Housing Operations Policies
Please refer to the Office of Accessibility Services website for information on Housing Accommodations.
Please refer to the Office of Accessibility Services website for information on Emotional Support & Service Animals.
All residence halls on the East Falls campus close during University break periods as outlined in the Housing Application & Agreement and the Academic Calendar. The Office of Residential Life (ORL) offers limited spaces in select halls for students who apply for Spring Break and/or Thanksgiving Break housing. Students must live more than three (3) hours away in order to be eligible for such housing and must be willing to relocate to another residence hall for the break period. Students wanting to stay on campus during those times must apply for a housing extension.
Applications for break housing will be available online on the Office of Residential Life's website. Only those students who apply prior to the announced deadlines will be considered for break housing. Shuttle and dining services may not be available during break housing. Please consult with the appropriate offices prior to closing in order to determine the availability of these services. No students will be permitted to remain on campus during the Winter Break period.
Students are financially obligated for the full academic year (both semesters), unless otherwise approved by ORL. The high demand for campus housing requires that ORL strictly enforce the cancellation policy. This Agreement may be terminated by the University only for one of the following reasons:
- Graduation, Study Abroad, or withdrawal from the University.
- As a result of disciplinary action or breach by the student of this Agreement.
Students in traditional hall-style buildings are housed in single-gender spaces according to identified gender. Apartments and/or Townhouses may be selected as all-male, all-female or gender-neutral spaces. Co-ed groups must completely fill any apartment that they wish to select for the entire academic year. If there is a subsequent cancellation in a mixed-gender apartment, the University reserves the right to assign another student to the space of either gender at the University's discretion or students may be offered the chance to secure a replacement. If current occupants are unable to secure a replacement within ten (10) business days, the apartment will be reclassified as single-gender, and residents will be required to relocate to another available space on campus. Residential Life reserves the right to designate some areas as single-gender during the room selection process in order to preserve the balance of genders in a building or for other programmatic reasons.
- In general, damages other than normal wear and tear will be assessed to the resident(s). In the event that two or more persons occupy the same room and it cannot be ascertained who is responsible for the loss or damage, the assessment and/or disciplinary action shall be shared equally among those assigned to the space.
- Charges for moving furniture back to its proper location or for the replacement costs of furnishings will be assessed against the responsible resident(s).
- Students are required to report any information regarding specific acts of vandalism or damage (including accidental damages) to Residential Life staff, or Public Safety within 24 hours. Reports can be made by submitting an online Work Order, contacting a Resident Assistant or other ORL staff member, or calling Public Safety.
- Residents cannot paint, damage, or otherwise alter the private or public spaces of the facility or property.
- Residents must keep the exterior of facilities (including porches, lawns, etc.) free of garbage, unapproved furniture, and flammable liquids and gases.
- Residents are prohibited from causing unnecessary garbage or debris in the hallways, public spaces, egresses, etc.
- Residents are held responsible for the condition of the room that they are assigned. Each room is inspected during check-in and a Room Inventory is completed. Residents should check the information on the Room Inventory for errors, add additional information, and sign it. As residents check out of their spaces, damage inspections will occur using the Room Inventory as guidance.
- Residents are not permitted to repair or attempt to repair damages.
- Residents must agree to satisfy any damage assessment charges billed to them within ten (10) business days of receipt of the bill.
Final determination of all damages will be determined by a Residential Life professional staff member after the final inspection of the room. Charges are made on the basis of estimated replacement costs of existing University property along with, estimated labor charges.
- All students share in the responsibility for the upkeep and damage of any common area space, both building-wide, on floors, and in houses. As such, damages are charged to all residents responsible for the particular common area. The University asks students to report information leading to the appropriate individual(s) responsible for damage and encourages students to take responsibility for the damage in which they, themselves, were involved.
- Damage that cannot be assessed to the appropriate individual(s) will be divided equally among the residents of the hall, house, or floor, as applicable.
- Common area damages may not be appealed unless the specific resident(s) responsible for the damages accepts responsibility.
Damage or Loss of Personal or University Property
- The University is not liable for any loss or damage incurred to residents' personal property, whether by flood, fire, theft, or any other cause.
- Residents of University Housing are required to acquire adequate insurance coverage for all personal property by their move-in date. Students are required to ensure their property has the necessary coverage whether by coverage through a parent/guardian's homeowner's insurance policy or through individual renter's insurance coverage.
