Special Housing Selection Process

Please review carefully information about the Special Housing Selection Process below. Information will be updated as needed in response to COVID-19 changes.

Special Housing selection process

The university has made the decision to reduce the density of students within Residential Life housing for the fall 2020 semester as one of our safety measures in response to COVID-19 and the guidance received by the American College Health Association.  As a result, rising juniors and seniors are not guaranteed housing, unless approved previously for special accommodations. 

The Special Housing Selection Process was created for two purposes:

  1. Waitlist – To allow rising juniors and seniors who are interested in living in Residential Life housing to add their names to a waitlist. 
  2. Exception Process – To provide an option to for rising juniors and seniors who are experiencing significant hardship, are in an extenuating circumstance, and who believe they absolutely cannot live at home or off-campus in non-Residential Life housing, to apply for Residential Life housing through an exception process. If your situation does not meet this criteria, we ask that you refrain from applying. It is expected that all other alternatives have been examined, including participating in remote learning at your permanent residence and finding housing at non-Residential Life options before submitting an application to this process. 

Additional Details Regarding the Exception Process 

All requests will be reviewed as quickly as possible. We ask that students check their WUSTL email and respond promptly if a committee member contacts you with any questions or to request more information. The committee may also work with you to discuss alternative options for your individual situation.

Only student support professionals on the exception process committee and those directly involved in the process will have access to the information you share. They will not share information with individuals outside of the review process. They may consult with appropriate offices (e.g., Disability Resources, Student Financial Services, OISS, CDI, Residential Life, Office of Student Success) to make sure their decisions are well informed.

Although we know students will want decisions quickly, decisions will not be released until after the exception process closes. Please keep in mind that space on campus is finite, and the number of housing requests that can be approved are limited.

Overview of the Special Housing Selection Process Committee

In order to review all requests, the University has created the Special Housing Selection Process Committee, which is made up of staff members from Residential Life, the Habif Health and Wellness Center, Student Financial Services, Disability Resources, Campus Life, and WashU Cares. This Committee will determine if a student’s circumstances dictate an overwhelming need to live in Residential Life housing, which include properties on or off-campus.

Decision Criteria for the Exception Process

When considering a student’s circumstances, the committee will consider the items below. There may be additional considerations as we will be looking at each application individually and make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

  • Whether or not a student can return to their permanent residence/address
  • The student’s current financial circumstances/hardships,how Residential Life housing assists in alleviating those hardships, and whether Financial Aid may also alleviate those hardships
  • The student’s health and medical needs
  • Students who have no other place to live or for whom being at home would be unsafe given the circumstances of their country or home life
  • Students who have home environments that significantly impair remote learning
  • Other individual situations where the only reasonable option is for the student to return to campus

The committee pledges to review cases and make decisions in a way that is student-centered, trauma-informed, and that prioritizes support for our most vulnerable students.

Special Housing Selection Process Timeline

  • Friday, Justly 31, 9:00 a.m.  the application will open (scroll down for link)
  • Monday, August 10, 11:59 p.m. the application will close for requests.
  • Tuesday, August 11 – Friday, August 14 the committee will review all requests. 
  • Monday, August, 17 decisions will be communicated via WUSTL email. 

Number of Available Housing Assignments

The number of potentially available housing assignments through this Special Housing Selection Process is extremely limited. Therefore, it is a possibility that only students who have truly extenuating circumstances that can be significantly mitigated by having Residential Life housing will be accepted.

Special Housing Selection Application