads to a stronger sense of well-being and better outcomes in the classroom and concert hall.

Students wishing to request an exemption to this policy may appeal based on one of more of the following reasons:

Disability Accommodations

Disability-related appeals are accepted at any time and must be sent directly to the Office of Disability Resources through their website . Incoming students should aim to provide all documentation prior to June 1st in order to receive a complete review by the start of the fall semester.

Financial Appeals

Appeals to be released from your 3-year residence requirement due to changes in your financial circumstances will only be considered after the following steps have been completed:

  1. Students must have a completed FASFA and/or CSS Profile on file with the Eastman Financial Aid Office,
  2. Students must be maximizing all available aid opportunities, including student loans and work study (students must be employed), and
  3. Students must complete a monthly budget comparing their current on-campus expenses to their projected off-campus expenses. The projected budget for off-campus living should include expenses such as, but not limited to, rent, renter’s insurance, electricity, water, gas, mobile phone bill, groceries, entertainment, internet, auto insurance, car payment, credit cards/debt, loans, emergency funds, and other expenses.

Upon completion of the above steps the financial aid office will make a recommendation to a small committee of administrators who will then make the final decision on your request.


Students who have concerns related to dining should first contact the manager of the Eastman Dining Center. If concerns are persistent or have to do with specific dietary restriction, students should then contact a dietician through Dining Services to discuss the creation of a specific plan to accommodate their unique needs. If, after exhausting these two options, a student wishes to pursue a release from the 3-year residency requirement, they must follow the process for requesting disability accommodations as described above.


If a student lives within the borders of Monroe County, New York they can request to be labeled a commuter student, making them exempt from the 3-year residency requirement. Commuter students must have established their primary residence in Monroe County prior to the time of their initial application to Eastman. Residency status must be established by providing documentation that verifies the student’s residence at the time of their application (e.g., mortgage paperwork, title/deed, lease agreement, utility bills, driver’s license, identification card, etc.).


Students who are married may request to be released from the 3-year residency requirement. A copy of a government-issued certificate recognizing the partnership (i.e. marriage license or domestic partnership certificate) is required as supporting documentation.


Undergraduate students who are 24 or older as of the first day of classes in a given semester may request to be released from their 3-year residency requirement. This is evaluated on a semester-by-semester basis (i.e., a student who turns 24 in December will still be required to live on campus that fall, but may request to be released from housing for the following spring semester).

Transfer students

Transfer students will receive credit for each semester they lived on campus at their previous institution(s). A copy of a tuition bill or other appropriate documentation is required as supporting documentation.

If you have questions regarding the Residency Exemption Request process, please contact Dean Bones at rbones@esm.rochester.edu.

Please note that all decisions are final. The housing process will not be delayed, nor will appeals be expedited due to convenience. Students must still participate in housing selection and are bound by their housing contracts until they are officially released through one of the above appeal processes. Parents are discouraged from submitting appeals on behalf of their students. Honesty is an expectation of all appeals, and any student who is found to have misrepresented their situation in a housing appeal may face disciplinary action.