Do College Dorms Have Curfews? Here’s What You Should Know

An aerial shot of a college dorm at night with lampposts that illuminate the walkways.

Entering college life is like entering a brand new world. There are no parents to tell you what to do. It’s completely up to you when you clean your room. And no one can tell you when you need to be home for the evening…right? 

But even with your newfound freedom, you may still be wondering: Do college dorms have curfews? The answer isn’t so straightforward. There are several factors at play here, so instead of spending hours online, we did the grunt work for you. 

Read on to learn what you need to know about college dorm rooms and curfews. 

Why Do Many Believe University Housing Should Not Implement Curfews?

College dorm residents out with friends and drinking beer at night.

You may be wondering why this is even a topic of conversation here. You are an adult. Your roommate is an adult. Your hallmates are adults. So why would grown people need curfews set by student housing? 

Here are the main arguments against this policy in housing contracts:

  • The law says that adulthood begins at age 18. Enough said. 
  • Residential life cannot be regulated this heavily. Students will do what they want anyway.
  • Not every dorm resident student is the traditional 18-year-old freshman. Upperclassmen, transfer students, and nontraditional students can be much older, further restricting the freedom that comes with age in any other aspect of society.
  • If students are out too late for their own good, they need to experience those mistakes to learn life lessons.
  • No one should assume students are out partying if they are gone from their student room in the early morning. They might have a job or an odd schedule. So why restrict their lives even more with a curfew?
  • Remember that students are paying to live in the residence hall, people. When you pay for a room, why should you also need to pay for limitations on adult freedoms?

Why Would Hall Staff Decide to Set Curfews for College Students?

Before you scroll past this section of the article, there are actually some reasons to argue for curfews in dorm rooms. Resident directors may consider these arguments when determining campus housing rules:

  • Even if the law says someone is an adult, it doesn’t mean they are mature enough to handle self-discipline. You don’t want them roaming around at night getting into dangerous situations that they would handle better in their mid-twenties. 
  • Curfews for residence halls could help students stay on track with their course work (i.e., being on time or getting enough sleep). This can support student retention and graduation rates. 
  • Campus housing curfews encourage socialization. Without spending time in the dorms after hours, students may not meet other first year students or their resident assistant, make friends, and find study buddies as easily.

Facts about Residence Hall Room Curfews

College students engaged in a group study session late at night.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, here are the facts about residence hall room curfews:

Most college dorms don’t have a curfew.

There is no need to stress hard over this for those concerned about curfews during your residential college experience. Most college dorms don’t have one at all. Not only is it difficult to enforce, but most universities simply don’t see the need. 

There are some common rules, however.

Though most colleges do not enforce a curfew, there will be some rules for residents to follow. You might come across these:

  • Dorm entrances are locked after hours.
  • Only residents and their visitors can enter the dorm hall.
  • Men and women have separate halls or buildings. 
  • No overnight guests.
  • Quiet hours begin at a certain time on the weekdays. 

Student housing also has security systems and protocols. 

Your university will have safety protocols separate from curfews and access rules. Here are some that you may come across:

  • University housing will provide fobs or keycards for secure access to the residence hall, including access to entrances, elevators, and stairs. 
  • Security guards or other housing staff will be on duty during the late night and early morning hours.
  • Emergency call buttons are scattered across campus, including near your dorm. 

Final Thoughts

A dorm room exterior at night with lights illuminating the walkway.

College is about enjoying your independence and finding yourself. But to do college right, you need to know what dorm life looks like. We highly recommend that you visit the student housing page of the school you’re planning to attend or interested in. 

And remember, even if you disagree with a university dorm rule on curfews, you still need to follow them.

Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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