When a Change is Necessary

Housing and Residence Life understands that plans sometimes change, and we'll try to be as flexible and accommodating as we can. However, we make our plans based on the Housing Agreement and our ability to return all your fees is limited.

2021-2022 Housing and Dining Agreement

We want to be upfront about our policies, so you'll know everything you need to know about what happens when your plans to live in the residence hall must change. Cancellation fees are outlined in the housing agreement.

If You Cancel Due to an Emergency

In rare cases, a student encounters an extreme, unforeseeable, and uncontrollable problem that interferes with the ability to continue living at Mason, and Housing can't provide a reasonable solution or alternative campus housing. Emergency issues might be medical, psychological, and/or financial.

You can submit a housing release/appeals request to the Housing Appeals Committee, which includes representation from various offices on campus. To submit an appeal, you must complete the Housing Agreement Release/Appeal Form located on the housing portal, StarRez, and upload supporting documentation. All appeal requests should display a change in circumstance since the signing of your Housing and Dining Agreement and third-party supporting documentation. Incomplete appeal requests will not be reviewed or accepted by the committee. The supporting documentation depends on the reason(s) for your appeal.

Requests must be submitted prior to the last day of classes for the semester in which you wish to be released. Requests will not be accepted or reviewed if submitted after the last day of classes or if you are removed from housing due to a student code of conduct violation.

Please consider the following recommendations when submitting your appeal:

  • Medical-Based Appeals - Documentation from Healthcare providers should clarify the medical/psychological reason for recommending that the student no longer lives in campus housing and why relocation to a different type of accommodation within campus housing is not a reasonable solution for the student.
  • Financial Based Appeals – Your appeal will not be reviewed if you have not completed and submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current academic year ( Most students, regardless of family financial circumstances, are eligible for some amount of need-based financial aid. Financial aid that might be available to you may solve your financial concern, making an appeal unnecessary.

If You Cancel During the Academic Year

You'll be released from the academic year rent commitment only under certain circumstances if you:

  • Move out of campus housing and withdraw from and discontinue enrollment as a student at Mason, and do not re-enroll at any time during the remainder of that academic year. You'll be responsible for rent charges based on the dates of your occupancy, plus a cancellation fee.
  • Move out of campus housing at the end of the fall semester to participate in a Mason-approved study-abroad or student-exchange program that requires you to reside outside the Washington, D.C., area during the spring semester, or you won't be enrolled in spring semester classes at Mason. You must provide Housing with official documentation showing your participation in such a program before the end of the fall semester, and will be responsible for fall semester charges only. No cancellation fee will be charged.
  • Graduate and move out of campus housing at the end of the fall semester. You will be responsible for fall semester charges only. No cancellation fee will be charged.

To request to be released from your Housing Agreement due to any of the above reasons, please fill out the Housing Agreement Release Request Form located on the housing portal, StarRez.

None of these apply if you are evicted from campus housing for conduct-related reasons.

If You're Dealing with a Judicial Eviction

If you are evicted from a Mason residence hall, a conduct hearing officer will notify Housing, and you are still responsible for all charges outlined in your agreement. If you are temporarily removed from a residence hall due to conduct; all change requests will not be processed until you receive an outcome from the conduct process.  If you're eligible to return to Mason in a future semester and want to live in a residence hall, you can submit a general housing application.

Invalid Reasons for Submitting an Appeal  

The following reasons are not considered valid for requesting release from your License Agreement:

  • Concerns with roommates and/or behavior in a resident hall/apartment – Residents are expected to resolve conflicts with one another, request assistance from staff, and/or to relocate to another room, residence hall, or apartment.
  • Eviction for conduct reasons or other conduct-related sanctions
  • Health and medical conditions or disabilities for which reasonable accommodation can be provided in campus housing facilities
  •  Do not want to obtain and pay for a required meal plan.
  • Signing of another lease, off-campus.