- Residents assume any and all liability for damage or claims that result from their own negligence, as well as any negligence of their guests.
- Residents are liable for any damage and/or loss to a room, its furnishings, or any other part of the residence hall.
- Misuse, abuse, theft, or damage to personal property by one resident or group of residents to another is not permitted.
Eligibility for housing is determined by student enrollment and the location of the college in which a student is enrolled. The students below may apply for housing in specific areas as described below:
Full-Time Undergraduate students: Applications for housing are accepted on the campus housing the student's program for current full-time (12 credits or more per semester) undergraduate students. Failure to maintain 12 credits may lead to termination of the Housing Agreement at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life. Students who lose their eligibility must inform the Office Residential Life within two (2) business days and may be subject to cancellation charges.
Graduate Students: Applications for housing are accepted for current full-time (9 credits or more per semester) graduate students. Failure to maintain 9 credits may lead to termination of the Housing Agreement at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life. Students who lose their eligibility must inform the Office of Residential Life within two (2) business days and are subject to cancellation charges. On the East Falls campus, graduate students may apply for any unassigned spaces on a semesterly basis but will only be considered after full-time undergraduates have been placed.
Continuing education and part-time students: Applications for any unassigned spaces on a semesterly basis will only be considered after other students have been placed. Exceptions to this policy may be made by the Assistant Dean/Director of Residential Life & Community Standards.
Equal Opportunity Statement
Please refer to the University's Equal Opportunity Statement.
- All residence hall entrance doors are locked for student safety 24 hours each day. Access to the residence hall is only through the front door. All other doors are locked from the outside and equipped with exit alarms that sound when the door is opened. These doors are to be used only in case of an emergency.
- To enter a building, residents must swipe their ID at the proximity reader by the lobby doors. The ID will allow access to the front lobby. Resident students must then swipe their ID to enter the hall.
- Students are not permitted to share keys or swipe into a residence hall with another student's ID. Any student who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
- ORL Professional Staff and Public Safety reserve the right to deny admittance to any person to the residence halls.
The University guarantees housing for undergraduate students under the residency requirement for the first two years.
All Thomas Jefferson University students are required to have Health Insurance. Please refer to the Student Health Services website for more information.
All Housing Agreements are considered binding contracts once signed and submitted to the Office of Residential Life.
For students residing in Scholler, Mott, Partridge, Ronson, Fortess, Independence Plaza, or the Townhouses, the Housing Application and Agreement is a formal binding legal agreement between the student and the University effective upon the sending of any form of assignment confirmation to the student, including but not limited to mail and electronic mail.
The Agreement period does not include the Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring Break periods (see the University academic calendar for exact dates). Students with permanent addresses three (3) or more hours away from campus may apply for Thanksgiving and/or Spring Break housing. Approved students may have to relocate to a designated building and pay additional fees to remain on campus during the break period. Housing is not available during the Winter Break. Summer Housing options are not included in the Housing Agreement.
When vacancies occur, the University reserves the right to showrooms and assign new occupants to fill those vacancies. The University reserves the right to consolidate students in partially filled rooms or apartments.
In spaces with University issued furniture, residents of partially filled rooms should occupy only one set of furniture in order to accommodate a potential new roommate. The other furniture should be clear and ready for occupancy. A student occupying two sets of furniture is subject to disciplinary action. In a partially filled room or suite, the Office of Residential Life may, at its sole discretion, allow the resident to find a new roommate to fill the vacancy or may assign a new roommate at any time without requiring current resident approval.
One, two, or three roommates may share an accommodation up to the maximum occupancy. Alternatively, roommate consolidation may occur if there are any other persons in an on-campus space that is below the minimum occupancy. If a resident decides to remain in a contract for a shared unit, roommate consolidation remains an option. Roommate consolidation typically usually occurs during the months of September and January. However, the Office of Residential Life reserves the right to consolidate space at any time during the course of an academic year. Residents in shared spaces without a roommate may receive a roommate at any time. ORL staff will attempt to inform the resident within 48 hours, although this is not a requirement. Residential Life staff will facilitate consolidation and will assist residents in finding roommates during the consolidation period.
