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Kalamazoo College

Petition for the Waiver of the College's Housing and Board Requirement

Kalamazoo College Housing and Board Policy

Kalamazoo College 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 winter quarter of their junior year (starting with the Fall 2017 entering class).

Obtaining a Waiver:

A waiver to this requirement may be obtained for exceptional circumstances by completing the online Petition Waiver Form, emailing a written petition statement with supporting documentation to for the College's Petition Committee to review, and receiving written approval.  All materials submitted to the committee are kept confidential.  The two categories of reasons for which a petition may be considered are identified below along with the requirements for each.


  • If the petition is for the waiver of the meal plan, the student is required prior to submitting the petition to meet with the Director of Dining Services to confirm whether or not the requirements of the medical condition and the prescribed diet can be met in the Dining Center. The student needs to reference the meeting (including the date and time of the meeting) in their written statement.
  • Complete the “Petition Waiver Form.”
  • Email a written statement to detailing the reason(s) for the petition request, including the medical diagnosis necessitating the waiver, as well as detailed alternative arrangements for housing and meals.
  • An independent (not a member of the student’s family) doctor’s or psychologist’s letter on letterhead is also necessary. A note in a prescription pad will not be accepted. The letter must be detailed and include the health condition(s), diagnosis, treatment and health requirements that cannot be met by the student living in the residence halls or eating in the dining facilities. The doctor’s or psychologist’s phone number and address should be included. The letter may be emailed as a PDF or faxed (attention Stephen Sanney, Director of Residential Life) to 269-337-7404. A member of the Petition Committee may contact him or her. Likewise, the College Health or Counseling Centers may be consulted or the student may be asked to consult with them.

Financial Hardship

  • Prior to submitting a petition based on financial hardship, the student must meet with both Patrick Farmer, Student Accounts Coordinator, and Becca Murphy, Assistant Director of Financial Aid to discuss their financial situation. If it is determined that a petition is the best way to proceed then the student should move on to the steps below.
  • Complete a “Petition Waiver Form.”
  • Email a written statement to detailing the reason(s) for the petition request (the financial hardship). The student needs to reference their meetings (including the date and time of the meetings) with Mr. Farmer and Ms. Murphy in the statement. In addition the written statement must identify the alternative housing (if the request includes a housing waiver) and how the student will manage without a meal plan. The student must include a detailed proposed budget of all living expenses (rent, utilities, cable/internet, car/gas, food, misc. expenses). The food portion of the budget must be a realistic budget based on a well-balanced diet. The budget must demonstrate a significant cost savings.

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

If a student is approved to waive the meal plan, that student’s meal plan will be cancelled and the student will not be eligible to sign up for any meal plan during the approved petition period.

Incomplete petitions which do not meet the guidelines above, will be returned to the petitioner for completion.

Deadlines for Filing Petitions: 

The Petition Committee considers petitions three times during the academic term. The deadlines for filing petitions (all materials must be in by the due date) are 5 p.m. Friday of 1st, 6th and 10th weeks of each term.

The Petition Committee considers petitions two times during the summer. The summer deadlines (all materials must be in by the due date) are 5 p.m. 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.