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Pet Friendly Colleges for Animal Lovers

Would you bring your pet to college? At these 11 colleges, you can!

Kathryn Knight Randolph

July 30, 2021

What instantly lifts a college student's moods and worries? Furry (or scaly) friends!
Pet Friendly Colleges for Animal Lovers
When August and September roll around, it’s just as difficult to say goodbye to your furry friends as it is Mom and Dad. Unfortunately, the majority of college campuses don’t permit students to house pets in on-campus housing, although you my find pet friendly apartments near campus. However, some colleges across the country are breaking the mold and merging pet life with student life. After all, pets are known to make people happier and healthier, and who better to reap the advantages of that kind of relationship than overworked, financially struggling students? Check out the colleges that are not just limiting their pet policies to fish, but instead, opening dorms to domestic animals of all kinds.

    11 Colleges that Allow Pets

    1. Eckerd College – St. Petersburg, Florida

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      Eckerd College is one of the first schools to embrace pets as part of better student life quality. They allow domestic animals of all kinds as long as the animal can be caged. Small pets, according to Eckerd's Pet Policy, are allowed in all residence halls, while larger pets are restricted to specific housing. Eckerd hosts quite a few pet events throughout the year as well. In October, pets can be blessed in honor of St. Francis Assisi, the patron saint of animals. During the spring, “outgoing” pets have the opportunity to participate in a graduation ceremony, complete with diplomas from the college’s President.
    2. Stephen’s College – Columbia, Missouri

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      Stephen’s College doesn’t just allow pets; it also has a fostering program with a local shelter for students who want the companionship of a furry friend for a few days or weeks. During this foster program, students are charged with keeping these pets safe and well cared for until they’re ready for their forever homes. For those that wish to bring their pet full-time, they are allowed to do so under Stephen's Pet Policy. The President’s Office is stocked with doggy treats, and all of the pets on campus have the chance to enter the pet costume parade during Halloween.
    3. Washington and Jefferson College – Washington, Pennsylvania According to Washington and Jefferson's Pet Policy, students are allowed to bring their pet from home to live with them during their college years. Students are not allowed to bring a new pet, purchased or stray, while they are a student. Pets that can come to live with students on campus include cats, dogs (under 40 lbs), small birds, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pics, turtle, or fish.
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    5. Principia College – Elsah, Illinois Principia's Pet Policy does not allow cats and dogs; however, students are permitted to have pets that can be kept full-time in a cage or aquarium.
    6. University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, Illinois According to the University of Illinois' Pet Policy, you can have not one, but two, pets at a time with you on campus, as long as you live in Ashton Woods. Students must apply to have their pet on campus, and pets under 50 lbs (as well as dogs of certain breeds) are not permitted.
    7. Canton State University of New York (SUNY) – Canton, New York Canton SUNY has a pet wing that houses students with small animals as well as those who may not have a pet but love being around animals. Unfortunately, dogs, birds, spiders and snakes are not allowed, which limits the list of domesticated animals that students can bring to campus. Learn more at Canton SUNY's Pet Policy.
    8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Cambridge, Massachusetts MIT's Pet Policy only allows cats in designated dorms, and the number of cats allowed in those particular dorms is very limited. Also, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MIT Pet Program has been temporarily suspended.
    9. Stetson University – DeLand, Florida Stetson University allows fish, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, rats, mice, cats and dogs, as stated in Stetson's Pet Policy. Also, Stetson goes a long way to make your furry friend feel just as at home on campus as you do. They have a dedicated dog park for students’ dogs to socialize with one another.
    10. Sweet Briar College – Sweet Briar, Virginia When it comes to Sweet Briar’s pet policy, they have one restriction: only horses are permitted. Sweet Briar has a riding program that offers strong instruction and participates in American hunter, jumper and equestrian riding competitions. However, you don’t have to be a serious equestrian to bring your horse to campus. Sweet Briar's Pet Policy encourages weekend riders too.
    11. Lees-McRae College -- Banner Elk, North Carolina Lees McRae doesn't just welcome pets into the dorms; it encourages students and professors to bring pets to class too, according to Lees-McRae's Pet Policy.

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