Students who have submitted a housing contract have entered a legally binding agreement with the university. This agreement secures housing with the expectation that once this housing is not needed, the Housing Office will be notified in a timely manner by filling out the housing cancellation form on the Online Housing Portal. As outlined in your contract, the date in which you cancel may result in financial penalties. Any contract cancelled will incur a $200 cancellation fee as well as the penalties listed below.

Additional Cancellation Penalties

For reservations made for the full academic year:

DatesFall RefundSpring Refund
Through July 15100%100%
July 16 to July 3150%100%
August 1 to 1st Day of Fall Classes0%100%
From the second day of class to last business day in Nov.0%50%
After the last business day in Nov.0%0%

For reservations made for the spring semester:

DatesSpring Refund
Through the first day of class50%
From second day of classes0%

If you are assigned after July 15, you will have two (2) weeks from the time of assignment (not the time you check in) to cancel for no obligation. This two-week period will be void once the student checks into the assignment. Once that happens the student will be held to the charges outlined above.


If you have to cancel after you have already checked into your room, you will have 48 hours from the time you cancel to properly check-out. This includes:

  • Move out all of your belongings
  • Clean your room, if necessary
  • Return your key and sign your digital inventory form with a Residence Life staff member in your building

Failure to comply with any of these may result in additional charges.

Refund Exceptions

There are certain exceptions in which a refund of charges and exception to the cancellation fee will be made. If you have already checked into your room, you will be prorated from the time of cancellation. These exceptions include:

  • Withdrawal from University
  • Transferal to another University
  • Military deployment
  • Academic suspension
  • Academic dismissal
  • Graduation
  • Clinical or Student teaching experience

Reasons that will not be accepted for a refund include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial concerns
  • Moving off campus / Commuting
  • General dissatisfaction with residence hall or roommate(s)
  • Residence Hall and/or University conduct sanctions
  • Poor Academic Performance

Housing Appeal Guidelines

We understand there are certain factors outside of your control that require you to leave on-campus housing. If you believe you should be entitled to a refund you may review our Housing Appeal Guidelines below for the appeals process. Please note that appeals will not be accepted if you have not submitted a cancellation form.

The Office of Residence Life, in conjunction with the Dean of Students Office, has established a Housing Contract Appeals Process to hear the appeal of students who would like to break their housing contract but have not met the applicable criteria. The Housing Appeals Committee will review the submitted petition form and documentation and consult with other appropriate offices as needed. For example, information from the Financial Aid Office is often used to determine a student's "need".

Housing appeals must be made within four weeks of cancellation. After the fourth week appeals will not be accepted unless extraordinary circumstances exist.

There are certain assumptions made concerning your housing at the University:

  1. All students have read their contract and have a full understanding of the terms and to what they have committed themselves.
  2. The room change process allows students to change rooms on a first come first serve basis based on the availability of request. This allows students to change a potentially uncomfortable situation.
  3. That students have availed themselves of the options open to them, and that moving out of on-campus housing is a "necessity" and not a "convenience".

If you have experienced a change in your financial status, or would like to withdraw from the halls for a reason you believe qualifies as an exception to the rule, please complete the following process:

  1. The student should complete the petition for release form which will be reviewed by the Housing Appeals Committee, appealing the charges to which you are obligated (ask what this is if you are not sure or check your housing contract). This form should clearly explain what the situation is and why this should entitle you to release from the charges and from your housing contract. Failure to read or agree with the terms of the contract is not a reason for release. Please be as specific as possible, failure to include enough relevant information will result in your petition being denied or delayed.
  2. Documentation that will prove your claim must be submitted with the petition; for example, a letter from a doctor for medical concerns, an unemployment check stub for a lost job or lay-off, a letter from Financial Aid stating a loss of, or significant change in, aid.
    • Appeals based on financial circumstances should be concerning a "change in the financial status of the student or family that is unforeseeable." This means that you should not have been able to anticipate this change; for example, losing one's job, a parent's loss of employment, unanticipated cuts in a financial aid package, etc. are all unforeseeable events. Credit card bills, a car loan, care insurance, a lease for an off-campus apartment, etc. are not documentation of financial changes; these are foreseeable expenses that should have been anticipated or taken into consideration before signing your contract.
    • Medical appeals MUST include documentation from a doctor stating both that living at home would be medically more beneficial than living on campus, and why this is true. We may ask that our Director of Health Services verify this information with the doctor.
  3. Provide information as to where you will be living; if you will be living at home, a letter of support from your parent(s) or guardian would be helpful. The commute should be a reasonable one; traveling to Lowell from the Berkshires or the Cape is not considered as truthful representation of one's future living arrangements.
  4. Upload any additional documentation through the link within the housing portal. This will be available to you after completion of the petition form. Failure to upload relevant supporting documentation will result in your petition being denied or delayed.
  5. Appeals are processed on a case-by-case basis depending upon the number of appeals pending. Once a determination has been made the student will be notified in writing, by email. This information will not be released over the phone for privacy reasons; further, information concerning a student over 18 years of age cannot be released to the parent(s) or guardian as this information is covered under FERPA (the Privacy Act).
  6. If the decision is not in favor of release without obligation, and the student wishes to further appeal these charges, they may schedule an appointment with the Director of Housing. At that time the student should bring in additional information and/or documentation to be considered. If there is no further documentation or information available, the decision will not be overturned. The decision of the Director of Housing is final.

Please note: Unless they are not physically or mentally able to do so, this process should be initiated and completed by the student. Questions concerning this process should be directed to the Office of Residence Life at 978-934-5160.


If you have any questions regarding housing, please call 978-934-5160 or e-mail the Office of Residence Life.