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 2020-2021 Academic Year will be available via Campus Living e-Services.

  • Rising 3rd-year students:  Exemptions will be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis up to 650 students. Details are listed below.
  • Rising 2nd-year students: Application available from January 21, 2020 - 5:00 pm February 13, 2020. Supporting documentation must be uploaded at time of submission.
  • Incoming 1st-year students:
    • Students need a GWID and must have claimed their NETID and password before the application is accessible. 
    • Application opens Thursday, May 7, 2020. Applications and all documentation must be completed by 5:00 pm on Friday, May 29, 2020. 
  • Transfer Students: Application available throughout the summer.

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

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.. 

 

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 Request Process

Updated 9:00am on 2/10/2020: All 650 spots have been filled.  If you apply, you will be placed on the waitlist.  If/when your spot is reached on the waitlist, you will be notified and given the option to accept or decline your spot on the exemption waitlist.

All Rising third-year students who would like to live off-campus must submit an exemption request form during the third-year exemption request period. Students will receive exemptions on a first-come, first-serve basis up to 650 students. Students who request an exemption after this number has been reached will be placed on a waitlist and contacted if GW Housing is able to offer them an exemption. Rising third-year students will not be able to participate in the exemption process for first- and second-year students. 

  • The exemption request form for rising 3rd-year students will be available on February 3, 2020 at 10am EST.
  • The first 650 students to complete the form will be granted an exemption.
  • There is no other exemption process for rising 3rd-year students.
  • Participation in the exemption request process is voluntary.
  • Students must participate individually.
  • Students must submit the exemption request form via Campus Living e-Services.
  • Each student must complete an exemption request form.
  • Exemptions will be granted on a first-come first-serve basis.
  • If a student has an exemption and wishes to live on campus, they must contact our office to rescind their exemption to sign up for housing on campus.  That way, somoene from the waitlist can take their place off campus.  
  • Students who are are the waitlist can sign up for housing as normal, and will have the opportunity to cancel thier housing if/when their spot on the waitlist is reached.  They will be contacted via their GWU email address, and they will have 5 business days to make a decision regarding their exemption. 
  • If a student signs up for housing after being approved for an exemption, that student will be bound to the terms and conditions of the Housing License Agreement (HLA) for the 2020-2021 academic year and will not have an opportunity to use the exemption for the duration of the 2020-2021 contract.

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