When a new resident is assigned, the current occupant(s) are expected to welcome this person and treat them with respect. Failure to demonstrate respectful behavior by any current occupant of a room is considered a policy violation and subject to disciplinary action. Examples of inappropriate actions include, but are not limited to: telling the student assigned that you do not want anyone living with you; expressing to the student that you do not want them living with you; telling the student that their experience will be difficult in the assigned space; or communicating any other disparaging comments made to or about the new resident or assignment process including but not limited to: in-person comments, words or actions about or directed towards the newly assigned resident.
Any time the occupancy of a room or apartment drops below the minimum occupancy, roommate consolidation is a possibility. In this situation, students in an on-campus space which is below occupancy may be relocated in order to fully occupy a space.
Students living in, Scholler, Mott, Ronson, Partridge, Fortess, Independence Plaza, and the Townhouses can pay their housing fees through their student account at the beginning of each term. Housing fees will appear on the tuition bill. If you received financial aid and the disbursement includes room fees, the financial aid monies will go directly towards paying the housing fees. Please be advised that not all academic terms are budgeted by financial aid, which is dependent on the academic program. Students should consult with the Office of Financial Aid regarding what housing fees their financial aid covers.
Housing Selection Priority
Housing assignments for new students are computer-generated. The University reserves the right to change assignments in case of emergency.
Roommate preferences for incoming students must be mutual and submitted via the Housing Portal. If students wish to live together, all applications and agreements must be submitted on time. Returning students may select their roommates in the Housing Selection process during the spring semester. Residential Life provides additional information on the Housing Selection process during the spring semester.
Any requests for housing based on accessibility are handled through The Office of Accessibility Services.
Returning students should follow the guidelines published at the start of the spring semester for returning student Housing Selection.
Limited housing is available during the interim periods between terms (spring to summer and summer to fall). Full-time enrolled students must apply through the Office of Residential Life by the published deadline.
Key Use and Lockouts
Each resident listed on the Housing Agreement is given one key to their respective room or apartment. For safety reasons, additional keys cannot be dispensed (except in cases of documented loss.) It is unlawful to make duplicate keys from the original.
Report lost keys immediately. Contact the RA on duty if after hours or the main office (Kanbar 311) during business hours. Appropriate measures will be taken to supply you with a replacement key and minimize any potential Campus Security risks. Improper room changes will result in disciplinary action. Upon checkout, students who fail to return the key they were assigned or who return a key different from the one they were assigned will be billed for a core change.
The costs for replacing a key or door lock when a key has been lost will be assessed to the student.
Scholler, Mott, Ronson, Fortess, and Partridge--$95
Townhouses and Independence Plaza--$250
If a student is locked out of their room, temporary keys are available.
Students are required to pay for lock-out services provided by staff. ($10 per lockout after the first lockout). Contact the RA on duty for assistance. Temporary keys not returned within 24 hours will result in the room being re-cored at the costs listed above.
It is advisable to keep your apartment or room door locked at all times. Place the key, from the outside, into the lock and turn it two revolutions. This will engage the bolt. When inside the apartment, the chain latch (if available) should be used for safety purposes.
Leave of Absence
Students who take a "leave of absence" or a "medical leave of absence" will be required to move out of housing once the student's leave has been approved and Residential Life receives confirmation of the leave. Students taking a leave of absence mid-semester are responsible for housing and meal plan charges until the end of the semester.
Lead Paint Statement
The University, in accordance with city, state, and federal laws, screens for the presence of lead-based paint in all residential facilities built prior to 1978. The results of these tests, in full, are available in the facility offices. Additionally, attached hereto is a certification prepared by a dust wipe technician stating that the property is either lead-safe or lead-free. Be advised that you have a ten (10) day period after signing your lease during which you may, at your own expense, obtain another comprehensive lead inspection and risk assessment from a certified lead inspector. If you elect to obtain such an inspection and assessment and the results show that your room or apartment contains lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards, you can terminate your lease within two (2) business days after you receive the report. If you don't obtain an inspection within ten (10) days after signing the lease, you will have waived the right to do so later. Please review your housing application and agreement for information specific to each area.
The resident agrees to hold the University, its agents, and employees harmless from all damages, liability, or loss arising out of any negligent act or omission or other misconduct by the student on or about the premises.
