Students can be exempted from living in dorms after their first year for only specific reasons such as medical and financial needs. Credit: Willow Mollenkopf | For The Lantern

It wasn’t until the 2016-17 school year that Ohio State implemented the second-year on-campus living policy. Students looking to live off campus for personal reasons or preference must now go through an exemption process.

For Rensu Kumbhani, a second-year in computer science and engineering, living on campus was a challenge as she struggled to balance her obligations and manage her time while on campus.

“Having everything in one location made it hard,” Kumbhani said.

Kumbhani opted out of the residence halls her second semester to live at home as a commuter student.

She said living at home while still attending classes on campus makes it easier for her to find a way to balance her time.

According to the University Housing website, students who live within 25 miles of campus with their parents, close relatives or a legal guardian can be granted an exemption.

Dave Isaacs, spokesman for the Office of Student Life, said students must fill out a Parent-Close Relative Housing Exemption Request form and submit it to University Housing.

Greek housing, and any scholarship or academic residence hall also count as exemptions to the requirement, but have different forms and exemptions.

While these are the only three wide-ranging exemptions, medical needs, financial needs and special hardship are also considered.

“We deal with students on a case-to-case basis,” Isaacs said. “We will work with them individually to determine what the best steps will be.”

While some students who live close to campus would rather commute than live in a residence hall for another year, others presented University Housing with other reasons for exemption.

Joyoshri Sadhukhan, a second-year in chemical engineering, was offered an internship that would require her to live somewhere else for a semester.

Sadhukhan is working as an intern for NASA in Cleveland for her spring semester, requiring her to opt out of her housing contract.

“Leaving for an internship is part of the engineering program, so Ohio State has a class that students can sign up for to still be considered full-time,” Sadhukhan said.

For any student looking to receive an exemption their second year, all requests can be submitted with forms provided by University Housing on their website.