Spring Housing Update

October 22, 2020

To the George Washington University Community:

In our ongoing efforts to support health and safety, we have continued to closely monitor the pandemic and the effectiveness of our public health protocols.  Thanks to the expertise and capacity we have developed to effectively manage in-house COVID-19 testing, the seriousness with which our community has taken compliance with health and safety measures, and the resulting success of our efforts to contain the spread of the virus on campus, we are now at the stage where we believe we can safely welcome back a limited number of additional residential students to campus for the spring semester.

In consultation with our public health, safety, and student affairs teams, we will offer optional spring housing, with the understanding that all residential students will still attend their courses virtually and there will be no changes to current on-campus access limitations.  The following process and guidelines will apply for spring housing:

  • We will continue to provide housing through the spring semester for all students currently living on campus due to extenuating circumstances.  These students do not need to reapply for spring housing.
  • All other undergraduate students will be able to apply to live on campus.
  • We expect to offer 1,500 additional spaces.  If we receive more than 1,500 applications, we will conduct a lottery to allocate these spaces.  This supports an equitable process for all interested students.
  • We will continue to maintain space for additional students with extenuating circumstances.  Students will have the option to apply for housing under specific criteria should they not receive housing through the general application process.
  • We will provide as many residential spaces on campus as is safely possible, driven by public health guidelines and building requirements.
  • All students will live in spaces with separate bedrooms and share a bathroom with no more than one other student.
  • No students will be required to return to campus.
  • In the coming days, all undergraduate students will receive detailed instructions on how to apply for housing.  We will provide ample time for students to apply, with no preference for the order in which students apply. We anticipate notifying students about whether they have received a space by mid-November.

We want to emphasize that the decision to offer additional housing is subject to continued health and safety assessments and conditioned on the expectation that the on-campus community adheres to all local and GW public health requirements, including for testing, masking, and social distancing.  To date, our case positivity rate indicates that we are seeing very little person-to-person transmission in our on-campus community, and we have had only sporadic need for quarantining and isolating thanks to the compliance of our on-campus community with required public health measures.  Each of us plays a role in limiting the spread of the virus, and we thank the on-campus community for continuing their commitment to keeping one another healthy and safe.

We recognize that many members of our community still have questions about the spring, and we are working diligently to answer them and continue to listen to your feedback.  We will share dates and times for virtual forums soon, and we also will continue to update the COVID-19 website.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding, and for the support you are providing our students and our entire GW community.  Stay safe and stay well.


Thomas J. LeBlanc, President
M. Brian Blake, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Lynn Goldman, Dean, Milken Institute School of Public Health
Mark Diaz, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
M.L. “Cissy” Petty, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Scott Burnotes, Vice President for Safety and Facilities