Offices & Services

Residential Life

Residency Requirements

As a small, residential, liberal arts institution, Washington College believes that the on-campus living experience is essential to each student’s educational experience. Not only do students who live on-campus tend to do better academically than students who commute, they also get the opportunity to fully participate in living learning environments that foster long-term connections with peers, engagement with campus activities and events, and easy access to campus resources. To that end, all first and second year students are required to live on campus. Those whose permanent homes are within a reasonable commuting distance to Chestertown may request an exemption and should submit their form by the deadlines listed below. 

Fourth year students in good academic (a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA) and social standing may request to live off campus. Currently the criteria is being re-evaluated and will be updated.  Once the deadline for requests has passed, students who move off-campus without permission of the Off-Campus Review Committee may expect to be assigned a room and billed for on-campus housing and a meal plan. Additionally, those students may be referred to the student conduct process for failure to comply. Exemptions are granted for one academic year only. Students must re-apply annually and be approved by the Off-Campus Review Committee to maintain their off-campus status.

The off-campus exemption form can only be used if the contract for the requested semester or year is not currently under a housing contract. For example, a student living on campus in Fall has signed a housing contract for the academic year and the August start date for that housing contract has begun, the student can no longer be released from the housing contract for that academic year. 

Students approved to live off campus are required to provide the Office of Residence Life updated contact information including local street address.

New Students: Students should obtain a link from Residential Life and submit a request by June 1st  for the Fall semester and January 2nd  for the Spring semester.


 Returning Students: Requests from returning students must be received by April 1st for the following academic year. Students with a GPA below 2.5 but close may receive approval contingent upon achieving a cumulative 2.5 at the end of spring semester. Students returning from study abroad, or those who have been away from campus during the fall semester, must request an exemption for the spring semester no later than January 1st.

 Exemptions to any of these deadlines will be reviewed at the discretion of the Off-Campus Committee Chair. Please note that housing contracts cover one academic year. Requests to break contracts mid-year will only be considered under exceptional circumstances. Students who apply and are approved after the deadline may forfeit their housing deposit or be required to pay a $300.00 late filing penalty.

Students seeking to break a housing contract while the contract is in effect need to fill out an application and supply detailed documentation specifying and supporting a catastrophic change in a student’s ability to live on campus. This application is to be used only between first day of classes in Fall semester. Requests to break the housing contract will not be considered after the first day of classes in Spring semester.



For more information, please contact Associate Dean of Students / Director of Residence Life Ursula Herz at or by phone at 410-778-7752.