Residency Requirement & Exemption Process

The George Washington University requires all first-, second-, and third-year students to reside on campus unless they are approved for a Residency Exemption. Since 2006, GW has been in full compliance with the DC Zoning Commission Residency Policy and its stipulations on DC schools that require all first- and second-year students to reside in on-campus housing.  Several years ago, GW made an institutional policy to further require all third-years students to reside in on-campus housing.  Collectively, GW's residency requirement is intended to foster community development and best support the undergraduate experience at GW. 

For students eligible to apply for an exemption, the Residency Exemption Request Form for the 2018-2019 Academic Year will be available via GW Housing e-Services beginning January 16, 2018 for rising second- and third-year students already attending GW. Supporting documentation must be emailed to GW Housing at [email protected] prior to the deadline.  Rising second- and third-year students must submit Residency Exemption requests and documentation for the 2018-2019 Academic Year by March 2, 2018.

Incoming first-year students need a GWID and have to claimed their NETID and password before the application is accessible.  Incoming first-years students may apply beginning Tuesday April 17, 2018 and must submit Residency Exemption requests and documentation for the 2018-2019 academic year by May 13, 2018.

If you have questions regarding the Residency Exemption Request process, please contact Kevin Gates at [email protected].

Residency Exemption Criteria

Student can apply for an exemption if they fit one of the following criteria:

Status Description Supporting Documentation
Commuter If the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), or other family member(s) live outside the Foggy Bottom/ West End area and within a commutable distance. For all students, this address needs be established prior to initial enrollment. A copy of any document that verifies the student's residence (i.e. utility bill, identification card, or lease agreement). If the student is residing with a guardian or family, they must explain their relationship with that individual.

 

Permanent Resident If the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), or other family member(s) live inside the Foggy Bottom/ West End area. For all students, this address needs be established prior to initial enrollment.  A copy of any document that verifies the student's residence (i.e. utility bill, identification card, or lease agreement). If the student is residing with a guardian or family, they must explain their relationship with that individual.
Married Students who are either married or in a civil partnership. A copy of a government-issued certificate recognizing the partnership (i.e. marriage license or domestic partnership certificate).
Disability Students with disabilities that cannot be accommodated with the residence hall living environment. Students must have registered with Disability Support Services (DSS) and received an accommodation recommendation for an exemption to be considered.  A student's condition must first meet the general eligibility criteria to request any accommodation as a student with an ADA recognized impairment. Review details on the Disability Support Services website

The DSS process can take several weeks.  You need to submit your request to DSS before the housing exemption deadline.
Religious Beliefs Students with religious beliefs that cannot be accommodated within the residence hall living environment. A personal statement explaining how the student's religious beliefs cannot be accommodated within the residence halls. An additional letter from a religious leader elaborating on the student's beliefs is required.
Veteran Students who are veterans of the armed forces who are 20 years of age or older at initial enrollment. A copy of any government-issued document verifying service.  I.E. certificate of release or discharge (DD-214), GI Bill certificate of eligibility, etc.. 

For assistance completing the Request for Residency Exemption, please use this step-by-step guide.

Exemption requests submitted during the Academic Year will be reviewed, but are rarely granted.  If a student fills out a Housing License Agreement and is assigned to housing, they are bound to the agreement and must live on campus. Students are not able to request an exemption from the residency requirement after receiving their housing assignment unless they have had a change in circumstances in one of the areas listed above.

Third-Year Residency Exemption Lottery

Third-Year Residency Exemption Lottery

Rising third-year students who are interested in living off campus have the opportunity to participate in a Residency Exemption Lottery. Through the lottery, a limited number of students will be granted an exemption. The Exemption Lottery will be available from March 6-8, 2018 and will run prior to the iHousing Rising Third-Year Application period.  Students who are granted exemptions through the lottery will be notified by March 20, 2018.

  • GW Housing will email all third-year students when the exemption lottery is available.
  • Participation is the exemption lottery is voluntary.
  • All third-year students who wish to participate must be in good judicial, academic, and financial standing with the university.
  • Students may participate as an individual or in groups of up to four.
  • Students must apply for the lottery via GW Housing e-Services.
  • Each student, regardless of whether or not they are in a group, must complete an exemption lottery application.
  • Exemptions will be granted randomly.
  • If a student or group is selected, they will have two days to accept the exemption. If they do not accept the exemption within two days, the exemption will be rescinded and the students will be bound to the terms and conditions of the Housing License Agreement for the 2018-2019 academic year.

If you have questions regarding the Residency Exemption Request process, please contact Kevin Gates at [email protected].