Residency Requirement

Living on campus gives added value to the college experience. National research shows that students who live on campus do better academically, are more engaged and have a smoother transition. Because of that, Webster has a two-year residency requirement. Even if a student is not required to live on campus, we encourage them to do so — and many do!

All freshmen enrolled at the St. Louis main campus are required to live on campus for their first two years at the University. Exceptions to this requirement are granted for freshmen living with their parents within a 35-mile radius of the main campus in Webster Groves.

Undergraduate international transfer students are required to live on campus for their first year enrolled in classes at the main campus.

Additionally, all Study Abroad students (undergraduate and graduate) who study abroad at any of the St. Louis Metro campuses are required to reside in on-campus housing for the duration of their Study Abroad experience. All site transfer students are required to reside on campus for their first year enrolled at the Webster Groves campus.

Resource for Finding Off-Campus Housing: EDUrain

If students are not required to live on campus, they can commute from home their first two years, or find nearby apartments or houses to rent as upper-year students or graduate students. Webster University is not affiliated with any off-campus rental property groups, so it cannot provide recommendations on specific rental units. It is important for students to consider all factors when seeking off-campus housing.

Webster University Housing has partnered with EDUrain, who has created an off-campus search site specific to Webster students in the St. Louis area. Webster University does not oversee the content of this search site, but it is a resource for students seeking off-campus housing, and includes current rental listings, College Student Renter’s Guide, blog with resources, roommate matching resources and more.

You will need to create an account with EDUrain using your Webster email account for some features of the website. While this is a great resource for Webster students, Webster University and the Housing and Residential Life Department cannot be liable for information or resources provided by EDUrain.

Visit EDUrain

Students walking along Webster University quad

Considering On- or Off-Campus Housing

In Fall 2024, nearly 75% of the freshmen at Webster lived on campus, and the rest commuted from home. We know that students who start their experience on campus typically get acclimated to college life quicker, including higher GPAs and social satisfaction. As students progress through their degree, fewer students live on campus — with most of the freshmen and sophomores living on campus, then fewer juniors, even fewer seniors and very few graduate students.

IMPORTANT: If you are required to live on campus and are seeking an exemption, make sure to review the residency requirement and get written approval from for the exemption before signing any leases.

As students consider living on campus, there are a variety of factors to think about. Some questions to think about include:

  • Where is the most convenient place for you to live? How close to campus do you need to be?
  • How frequently will you want to come to campus? Include during the day or in the evening, and if you will need to take multiple trips to campus or can stay all day.
  • How do you plan to get to campus? Do you have a car, ability to carpool or other transportation?
  • Do you want to live alone or with others? Do you have specific people to live with, or need help finding roommates?
  • How much you can afford to pay for living expenses per month?
  • How do you plan to pay for your housing? Can you pay monthly or do you need financial aid?

While often the monthly rent cost is thought of, make sure to also consider the following factors related to the cost of living off campus:

  • Monthly rent amount
  • Security deposit and application fees
  • Utilities including gas, electricity, trash and waste management, internet
  • On or off campus, consider transportation costs including gas, parking, proximity to bus lines, cost of rideshare services, parking passes
  • Groceries and cooking supplies
  • Furniture (most apartments are unfurnished)
  • Length of lease (not always on academic calendar — check for summers and study abroad flexibility, and if sub-leasing is available)
  • Renters insurance
  • Renters history and co-signer availability
  • Other factors specific to your situation not included on this list