George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Fall 2020: Housing Updates

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Move in

Will there be an early arrival period for students who need to work or be placed in quarantine before the start of class?

No. We, unfortunately, are not able to offer any early arrival to students this year. Students who may need to quarantine before moving into the residence halls will need to do so off-campus. There are a variety of area hotels that are not far from the Fairfax campus.

Is there any transportation available from the DC area airports to campus?

No. Students will need to arrange their own transportation. Airport shuttles operate at both airports and there are a variety of transportation options available. 

Where will I need to go to check in?

Check-in for all students will be in Eagle Bank Arena. Students and their families will be able to park in Lot A. Only students should enter Eagle Bank Arena to check-in, pick up their keys, Mason ID (for new students), and temporary parking pass

Will meals be available when I move into the residence halls?

Students should check for information specific to their meal plan. 

Will there be a room change process prior to move-in?

Yes. A room change process will be available beginning on July 20th for students who have a fall housing assignment. The room change process will end on July 31st. Students will need to login to the Housing Portal to participate in the room change process

Housing Assignments and Process Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If I cancel my fall application and/or assignment, am I guaranteed the same space/housing for the spring? 

No. Students who cancel their fall housing application (regardless of having received an assignment or not) will need to apply for spring housing. Spring housing is not guaranteed to students.  

What do I do if I need to cancel my housing agreement?

Students who wish to cancel their housing agreement will need to submit a housing appeals form and supporting documentation for consideration. For consideration prior to move-in please submit prior to August 1st. We have adjusted our policies to align with academic processes and as such, with class modalities stabilizing in July request for a release based on academic coursework being entirely virtual need to be submitted by August 1st for full consideration. Students who submit their housing appeal after August 1st will have their appeal and supporting documentation considered by the Housing Appeals Committee after the start of classes. Students who are released from their agreement will receive notification via their Mason e-mail.


Will there be a room change period before move-in? 

Yes. A room change process will be available beginning on July 20th for students who have a fall housing assignment. The room change process will end on July 31st. Students will need to login to the Housing Portal to participate in the room change process.

Is there a date by which I need to be registered in order to receive housing? 

Students who have submitted their deposit and application by June 1st are guaranteed housing provided the following:  

  • If the student is new to Mason, they are registered for an orientation date by August 1st 
  • If the student is returning to Mason, they are registered for classes by July 15th  

Students who do not meet the above criteria but have their deposit and application submitted by June 1st risk having their assignment and application cancelled for the upcoming year. 

When is the next period during which I can apply for housing?

Due to the reduced on-campus occupancy, we will offer an application update in early July 

As a freshman, can I still apply for an exemption to live off campus? 

At this time freshman who did not apply for housing or fill out an exemption do not need to do anything to live off campus.  Both applications have closed, and we assume that by not filling out a housing application, you are choosing to live off campus.  

Am I able to apply for housing if I missed the original application deadlines?

Yes. Housing is planning to open an application to be placed on the housing waitlist beginning July 13th Students who submit an application are not guaranteed housing. Should we be able to offer you a space you will have 48 hours to cancel your assignment. Because these spaces are first come, first serve, requests for specific roommates and housing styles may not be considered.

Use this link to access the waitlist.

I’m a freshman who has been offered an assignment, but don’t like the space to which I’ve been assigned. Will I be offered a different space?

No. Freshmen & Transfers who have been hand assigned will have 48 hours to cancel their assignment. Should students not be pleased with the space they have been offered within that 48 hour period, may submit an Agreement Appeal Request form to have the assignment cancelled. You will be able to participate in the room change/room swap process that will be available July 20-July 31st  on the housing portal.

If all my classes go online, am I able to cancel my housing agreement?

Yes. You may submit an agreement appeal request via your Mason Housing Portal. We understand that the modality of classes is shifting and have aligned our processes for cancellation due to changes in class modality to align with the decisions made by faculty. Therefore, requests for cancellation are highly encouraged to be submitted before August 1st are not guaranteed to be approved.

