Residency Requirement & Exemptions

Residency Requirement

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 D.C. 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-year 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. 


Exemptions to the Residency Requirement

For students eligible to apply for an exemption, the Residency Exemption Request Form will be available via Campus Living E-Services.

  • Rising third-year students:
    • Exemptions will be granted only between February 7 at 10am to February 10 at 10am. Details are listed below.
  • Rising second-year students:
    • Application available February 7 - 10.
    • Supporting documentation must be uploaded at the time of submission.
  • Incoming first-year students:
    • Students need a GWID and must have claimed their UserID and password before the application is accessible. 
    • Application opens May 18
  • Transfer Students: Application available throughout the summer.

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

Residency Exemption Criteria

Status description supporting documentation
Commuter If the student, parent(s), or guardian(s) live outside the Foggy Bottom/West End area and within a commutable distance. For all students, this address needs to 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) live inside the Foggy Bottom/West End area. For all students, this address needs to be established prior to initial enrollment. A copy of any document that verifies the student's residence (e.g.. 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 which 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 DSS website. The DSS process can take several weeks. You need to submit your request to DSS before the housing exemption deadline.  A copy of your approval letter from DSS is required.
Religious Beliefs Students with religious beliefs which 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. For example: certificate of release or discharge (DD-214), GI Bill® certificate of eligibility, etc.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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

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 from February 7 - 10, 2022.  Rising third-year students will not be able to participate in the exemption process for first- and second-year students. 

  • All third-year residency exemption requests submitted by the deadline will be approved.
  • There is no other exemption process for rising 3rd-year students.  No requests after the February 10 at 10am deadline will be accepted.
  • 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.
  • 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. If you rescind your 3rd-year exemption after receiving it, you will not be able to apply through the regular 2022-2023 housing process and will be required until late April to apply for housing.

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

Frequently Asked Questions: 2022-2023 Residency Exemptions

No, there is no documentation required for rising 3rd-year students to request an exemption. That documentation is only required for 2022-2023 1st and 2nd-year students.

No, there is no advantage to submitting your request immediately after the residency exemption period opens on Monday, February 7 at 10 AM. Please take your time to think about your 2022-2023 housing desires

All rising 3rd-year students who request a 3rd-year exemption prior to Thursday, February 10 at 10 AM will be granted one.

There is not a waitlist for 3rd-year exemptions. All rising 3rd-year students who request a 3rd-year exemption prior to Thursday, February 10 at 10 AM will be granted one. We will not accept residency exemption requests after Thursday, February 10 at 10 AM.

No, there will not be future opportunities to request a 3rd-year residency exemption and the February 7-10 period will be the only period to make your request. If you do not receive an exemption, you will need to apply for housing through a succeeding period of the 2022-2023 housing process.

Just email us at [email protected] to rescind your exemption. If you rescind prior to the exemption request deadline of Thursday, February 10 at 10 AM, you will be able to apply for 2022-2023 through a succeeding housing application process.

Just email us at [email protected] to rescind your exemption. If you rescind your 3rd year exemption after receiving it, you will not be able to apply through the regular 2022-2023 housing process and will be required until late April to apply for housing.

Yes, all granted exemptions for the 2022-2023 academic year will be in place for the entire year, regardless of study abroad plans.

No, exemptions are granted one academic year at a time. You will need to wait until the 2023-2024 housing application process to request a 3rd-year exemption.