The Deal with Housing Appeals


Upon admission to Boston College most students are guaranteed three years of university housing, with their third year off-campus. Students requesting to be considered for an additional semester/year of housing outside of their original guaranteed housing eligibility will need to fill out a housing appeal form through the Agora Portal. Demand for university housing far exceeds availability and as a result our department's ability to grant additional semesters/years of housing is extremely restricted. With so many students appealing for an additional year of housing, the big question our office often gets is "how do I get my appeal approved?"

Appeals are considered for full-time day students who demonstrate a significant need over others to reside in university housing. All appeals are reviewed on an individual basis by a committee. Students appealing for medical or financial reasons will have their application reviewed by committee members from Health Services or Financial Aid. There are three possible results students can receive after their appeal has been reviewed. Students are either (1) approved, (2) denied, or (3) placed on the "space available" list. 

Approval Standard: The few students that have their appeal immediately approved are those that can demonstrate that finding off-campus housing that meets their needs in this area is unreasonably burdensome. These typically are students with serious medical or financial concerns. Health Services and Financial Aid will privately review the documentation provided by the student and make their recommendations to the larger committee accordingly. 

The semester (fall or spring) for which you appeal also is a big factor. Students appealing for spring semester only housing are much more likely to have their appeal approved than students appealing for the fall or for the full academic year. Spring appeals are approved more often because historically there are more bed spaces that become available in the spring compared to the fall semester.

Space Available: Students placed on the "space available" list are those that provide a compelling reason as to why they would benefit from being granted university housing. Although their reason may not fall into the most extreme category necessitating an immediate approval, as campus bed spaces become available these students will be offered university housing. If these spaces become available, they are typically offered spaces late mid to late summer.

Denied: The many students who initially have their appeal denied are typically unable to provide sufficient information or documentation that places their need for university housing above others. The most common appeals typically denied usually start with the phrase "I am too busy..." Most students at Boston College are extremely busy with activities, employment, research, and academics. Unfortunately, being busy typically is not viewed as an unreasonable burden necessitating university housing. Other common appeal reasons include "bad luck with housing in the past," "all their friends are living in university housing," "parents don't want me to live off," and "model resident and student with no conduct history and a 4.0 GPA." Although all these reasons may be true, they will not get you far in the appeal process. If an appeal is denied, students can always re-appeal with new information.

Please note, living off-campus is commonplace at Boston College and at other Boston based colleges. According to a report from the City of Boston, 67% of all students at Boston based colleges live off-campus. At BC, about 15% of the undergraduate population lives off-campus each semester.

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