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Contract Release Request

What Do I Need To Know About Applying For A Release?

Students enrolled full time are required to live in on-campus housing during their first two (2) years following their high school graduation unless they apply for and are granted a housing contract release.

Before you begin looking at the requirements for each release, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • The deadline to request a contract release for the 2022-23 & 2023-24 Academic Years are by add/drop each semester. 
  • Meeting the criteria for eligibility for a residency waiver does not mean a student will automatically be granted an approved waiver. It means that their request will be advanced for final consideration.
  • A limited number of students will be granted an exemption.
  • Do not sign a lease in the community until you have received written approval for your exemption. Signing a lease will not be considered a valid request for an contract release. 
Exemption Categories
Commuter Release
  • Students requesting this release must be living at the legal residence of a mother/father or legal guardian (who established guardianship prior to the student turning 18) AND
  • The residence must be located within 60 driving miles of campus for spring 2023 & the 2023-24 Academic Year.
  • The mother/father or legal guardian must live at this residence 5 out of the 7 days in a week.
  • The student may NOT live with another current W&M student unless the current student is a sibling, and both are living at the legal residence of mother/father or guardian.
Financial Hardship Release
  • When the student has a significant verified need for financial assistance as indicated by the Financial Aid Office that is not fully funded by grants, scholarships, loans or other available funding identifiable by the University.
  • After a residence hall contract is signed, “extenuating financial circumstances” are defined as situations over which the student has had no control (such as loss of parental support due to death, divorce, loss of employment, catastrophic health issues, bankruptcy) which create a financial hardship and which have occurred after the contract was signed.
Medical Release
  • Students who are requesting a release based on a medical need that can be supported with documentation should submit the appropriate medical forms and petition to Student Accessibility Services.
Other Release Types
  • Marriage: The student gets married. A copy of the marriage certificate is required for verification.
  • Dependent: The student has a dependent. A copy of the birth certificate is required for verification.
  • Study Away: The student is accepted in a William & Mary approved Fall Study Away program. Verification must be received from the Reves Center or the Registrar. Spring Study Away Requests can be made during the Fall semester.
  • Withdrawing: The student is ending their enrollment at W&M which may include withdrawing from the university, being academically dismissed or transferring to another institution. Verification is required from the Dean of Students Office or the student's graduate program.
Additional Information
  • Failure to obtain an approved contract release from Residence Life will result in the posting of the semester housing charges to the student’s account. Any first or second-year student registered for the fall semester who fails to sign up for housing and has not been approved for contract release will automatically be assigned a room and meal plan and will be responsible for those charges unless a Contract Release request from the housing contract is completed and approved.
  • Nonpayment of this charge may result in the cancellation of classes and/or restriction from registering for any additional classes.
  • Any student found to have provided false information on the Contract Release request form or during this process may be subject to university disciplinary action.
  • Unless a written notice of approval and/or contract release is issued from Residence Life Contract, a student is expected to occupy the assigned room. A student is not considered exempt from the residency requirement or released from their housing contract until Residence Life approves a request in writing. Failure to take possession of the assigned space is not grounds for an exemption to the residency requirement and/or to have associated charges reversed.
Where to Submit a Housing Contract Release Request?

You will need to log into the Housing Portal under the 2022-2023 Housing Application or 2023-24 Housing Application (as pertains to your situation) and select the Contract Release Request page to submit a request.