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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, students are required to live on campus. Those students whose permanent homes are within a reasonable commuting distance to Chestertown may request an exemption and should submit their application by the deadline listed below. 

All matriculating, full-time students are required to live on campus during their enrollment. Only fourth-year students with senior credit standing, a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, and good social and academic standing, both on campus and off campus, are eligible to apply for an exemption to this requirement.
The number of students exempted from the requirement will be dependent upon projected occupancy levels of the residence halls.
  • Students should not plan to be exempted from housing until they are approved.
  • Application does not guarantee approval.
  • A signed lease is not acceptable as a reason for exemption nor for an appeal to a denied application. Students should not sign any lease prior to receiving approval. If a student has signed a lease and is not approved for an exemption, the student should then expect to pay both the lease and the campus housing and residential meal plan. 
  • Students who move off campus without approval can expect to be billed for on campus housing and a residential meal plan.
  • Approval of 1 member of a planned group does not guarantee the approval of other members of the group. Students should plan their housing groups after the approval process. 
  • Students over 22 at the start of the academic year in question and local commuting students living in their family’s permanent, primary residence are exempted first and any remaining slots are allotted to non-local approved applicants.A reasonable commuting distance is under 30 miles and does not include any location crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
  • Requests to waive the residency requirement will be reviewed by of Off-Campus Review Committee  and the decisions of that committee are final.
Housing Exemption Application:
Applications are due March 1, 2020.

 Benefits of Living on Campus

Living on campus provides students with many educational benefits. For example, students who live on campus

  • Tend to participate in more extracurricular activities.
  • Interact more often with peers and faculty
  • Have a more positive perception of the campus climate.
  • Tend to have a higher level of satisfaction with the College experience.
  • Show greater personal growth and development.
  • Have a higher rate of persistence and degree completion.

Still, some students may find themselves in a situation where they would like to consider moving off campus campus. Before you do, consider:

  • COST: Many students assume that living off campus will cost less than living in a residence  hall. This may be true; however, it is possible that the costs may be similar, or that the cost of living off campus will be higher. When figuring costs, consider your portion of rent, initial deposit, last month’s rent, cost of food, cost of utilities that are not included with rent such as cable and internet. Also factor in furniture and appliances, laundry costs, and transportation to and from campus.
  • STAY CONNECTED: Many students may look forward to increased privacy and quiet of an apartment. The student should also consider that living on campus makes it easier for students to stay connected to other students on campus. Students may need to work harder to stay engaged when living off campus.
  • RESPONSIBILITY: You will be responsible for your lease, for paying bills, and for doing your own cooking and cleaning. 
  • ROOMMATES: Think carefully when finding a roommate. Often good friends do not make the best roommates. Once you commit to sharing an apartment, it is a difficult decision to change. Unlike residence hall roommates, who can be changed, you will be committed to your roommates for the entire length of your lease.

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