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Is a student handbook (college) a legal binding document?.

Louisville, KY |

Daughter wants to change residency to live in her college hometown. Handbook states to be a commuter, you must live with a parent or legal guardian in the neighboring counties. Otherwise you must live on campus. She is 20 years old....can they force her to live on campus? As a child over 18, I would expect she can move and rent an apartment on her own? Excerpt from handbook below: The College requires all unmarried (those with no dependent children) full-time undergraduates to live on campus. Commuting students are exempt from this policy if living with parent(s) or legal guardian(s) who are over the age of 21 and reside in ____________________counties. (3) If you do not apply to live off campus you will be housed and charged to live in a campus facility.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. If this is a private college or university, the school can lawfully make rules for student residence. Students who wish to attend the school will follow those rules; those who find the rules unacceptable should choose another school to enroll in. It's not that the Handbook is a legal document. The issue is that a private school has the right to condition enrollment on rules that are not unconstitutional or violative of public policy. This rule breaches neither of those standards.

    Almost certainly the school has an administrative appeal process through which your daughter can request an exception or exemption from the residence requirement. Details of that policy are ordinarily found in the Student Handbook, deep in the web-site, or through the Dean's office.

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