2023-2024 Student Handbook 
    May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Student Handbook

Appearance Policy

The campus environment at College of the Ozarks differs from most any college in America. The work ethic is woven into the fabric of this institution-where real-life work experiences and academic experiences are co-mingled. Valuable student work experiences are created in an atmosphere where visitors are deliberately sought and serviced in a variety of on-the-job settings. Therefore, as a part of the total education experience, students must learn to meet higher expectations of appearance-similar to what may be expected by many employers of the College’s graduates.

General Appearance Expectations

Students attending College of the Ozarks have the responsibility to dress cleanly, tastefully, neatly, and modestly for any occasion. It is expected that men and women dress modestly and tastefully in a Christian environment. The unique quality of the Work Education Program may cause some variation in dress, but the student has the responsibility of dressing appropriately on campus and in the community. These expectations are designed to ensure that student appearance, both on and off campus, reflects the culture and values of the institution.

It is the student’s responsibility to stay within the general appearance policies established by this institution. Appearance violations should be reported to the Dean of Students, who will determine whether or not a student’s appearance meets the school’s expectations. Violations may result in disciplinary action; students who repeatedly violate the general appearance policies can be subject to disciplinary dismissal. The following guidelines should be helpful in meeting the expectations of the College:

Hairstyles and Dress

Any hairstyle or fashion that the College views as a distraction in the College community is unacceptable. Hairstyles and fashion should avoid fads that call undue attention to appearance. Grunge, emo, or goth styles of dress, or hair dyed an unnatural color for either gender are not allowed. Tattoos should be covered at all times. Students are expected to present themselves in a modest fashion at all times. If a student is unclear about an issue of appearance, the student should consult his/her residence director or the Dean of Students.


Women shall not have more than two piercings per lobe of the ear; body piercings and gauges are not tolerated. Shaved heads or hair that is an unnatural color is not allowed. Students are expected to present themselves in a modest fashion at all times. Students may not wear halter tops, tube tops, midriffs, see through or extremely tight-fitting clothing. Furthermore, students may not display any portion of their undergarments. For example, any straps on shirts/tops should be at least three inches wide. Shorts, skirts, dresses, etc . should be of appropriate length.

For example, shorts should have an inseam of at least 5 inches. Skirts and dresses should be four inches from the top of the knee or longer.


Earrings, gauges, and other body piercing for men are not allowed. Men’s hair should be kept clean and neat. Hair should be kept off the top of the ear and should not reach the collar. Mohawks or similar hairstyles are not allowed. All facial hair should be neatly trimmed or well shaven. Sideburns should be well kept and reach lengths no longer than the midpoint of the ear. Makeup, nail polish, or other similar forms of cosmetics are not allowed.

Casual Attire

A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained and extreme styles or appearance by men or women is inappropriate. The attire for the dining hall, classroom, library are as follows:

  • Men may wear slacks, blue jeans (not torn or with holes), shorts, shirts with arms (not undershirts, tank tops or shirts with arm holes cut out) and shoes. No rolled up sleeves, cut out or sleeveless T-shirts are allowed.
  • Women may wear dresses, slacks, skirts, blue jeans (not torn or with holes), shorts, blouses, neat T-shirts, shirts and shoes. No rolled up sleeves, cut out or sleeveless T-shirts are allowed.
  • Clothing is inappropriate when it is revealing or form fitting, and clothes should not be torn or have holes in them.
  • Clothing should be worn so that underwear is not revealed on any occasion.
  • Hats are not to be worn in chapel, the dining hall, library, or classrooms.
  • Additionally, clothing for women is inappropriate when it is backless, or see-through. Clothing that is low in the neckline or reveals the midriff (in any position) is immodest and unacceptable.
  • Shorts and skirts should be of modest length and any slits in skirts should be of modest length as well.
  • Shoes must be worn in all indoor and outdoor areas open to the public.
  • Language or logos on clothing such as T-shirts that are objection-able, obscene, offensive, or has an inappropriate double innuendo are not permitted on campus or during college-sponsored functions.
  • It is inappropriate for students to go to any meal in sleepwear.

Business Attire

There are certain occasions when business attire is required, including chapel, convocations, graduation events, and other special occasions deemed necessary by the Dean of Students. Sunday worship is a time when the College community worships collectively. As part of our worship, we should offer our best to God including how we dress for worship. As a result, business dress is as follows:

  • Men must wear a dress polo shirt or a button up dress shirt with a collar, slacks, and closed-toed dress shoes. All shirts must be tucked in with ties strongly encouraged.
  • Women must wear dresses or blouses and skirts/slacks and dress shoes.
  • No jeans, shorts, cargo pants, sweatshirts (hooded or nonhooded), or “T” shirts are allowed in chapel. Flip flops are also prohibited and are not considered acceptable shoes for Chapel.
  • Students required to work immediately before or after Chapel may wear their work attire to Chapel.

Work Attire

Work assignments for many students are in public areas. Such work stations may have dress expectations or requirements that exceed regular campus wear. Check with your work supervisor when reporting for work assignment.

The College reserves the right to determine what is acceptable in student appearance. The Dean of Students seeks to counsel with individual students who may need to alter their appearance to meet the expectations of the College. All appeals for infractions of the dress and appearance rules shall end in the Dean of Students office. Disciplinary actions for students who violate the appearance standards may range from a warning to suspension depending upon the frequency and severity of the infractions.