Campus Resources

Off-Campus Life can assist students in gaining necessary knowledge and skills to make informed decisions within the JMU off-campus community.

OCL can help you with: 

  • one on one lease reviews
  • basic budgeting workshops and assistance
  • help in finding available housing
  • assistance with subleasing
  • signing up for the Utilities Deposit Assistance Program (UDAP)

You can contact OCL for assistance: 

  • Visit their office location: The Union 205 H-L (Taylor Hall, 2nd Floor)
    • Office hours typically Mon-Fri 8a-5p during the school year 
  • Call: (540) 568-6071
  • Email:

OCL wants to help with your utilities! 

If you sign a lease for off-campus housing, it may require individual coordination and purchase of utilities. OCL offers the Utility deposit Assistance Program (UDAP) that helps you save money by waiving the initial deposit required to set up utilities in the Harrisonburg area. Additionally, with the UDAP, JMU acts as your guarantor, to protect your credit if you miss a payment deadline. The university will front the charges and bill your student account separately. 

Who is eligible?

  • You must be enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking, currently active JMU student.
  • You must have no financial holds on your JMU account.
  • You must be a student living off campus.
  • You must have a JMU Email. 

How do I purchase UDAP? 

Go to the Student Center in MyMadison to purchase your UDAP. The UDAP is located in the Finance section. Simply enter the exact address of your new housing and submit the form. A one time charge of $40 will be applied to your student account, and you can view your contract immediately.

What companies participate in UDAP?

  • Columbia Gas (up to $500)
  • Harrisonburg Electric Commission (up to $350)
  • Harrisonburg Water and Sewer (up to $350)
  • Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (up to $600)

What happens if I miss a payment? 

If a student fails to pay their final bill, the utility company will try to collect it for 90 days from the student, and at the end of that 90 days, it will be turned over to JMU for payment. JMU will pay the final bill and charge the amount to the student's account in order to protect the students' credit rating. If any portion should exceed the amount JMU will pay for that bill (Water $350, Electric $350 to HEC or $600 to SVEC, and Gas $500), the remaining amount will be turned over to a collections agency by the utility company. Please note, this will put your credit rating at risk. Always pay your bills on time, even if you purchase a UDAP contract to ensure a positive credit rating. 

Community Resources

If you are experiencing homelessness, Open Doors has beds at their shelter for adults 18+ on a first come, first served, basis. Open Doors is “a shelter of last resort for anyone experiencing homelessness who may not qualify to stay at other shelters”. They offer shelter daily from 6:30pm-7am. 

For more information, visit the Valley Open Doors website

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