First-year students residing in Ronson, Partridge, Fortess, Mott, or Scholler are required to have a 19 standard or 19 premium meal plan. All students residing in Scholler are required to have a 14 standard meal plan or higher.
Meal plans are contracted for the full academic year. Students may make changes to their meal plan assignments during the first two weeks of the semester with no penalty. This change must be made in the Housing Portal before the deadline. Please note that students making changes to premium meal plans will be billed for any Bookstore Bonus Dollars that have been utilized. No meal plan changes can be made after the first two weeks of the semester. After the two-week cut-off, students will be billed in full for the semester's meal plan charges.
The meal plan will not be in operation when the University is on break or during the summer months. Meal plans are only offered on the East Falls campus.
Missing Person Policy
In compliance with FERPA, residents in on-campus housing may elect to identify a specific person to be contacted by the institution within 24 hours of being reported missing. If a person is not specifically selected for this purpose, employees of the Office Residential Life or other University officials will contact the general "emergency contact" person designated by the resident on their housing application and/or in the student record database.
- If the resident is determined to be less than 18 years of age, the student's parent or legal guardian will be contacted within 24 hours if the student is determined to be missing.
- Please be advised that the emergency contact person (or person the resident has elected to be notified) may be contacted by University officials to help determine a student's whereabouts in cases where that student has been reported missing. In addition, appropriate law enforcement officials will be contacted after 24 hours if a student is determined to be missing.
Students will select a designated move-in time prior to their move-in date. Please bring a photo ID for move-in day. If students are moving into the residence halls after the designated move-in times they should contact Public Safety in order to reach the Residential Life main office or staff member on-call.
Designated loading zones will be available on First Year and Upper-class Move-in days. Residents may only use this area for a limited time (up to twenty minutes) while they are loading or unloading their vehicles. Residents are encouraged to unload their vehicles and relocate the vehicle to other designated University parking lots. The loading area is not for parking. Any person exceeding the time period or using the area for parking may be ticketed or towed at the owner's expense. Abuse of the loading zone may result in termination of privileges and/or other disciplinary action.
To facilitate moving, hand trucks are available on a first-come, first-served basis. During periods of heavy demand, a time limit may be imposed by Residential Life staff. Photo ID must be provided at the desk when using a hand truck. Do not leave hand trucks in corridors, where they may be an obstruction in a fire or emergency. Hand trucks must be returned in order to have the I.D. returned. Residents are financially responsible for any unreturned carts.
Bed Lofting & Bunking
Due to safety concerns and potential damage to both University and personal property, the use of lofts and cinderblocks is prohibited. Depending on specific room setup and furniture, residents may be able to bunk University furniture by placing a work order with Physical Plant upon arrival on campus. If you choose to bunk your bed, Physical Plant reserves the right to deny a work order to dismantle it. Bed "lifters" (manufactured specifically to raise the legs of a bed) are permitted but may only raise a bed a maximum of 1 foot above the floor.
After October 1st of each year, Physical Plant will no longer loft or de-loft beds.
The following information will help you prepare to move out of University housing.
- If using a Microfridge, remove all food from the Mircofridge, defrost the unit and unplug it.
- Prior to a resident vacating their housing assignment, at any time during the course of the year, even if a resident is simply relocating to another space on campus, that resident is required to remove any and all personal belongings, including any and all trash, leaving the space restored, cleaned, and furnished with original furnishings.
- In the event that a room has been damaged requiring a repair to the same, that resident shall not attempt to make the repair themselves.
- Any and all fixtures within the space, including, but not limited to, university-owned refrigerators and stoves, must be emptied and cleaned.
- All costs incurred by the university as a result of any repairs required to be made, any additional cleaning required, and/or for removal of any and all personal property shall be apportioned equally to the residents, regardless of responsibility or fault of any one resident for the same. Upon a resident vacating their housing assignment, the space shall be inspected by a Residential Life Professional Staff member and, if said unit is not in acceptable condition as defined herein and determined at the discretion of the Residential Life Professional Staff Member, repair/cleaning/removal service shall be ordered, and the resident(s) shall be held jointly and severally liable for the entire cost of the same.
- Failure to vacate your housing assignment within the prescribed period shall result in an hourly fine, in which case the University shall not be responsible for student belongings and reserves the right to confiscate and dispose of such belongings.
