When a Change is Necessary

Housing and Residence Life understands that plans sometimes change; however, we make our plans based on the 2023-2024 Housing and Dining Agreement you've signed. When your plans to live in the residence hall must change; there is an appeal process for students. Please follow these directions: 

  1. Submit your release request form by the semester deadline (November 1st for Fall and April 1st for Spring) through your Mason Housing Portal. 

  1. Within your submission include the following: 

    • The rationale for your release. Please detail the extenuating circumstances that arose since the signing of your agreement that does not permit you to continue within Housing at Mason. 

    • Provide third-party supporting documentation that demonstrates the change of circumstance you’ve indicated. 

  2. Verify that your release request form has been submitted by viewing your confirmation page. 

  1. Check your Mason email regularly for an update. Decisions regarding release requests take approximately two weeks. The determination will be sent via email to your Mason email address. If approved for a release, refunds are based on the release approval date and official check-out date.  

To be released from Housing for the fall semester, you must submit a release request form no later than November 1st. To submit a release request form for the spring semester, you must submit your release request form no later than April 1st. We acknowledge that circumstances may change or new information may become available that was not previously available at the time of submission; therefore, each student may appeal up to two times per semester. 

There is a multitude of reasons why a student may need a release from their agreement. We want to be transparent about our process and the policies that guide it. Below are a few frequently submitted reasons for a release request form.

Invalid Reasons for Submitting a Release Request

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

  • Concerns with roommates – Residents are expected to resolve conflicts with one another and request assistance from staff as needed. 
  • Conduct - If you are evicted from a 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. 

  • Lack of privacy – Many are accustomed to having more privacy at home than in a residence hall and therefore, often request a single. Singles are limited on campus and often reserved for those that truly have a medical need. 

  • Accommodation - Health and medical conditions or disabilities for which reasonable accommodation can be provided in campus housing will be reviewed and approved by Disability Services. 

  • Meal plan – A desire to not pay for a meal plan is not an approved rationale for release. Dining services take great care to provide a variety of dining facilities with a variety of options to meet all needs. 

  • Signing of another lease, off-campus 

  • Desire to live with non-parent relatives 

  • Concerns regarding the pandemic or events outside of the control of Housing & Residence Life 

  • Allergies and/or asthma – Many students come to campus with allergies, asthma or other types of chronic health problems. In severe cases, they can request accommodation through Disability Services.

  • Finances – The student rejects funds (scholarships, loans, or otherwise) offered that would cover the cost of housing.

Release requests that do not meet the outlined approval criteria may be considered for a mid-year release if housing is able to fill all vacancies.    Release request that do not meet the outlined approval criteria may be considered for a release if housing has a waitlist and is able to fill all vacancies. 

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 request to the Housing office. To submit a release, you must complete the Housing Agreement Release Form located on the Mason housing portal and upload supporting documentation. All release requests should display a change in circumstance since the signing of your Housing and Dining Agreement and third-party supporting documentation. Incomplete release requests will not be reviewed or accepted. The supporting documentation depends on the reason(s) for your release request.

Requests must be submitted by November 1st for Fall release requests and April 1st for Spring release request. Requests will not be accepted or reviewed if submitted after the deadline or if you are removed from housing due to a student code of conduct violation.

Please consider the following recommendations when submitting your release request:

  • Medical-Based Release Requests - 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 Release Requests – 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.