Ferris State University Lets Students Live on Campus With Their Pets

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan is allowing students to live on campus with their pets for the 2023-24 academic year. For students who hate leaving their furry companions behind, this pilot program is an exciting change, but it does come with some limitations.

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Living with a Pet May Help Students in Myriad Ways

Living on campus has its pros and cons, and one thing that a lot of students struggle with is being without their beloved pets for months at a time. In an effort to support students and help them overcome problems like stress, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and homesickness, Ferris State University is allowing them to bring their pets to their dorm rooms. 

For the upcoming academic year, the university is  making one floor of a residence hall pet-friendly. Students who are going to live on the second floor of Cramer Hall, in particular, will have the option of bringing their pets, including cats and dogs, so they won’t have to leave them at home when they head off to school.   

What Makes This Pilot Program Different, and What Are the Requirements?

Students may benefit physically, mentally, and emotionally from being able to live on campus with their pets, so Ferris State University is doing more than just allowing service animals and emotional support animals. Lisa Ortiz is the school’s Director of Housing and Residential Life, and she understands that students can miss their pets terribly throughout the school year.

In addition to living on the second floor in Cramer Hall, there are other steps that students need to take to be able to bring their companion animals to campus. There is a $250 fee, and pets have to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated (veterinary records are required). Also, students have to prove that they’ve had the pet for a minimum of six months before the start of the semester. And there are rules regarding cleaning up after pets and keeping them under control. 

It's Off to a Good Start and Has a Promising Future

The pilot program is already popular, as 30 pets will be living with students this year. If it all goes smoothly, the school may expand the program and provide additional amenities. Hopefully, FSU will inspire other colleges and universities around the country to do the same for their students.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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