By: Ashley Day, Transcript correspondent
With the desire to attract and recruit more students from local areas, Ohio Wesleyan University recently made a change to its residency requirement, which will take effect in fall 2015, director of residential life Wendy Piper said.
The original policy, put in place for the fall semester of 2011, stated students could commute if they resided with their parents or guardians as long as their permanent home address was within Delaware County, Piper said.
According to the new residential requirement, now full-time enrolled students who want to commute must reside with their parents or legal guardians at their primary place of residence, which must be within 30-mile range of campus, assistant director of residential life Meredith Dixon said.
Students wanting to live off-campus but not with their parents or guardians must qualify for an exemption under the other parts of the residency requirement—23 or older, fifth year senior, married, caring for a dependent child or for medical reasons. Students who meet the other requirements can choose to be released off-campus and live wherever they choose, Piper said.
Although the new residential requirement will allow more students to commute, the Residential Life (ResLife) staff members believe students should choose to live in campus housing in order to be more involved with the university, Piper said.
“The ResLife staff wants to reiterate what the nature of our residential community and the importance of students being fully involved in what Ohio Wesleyan University has to offer by residing on-campus,” Piper said.
The residential requirement allows a greater range of students who can commute, but it is not expected to affect number of admissions into OWU, Director of Admissions Alisha Couch said.
“I don’t expect large changes from the revision of this policy,” Couch said. “This year we have six to eight prospective freshman that live outside of Delaware County, yet are within the 30-mile radius that are interested in possibly commuting.”
The change in policy allows OWU to be more competitive with other colleges in the area, as most already have the 30-mile radius rule in place, which give them the opportunity to bring in more local students, Couch said.
“In the past, a student may have ruled out OWU simply because they couldn’t live at home,” Couch said. “This change makes OWU an option for more students.”