First-year Residency Requirement Policy


Responsible Administrative Unit: Student Life

Policy Contact: Director of Residence Life & Housing, Mary Elliot (mfelliot@mines.edu)


A large body of research shows that living in a residence hall has a positive influence on the following student outcomes:

  • Retention and persistence toward graduation;
  • Perception of the campus social climate;
  • Participation in extra-curricular activities;
  • Development of interpersonal relationships;
  • Greater faculty interactions; and
  • Personal growth and development.

Each of these outcomes positively influences students’ overall educational experiences, and supports their total success and growth as college students.

Research at the Colorado School of Mines (“Mines” or “the school”) supports this larger body of findings. Students who live on campus for their first year at Mines are retained into their second year at a significantly higher rate than students who commute to campus during their first year. In order to bolster the positive outcomes associated with living on campus even further, Mines has a strategic goal of becoming a more residential campus through a combination of program efforts, policy updates, and facilities improvements, which bolster the positive outcomes of living on campus. Thus, Mines adopted this policy requiring first-year students to live in the campus residence halls.


2.1 First-year students: All first time, undergraduate students at Mines.

2.2 Full-time status: For the purpose of this policy and the residence hall contract, full-time status is 12 or more credit hours per semester.


Subject to the availability of space, all full-time, first-year, degree-seeking students at Mines are required to live in the residence halls for the entire academic year (fall and spring semesters). Limited exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis, according to a waiver process that will be fairly and consistently enforced. Additionally, all students who live in the residence halls are required to have a residential meal plan. For more information, please consult the room and board at Mines brochure. Additionally, if a student has dietary restrictions we are able to accommodate a variety of accommodations. Requests for accommodations are made through the Housing Application Process.

Nothing in this policy shall supersede the conditions of an existing fully executed residence hall contract, including all conditions for terminating the contract.


This policy applies to students who entered Mines in Fall 2011 term or thereafter. All incoming students are notified of this policy through the admissions process, brochures, website, and admissions visit programs.

4.1 Possible Criteria for Exceptions:

Students who meet one or more of the following criteria may request an exception to the first-year residency requirement as provided below. The exception categories may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Married or have a civil union;
  • The parent or legal guardian of a child(ren) that resides with him or her;
  • Age 21 years or older prior to the first day of classes for the first semester of attendance at Mines;
  • Transferring from another post-secondary institution where he or she lived on-campus for at least two semesters;
  • Living at home with their parent/guardian(s) at their parent/guardians’ permanent residence within 20 miles from campus and commuting to campus daily;
  • A member of the United States military who has served for one (1) year or more; or
  • Other circumstances approved following appropriate review.

Students required to reside in the Residence Halls may submit a request for a waiver to the Assistant Director of Housing Operations and/or the appeals committee to review their individual situation.

Each request will be evaluated by the Residence Life staff on a case-by-case basis in the order received. A student who first enrolls at Mines for the spring semester may be required to live in the residence halls for the spring semester only. Residence Life encourages students who file a request for a waiver based on financial situation to discuss financial aid options with the Office of Financial Aid.

4.2 Exception Requests:

To request an exception to the first-year residency requirement, please complete the online waiver request form on the residence life homepage. For more information or questions, contact the Assistant Director of Housing Operations by email to housing@mines.edu or phone at (303) 869-5433. Submission does not guarantee approval. Any student who completed the room assignment process and moves out, vacates, or provides notice of intent to vacate the residence hall under this process will remain financially responsible for the following portion of the contract including:

  • 60% of the remaining portion of room rate as calculated by Mines,
  • 100% of the remaining board rate (meal plan fees) owed to Mines; and
  • fees for any damages to the premises

If the room and board fees are paid-in-full when the student moves out of the residence hall, Mines will proceed with the check-out procedures, calculate any amounts owing, and provide an explanation to the student within seven (7) business days of any monies that will or will not be returned.


The Responsible Administrative Unit will review this policy annually.

Issued December 2010 Revised May 2015 (Updated titles, links, and references)
Revision August 2015 (updated number)