Commuting appeals for Fall 2017 will be accepted from March 20 through May 5, 2017. We will accept appeals during this time period for financial, or medical needs.
Residence Life at BHSU is committed to the education and development of student potential - academically, personally, and socially. The residential experiences gained in the first two years spent living on-campus at BHSU are instrumental in this education and development. For that reason, the South Dakota Board of Regents has mandated that students live on-campus for their first two years while in college. If you are a current student, you may also wish to review the Terms and Conditions of your BHSU Housing Agreement.
The Department of Residence Life recognizes that living on-campus, for various reasons, may not be in the best interest of all students. For that reason, Residence Life does offer this appeal for those students with unique situations that make living off-campus a necessary situation.
Please review the "How to Appeal", "FAQ", and "Appeal Form" tabs carefully to determine whether or not the Housing Appeal is the right option for you.
The following are the suggested guidelines for completing the Housing Appeal. Once submitted appeals typically will have a 48 hour turn around time before the decision letter is sent out.
New Student Appeals: Year Round
Appeals for new students will be accepted and reviewed on a year round continual basis. New students are those who have applied for and been accepted to BHSU but have not yet attended classes. (Appeals will not be reviewed on state holidays or weekends.)
Current Student Appeals: March 20 through May 5, 2017
During open appeals, all current and new students may appeal for any exemption status.
Moderated/Current Students Appeals: November 28 through December 14, 2016
Any appeal submitted outside or after the deadline will only be considered on the basis of a significant circumstance (medically or financially) or for an unseen circumstance.
Be sure to have all of your information in order and then proceed to the Housing Appeal form. Complete the form and any supplemental form as directed. Applications will be automatically submitted to the appeals committee. All supplemental information should be sent to :
BHSU Residence Life
Attn: Housing Appeals Committee
1200 University St. Unit 9100
Spearfish, SD 57799-9100
Your decision letter will be sent to the home address provided on your Housing Appeal form. It is also beneficial to check the email listed on your appeal regularly while waiting as official inquiries will be sent to that address. If you feel that you have not received your decision letter in an appropriate or expected time period, please contact Residence Life at (605) 642-6464.
Sometimes, residents who are approved chose not to live off-campus. For that reason, Residence Life will not cancel room arrangements until verbal or written confirmation is received by the Residence Life office. To confirm the cancellation of your room assignment, please call Residence Life at (605) 642-6464 or email Residence Life.
If you have already received a room assignment or completed the Online Housing Agreement, your contract will still be intact and your accommodations will remain the same. If you have not applied for a room, please proceed to our Online Housing Agreement and complete the application at your earliest convenience. Please contact the Residence Life office at (605) 642-6464 for questions regarding room reservation.
HOUSING CONTRACT EXEMPTION & APPEAL PROCESS
The South Dakota Board of Regents policy manual states that “during the first two years from the time they were or would have been graduated from high school, all unmarried students who enroll in courses delivered on a main campus for six credit hours or more are required to enter into a housing agreement with the institution unless special permission to room elsewhere is received from the institution. Permission ordinarily shall be granted to students with dependent children or to students who reside full time during the academic year with parents or legal guardians. Students who have enrolled for twelve or more credits for four (4) semesters may be exempted from this agreement at the discretion of the institution.”
This residency requirement serves important educational and developmental purposes. Education professionals widely recognize that where students live their freshman and sophomore years has a significant impact on the quality of their academic and personal preparation for post-collegiate life. Students prosper in stable living environments that are close to academic resources and organized student activities that promote social interaction and exposure to new and diverse life experiences, and that afford supervision, counseling, and other assistance as may be needed. In short, on-campus residency provides unparalleled opportunities for multi-dimensional student development and is part of the university’s broad educational program.
The Housing Contract Policy is strictly enforced. However, BHSU recognizes that some off-campus living circumstances may closely approximate the advantages of on-campus residency. Also, some students may have living requirements that the University cannot accommodate on campus. The following exemptions will be considered:
After proper documentation and university inquiry, students may qualify for an exemption to the Housing Policy.
Married Exemption: Students requesting a release because they are married must meet the following criteria:
A copy of a valid marriage certificate must be submitted to the Residence Life office before a release can be approved or rent charges cancelled.
The release date will not be earlier than the date of marriage
Legal Dependent Exemption: A copy of the dependent’s birth certificate must be provided to the Residence Life office before a release can be granted.
Commuter Exemption: A commuter exemption may be granted to students desiring to live at the permanent residence of a parent or legal guardian within fifty (50) miles of campus who can also demonstrate through written means how commuting will be academically advantageous. If the appeal committee determines that commuting is not academically advantageous to the student, commuting requests may be denied. Students must be in good academic standing with the university to qualify for the commuting exemption.
Financial Hardship Exemption: Applicants requesting release based on verifiable extenuating circumstances must obtain a Supplemental Financial Need Verification Form provided after submission of initial application. Releases are not based upon the assertion that living off campus may be cheaper. A release will be considered when the applicant has a significant verified need for financial aid as defined by the personnel of the BHSU Financial Aid Office and that need is not fully funded by University financial aid.
When financial circumstances are created by situations over which you have no control (such as a loss of parental support due to death, divorce, loss of employment, catastrophic health issues, bankruptcy) which create a financial hardship.
Physical Health Exemption: Applicants requesting a release based on this criterion must provide information from the attending physician stating the specific verifiable condition for which it is medically necessary for the student to be released and why specific off-campus housing would provide better living conditions in regard to this medical condition.
Applicants must obtain a Supplemental Medical Need Verification Form from the Residence Life Office or the BHSU Residence Life webpage . The form must be completed in detail and signed by the attending physician. Applicants may be asked to get a second opinion from BHSU Student Health Services or other referral physicians. Paperwork must be complete before a decision is rendered.
Mental Health Exemption: Applicants requesting a release based on mental health or emotional needs must provide a specific psychological recommendation from a licensed mental health care provider. Applicants not seeing University Counseling Center personnel must provide the Residence Life Office with a written statement evaluating the student’s specific needs or problems written by a certified mental health care giver.
Appeals may take 2-4 weeks for a decision and letter to be mailed.
a) Appeals are only open at certain times to ensure a quick turn around and an accurate count for residential students.
Current Student Appeals will be open from December 1 through December 16, 2015. New students may appeal at any time.
*Moderated Appeals are for current students.
Director of Residence Life
1200 University Street
Spearfish, SD 57799
Black Hills State University, 1200 University St., Spearfish, SD 57799, (800) 255-2478 | © 2014
Saturday, February 25, 2017