Residence Life Requirements/Procedures

Housing Requirement:

To assist Clark Atlanta University students in establishing a strong post-secondary educational foundation and charting a path of future academic success, we believe that all students with fewer than 58 earned credit hours should live on campus when on-campus student housing is available. Therefore, subject to on-campus housing availability, students enrolled in or accepted to Clark Atlanta University will be required to reside on the campus until they have earned 58 or more credit hours. Because on-campus student housing for new students is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, status as a student with less than 58 earned credit hours does not guarantee a space in campus housing.

For first-time freshmen women, on-campus residency is defined as residing in Holmes Hall, Merner Hall, Pfeiffer Hall, and CAU Suites. For first-time freshmen men, on-campus residency is defined as residing in Beckwith Hall. 

For students that are not first-time freshmen, but have acquired fewer than 58 earned credit hours, on-campus residency is defined as residing in any of the halls listed above, as well as Brawley Hall or Heritage Commons. On-campus residency for graduate students is defined as residing in Beckwith Village.

Meal Plan Requirement:

All undergraduate and residential graduate students enrolled at Clark Atlanta University will be required to have a University meal plan. The meal plan will be charged to the student's banner account based on the criteria listed below:


**These meal plans will automatically be placed on the student's account.

All meal plan change requests must be submitted to the Office of Residence Life, CAU Suites 100 Building, or via email to before the first Monday of August for the Fall semester and before the first Monday of January for the spring semesterThere are no meal plan cancellations, credits, or refunds issued after a semester and/or year has ended based on non-usage.

If there is a classification change in the Spring term, meal plan changes will be considered upon request by the student; otherwise, the Fall plan will roll to the Spring term. The request must be submitted to Residence Life by indicated deadline.

(Housing and Meal Plan Requirement Effective Date was Fall 2016)

Exemptions From the On-Campus Requirement

As there may be compelling individual circumstances that would warrant residing off-campus, exemptions from this requirement may be considered.  At times, the University may decide to unilaterally waive the requirement for one or more students under limited circumstances.  However, if a student desires to request an exemption from the on-campus requirement, the student must complete an Exemption Form and submit the appropriate documents to the Residence Life office.

When a student requests an exemption from the on-campus housing requirement, the request may be granted with appropriate documentation under the following circumstances:

  • The student is experiencing medical conditions which require special attention or is the caregiver of someone experiencing medical conditions which require special attention
  • Students with children, married students, and students involved in a domestic partnership
  • Non-traditional students age 24+ by August 1 (applies to housing requests only)
  • The student lives in the metro Atlanta area (applies to housing requests only)
  • Extenuating circumstances (to be evaluated by the University on a case-by-case basis)


Exemption Form and supporting information must be received in the Residence Life Office before August 1 for fall deadline and December 15 for the spring deadline.

Exemption Procedure

Residence Life must receive the Exemption Form with all supporting documentation on or before the deadline to avoid delays. This information will be reviewed by a committee and the student will be emailed the final decision.  Please note that if you are approved it will only release you from being required to live on campus. You may still be required to maintain the mandatory meal plan.  Read the Housing Contract carefully to understand the penalties for breaching the contract and any fees associated with breaking this agreement. If a student is denied an exemption, they will be given information on the appeal process.


Failure to comply with the requirements or providing false or misleading information to the Office of Housing and Residence Life in order to receive an exemption from the on-campus housing requirement may result in cancellation of registration privileges and/or revocation of acceptance to Clark Atlanta University.

*Research by Alexander Astin, Gregory Blemling, Ernest Pascarella, Patrick Terenzini, Paula Wilcox, Sandra Winn, Marylynn Fyvie-Gauld, and Vincent Tinto has discussed this in their student development and retention writings.