Petition to Waive Housing and/or Board Requirement

Housing and Board Policy

Kalamazoo College affirms the educational benefits inherent in the residential undergraduate experience. Residential living is supportive of one’s academic preparation and plays an integral role in one’s experiential education, providing rich opportunities for involvement and development. Therefore, Kalamazoo College requires all students to reside within the College’s residential system and board at the College’s dining center through through their sophomore year.

Kalamazoo College Housing and Board Policy

Obtaining a Waiver

A waiver to these requirements may be obtained for exceptional circumstances. All materials submitted to the committee are kept confidential. The two categories of reasons for which a petition may be considered are listed below, along with the requirements for each. These criteria must be met and the steps followed as outlined in order for a petition to be considered.


  • If the reason for the petition is solely for the purposes of waiving the meal plan requirement, the student must meet with Estelle Bean, Director of Dining Services first to confirm that the medical condition and prescribed diet cannot be accommodated in the Dining Center. If it is determined in that meeting that the Dining Center cannot accommodate the student, then they may proceed with submitting the Petition Waiver Form.
  • Complete the Petition Waiver Form.
  • Compose a written statement detailing the reasoning for the petition, including the medical diagnosis necessitating the waiver, as well as detailed alternative arrangements for housing and/or meals. The student should reference the meeting with Estelle Bean (if applicable).
  • Have an independent (not a member of the student’s family) doctor or psychologist submit a letter of support on letterhead. The letter must be detailed and include the health condition, diagnosis, treatment and health requirements that cannot be met by the student’s on-campus living and/or dining facilities. The doctor or psychologist’s contact information should be included for follow-up purposes. The letter may be e-mailed as a PDF or faxed. A member of the Petition Committee may contact them. Likewise, the College Health Center or Counseling Center may be consulted or the student may be asked to consult with them.

Financial Hardship

  • If the reason for the petition is financial, the student must meet with either Patrick Farmer, Student Accounts Coordinator or Kathie Yeckley, Assistant Director of Financial Aid first to discuss their financial situation. If it is determined after those meetings that the petition process is the best way for the student to move forward, then they may proceed with submitting the Petition Waiver Form. In situations where the student does not meet the threshold for financial hardship, they should NOT proceed with a petition. Decisions in this area are squarely based on the assessment of a student’s finances provided by Financial Aid and Student Accounts, so it is in the student’s best interest to gain clarity on whether or not they qualify before proceeding.
  • Complete the Petition Waiver Form.
  • Compose a written statement detailing the reasoning for the petition. The student should reference their meeting with Patrick Farmer or Kathie Yeckley. In addition to the written statement, the student will need to include a detailed budget of all living expenses (rent, utilities, cable/internet, car/gas, food, misc. expenses) which is realistic and includes a well-balanced diet, while also demonstrating significant cost savings.

In cases where the student requests a waiver of the meal plan only, they are reminded that for health and safety reasons, the residence hall kitchenettes are not meant for students to make constant, regular meals.

Incomplete petitions, which do not meet the guidelines above, will be returned to the petitioner for completion and considered during the next possible cycle.

Deadlines for Filing Petitions

The Petition Committee considers petitions three times during the academic term. The deadlines for filing petitions are the Friday of the 1st, 6th and 10th weeks of each term.

The Petition Committee considers petitions two times during the summer. The summer deadlines are the last Friday in June and the first Friday in August.

Petition Committee Decisions

The decisions of the Petition Committee are final and a decision letter will be emailed to the student’s Kalamazoo College email address. Copies of the petition and the Committee’s decision will be entered into the student’s file at the College. Waivers are extended for a specific and limited number of terms. If the petition is denied, the student may request the Committee to reconsider the petition only on the grounds of new information.