I did not receive an assignment or cancelled my application. Will I receive my deposit back?

All deposits were dispersed in July. If you did not receive yours, please send us an email at

What types of room styles are available for the Fall 2020 semester?

If you are still interested in living on campus you may update your room style preferences on the housing portal. Please note the following changes.

  • Traditional Singles will be only available in Presidents Park and The Commons.
  • Traditional Doubles will only be available in Presidents Park.
  • Suite Singles and Suite Doubles will be available in Commonwealth, Dominion, and Tidewater.
  • These Styles Are No Longer Available: Traditional Triples, Traditional Expanded Triples, Traditional Quads, Suite Triples and Suite Expanded Triples.

You will be assigned housing based on your room style preferences. You will not be self-selecting your space. We will work to meet your preferences, but they are not guaranteed. If you do not update your preferences, we will assign you based on availabilit

Virtual Learning Communities (VLCs) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will VLCs/LLCs be in person for the spring semester?

No. Physical LLCs will not return in Spring 2021 and there will be virtual engagement for the VLCs for the full academic year. 

Why has Housing elected to utilize the VLC approach instead of more traditional LLCs?

Housing & Residence Life made the decision to transition from physically co-located LLCs to Virtual Learning Communities for three key reasons. First, to prioritize the health and safety of our residents. Living Learning Communities thrive on physical interaction and engagement outside of the classroom. With the need to have higher standards around health, safety, and social distancing within the halls due to COVID-19, we could not deliver an LLC experience within these parameters while maintaining the safety of our residents. We believe the VLC structure will allow us to deliver the key components and benefits of the LLCs while prioritizing the health and safety of our residents. Second, COVID-19 impacted HRL by needing to reduce occupancy. This resulted in a smaller residential population. To provide the benefits of the LLC experience to a larger population of students, some of whom will not be able to live on campus, we created the VLC experience where a student could participate regardless of their residential location. Third, we transitioned to VLCs because we wanted to create a cohesive community for as many students as feasible while maximizing resources and existing partnerships. The VLCs will allow us to work with each academic unit and our passionate and trained HRL student staff to create a community that supports the transition to and through college for all VLC students while providing a cohesive experience and community, regardless of residence. While VLCs are different, the benefits remain as we are working to provide a holistic student experience with a connection to other students, faculty, and learning outside the classroom.  

Will a student’s schedule change if they no longer wish to be in a VLC? 

If a student is placed in a VLC and then withdraws they may be removed from their required VLC course. This will primarily affect students in interest and identity based VLCs as some of the academic VLCs are using introductory courses tied to major or the Mason Core as their required course. We encourage students to review the academic calendar for drop deadline information: 

If a student opts into a VLC will their schedule change? How will this change be accommodated? 

Once a student has been placed in a VLC they will also be registered for the required course for the VLC. For some VLCs this course is one students may have already registered for during orientation due to their major while for others the course may be new since it is unique to the VLC. We will work with students on a case-by-case basis if there are scheduling conflicts to make space for the required course. 

Will students who are in the same VLC be placed in the same building/housing area?

No. VLCs will not be a factor in physical placement within buildings or floors on campus. 

Will the common class that’s part of the VLC experience be online or meet in person?

While this will vary based on VLC with some VLCs offering in-person course options there will be an online option for all VLC courses. 

If I already applied for an LLC, why do I need to re-apply for the same VLC?

Unfortunately, the VLC application is not connected to the LLC application. In addition we want students to confirm their interest in the VLC as we know some students may change their mind given the shift to a virtual setting. There are also more VLCs than there were LLCs and we want to make sure students have the opportunity to preference all available VLCs 

Does this mean I have to reapply to the Honors College?

No. While the Honors College VLC is only open for Honors College students, the two have separate application processes. You do not need to reapply to the Honors College, only to the Honors College VLC.