- Appeals of any charges assessed for repair/cleaning/removal of personal belongings shall be filed in writing no less than five (5) business days from the date said bills are sent to the resident. Thereafter, any right to appeal is waived. Further, any resident selecting an "express checkout" waives the right to appeal any charges assessed.
- The University reserves the right to remove and dispose of any property remaining in a room more than 24 hours following the earlier of::
- cancellation of this Agreement by the University;
-- the student's separation or departure from the University; or
-- the date the student officially checks out of the room. The charge for costs incurred for such removal may be assessed to the student, and the student agrees to pay such charge.
- Please do not attempt to patch any holes in the walls. Notify Residential Life staff so that damages or possible charges can be minimized.
- Moving carts and hand trucks will not be available during move-out. Please make sure to plan accordingly.
Incoming full-time, first-year undergraduate students who live more than 15 miles away (residing with their parent/guardian at their permanent residence) are required to live in University-owned or leased housing for their first two years of enrollment. Students who reside (with their parent/guardian at their permanent residence) within 15 miles can opt-in or volunteer to live on campus and remain on campus in subsequent years by participating in the housing selection process for returning students. Transfer students will be exempt from the two-year housing requirements.
Exceptions are made for:
- Students over the age of 20 at the point of enrollment
- Military veterans
- Married students
- Students with legal dependents
Room Change Policy
The Office of Residential Life encourages roommates to make a good-faith effort to mediate any conflicts prior to requesting a room change. The Office of Residential Life reserves the right to approve or deny any room change request. The Office of Residential Life is committed to an environment that is free of harassment, discrimination, or any other offensive behavior that is grounded on any characteristic protected by law including but not limited to a person's sex, age, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, military status, veteran status, disability or any other protected group or status.
Should problems persist between the roommates and a reasonable solution cannot be achieved, the Office of Residential Life reserves the right to intervene and handle the situation through the University Community Standards Process and/or reassign one or all roommates involved. In the event that students exhaust all other options, the Office of Residential Life will permit a room change if space is available.
Room Entry & Inspection
The University recognizes and respects the basic interest of each resident to maintain privacy and control of personal living space. The University also has the responsibility to provide safe and secure residential facilities for both present and future occupants.
Right of Entry - Thomas Jefferson University reserves the right to enter residents' rooms for administrative reasons under the following circumstances:
- The overall well-being and order of the residential community is thought to be in jeopardy;
- Completion of a work order for a room repair;
- Danger, including, but not limited to, floods, fire, and life- or injury-threatening situation is thought to be occurring or is imminent;
- The occupant cannot be located for an extended period of time (a search for this purpose will solely be to enter the room and look for the occupant);
- It is necessary to inspect for, correct, repair, or remove hazards to health or personal safety. These checks, called Health and Safety Checks are conducted at a minimum of 2 times per semester. These times include: prior to Thanksgiving break; prior to Winter Break, prior to Spring Break and at closing;
- It is necessary to inspect a vacant/unoccupied portion of a room/apartment in order to prepare it for occupancy;
- It is believed that a resident is using their assigned space in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of the housing agreement or other University policies.
A Residential Life staff member inspects the room/apartment before occupancy. Another inspection takes place when the room is vacated. Residents are responsible for any damage that takes place during their occupancy. Upon move-in, each resident will receive instructions on how to complete their move-in survey or room condition report. All comments and edits must be submitted before the published deadline. In order to avoid being charged for damages upon move-out, it is important that each resident note anything needing repairs on this form. Additional inspections will take place during the residents' occupancy to ensure fire safety and adherence to University and/or departmental policies.
When a resident's room is entered for reasons described above in the Right of Entry policy, the University official generally will conduct a "plain view inspection." Only under exigent circumstances involving threats to health, safety, or potential violations of the University's policies, as determined by the Dean of Students Office, will a thorough room search be conducted. Illegal and/or prohibited items may be confiscated.
Limited summer housing is available on East Falls campus for May, June, July, and August. Full-time enrolled students must apply through the Office of Residential Life by the published deadline to be eligible for summer housing. Housing prices are set annually, and students are responsible for following the move-in and move-out procedures.
College and University Vaccination Act Effective August 27, 2002, this law requires that all full-time college students who live in university housing show proof that they have been vaccinated against meningococcal disease (bacterial meningitis). Refer to Student Health Services for more information on vaccination requirements.