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 requirements 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 with the start of the Class of 2018.  This GW institutional policy was determined prior to the Admissions recruitment season for the Class of 2018 students.  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 2017-2018 Academic Year will be available via GW Housing e-Services beginning January 17, 2017. Supporting documentation must be emailed to GW Housing at gwhforms@email.gwu.edu. Rising second- and third-year students must submit Residency Exemption requests for the 2017-2018 Academic Year by March 6, 2017. Incoming first-year students must submit Residency Exemption requests for the 2017-2018 academic year by May 14, 2017. 

If you have questions regarding the Residency Exemption Request process, please contact Kevin Gates at kpgates@gwu.edu.

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
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 accomodated 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 sevice.  I.E. certificate of release or discharge (DD-214), GI Bill certificate of eligiblity, 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 April 4-11, 2017 and will run concurrently with the general iHousing application period.

  • 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 five days to accept the exemption. If they do not accept the exemption within five days, the exemption will be rescinded and the students will be bound to the terms and conditions of the Housing License Agreement for the 2017-2018 academic year.
  • Students who are entering the exemption lottery must also complete a housing application.

If you have questions regarding the Residency Exemption Request process, please contact Kevin Gates at kpgates@gwu.edu.