Housing Agreement

First-Year & Sophomore Housing Exemptions

Please note that for the 2020-2021 Academic Year, First Year and Sophomore on-campus living requirements have been suspended.

Please read all information carefully.


The Maryland Institute College of Art housing requirement states that students must reside on campus for two years unless they meet one or more of the exemption criteria. Students wishing to request exemption from the housing requirement must provide appropriate documentation to support their request. Requests are not final until they are reviewed and a determination (approved or denied) is made by the Office of Residence Life. 

Students with different classifications have different requirements for submitting an Exemption Request so pay close attention to which class standing is being addressed below. If unsure about which process to follow please call or e-mail the Office of Residence Life at 410-225-2398 or residencelife@mica.edu.

  • Incoming students must submit the necessary forms by April 27, 2020.
  • Returning students must obtain the necessary form(s). All forms and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Office of Residence Life by 4 pm on March 13, 2020.

*Any returning student who submits an Exemption Request forms via the incoming student process will not have their request reviewed.*

Exemption Criteria

  • COVID-19 Hardship (Fall 2020/Spring 2021) Any student currently experiencing or who anticipates unique challenges caused by living on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic may request an exemption for the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 semester(s).
  • The student is married or a single parent. The student must submit a copy of their marriage certificate or the child's birth certificate along with a copy of the most recent tax return showing that child as a dependent. The spouse or child must reside with the student within a 30 mile driving radius (described in the commuter exemption) in order to qualify for this exemption.
  • The student is or will be 24 years of age by the first day of classes for the fall semester. 
  • The student is commuting. To be eligible to commute to the MICA campus, the student must reside with their parent or legal guardian whose permanent residence is within 30 driving miles of the campus. The address must be the same as the permanent address that was provided on the student's application for admission.
  • Disability accommodation: Students seeking disability accommodations for housing must request accommodations through the Learning Resource Center (LRC) by contacting lrc@mica.edu. Documented disabilities are not necessarily a reason for a housing exemption.
  • The student is a transfer student. Transfer students are not required to live in on campus housing however we would love to have you as a part of our on campus community. All assigned housing is for the academic year. Any transfer student assigned on campus housing is required to reside on campus for the academic year.
  • Financial Hardship: Requests for release based upon financial hardship must include documented evidence of extreme financial need by providing copies of the most recent financial aid verification/awards. If the student does not have a FAFSA on file, copies of the most recent federal tax return, evidence of recent employment termination, or evidence of extreme hardship (death of a primary income provider, medical expenses exceeding maximum insurance coverage, etc.) should be provided. This documentation must be accompanied by a completed Financial Information Form. Requests to reside off campus for financial savings are not considered valid for a financial hardship exemption request. All incoming students requesting release for financial reasons must contact the Financial Aid Office and speak with a financial aid counselor. Financial Aid can be reached at finaid@mica.edu or  (410) 225-2285. On the Financial Information Form please indicate the name of the person you spoke with as well as the date. Additional forms must be completed and e-mailed to residencelife@mica.edu or faxed to (410) 225-2372.

To apply for an exemption please fill out this First-Year & Sophomore Housing Requirement Exemption Request Form


Exemption Process Timeline

  1. Complete the forms and all supporting documentation and submit them to the Office of Residence Life. All new incoming students must email residencelife@mica.edu letting us know that you have submitted an Exemption Request.
  2. The submitted forms will be reviewed by the Office of Residence Life for completeness and a determination of whether or not the request will be granted. The student will be notified in writing, of the decision.
  3. All students will be notified by the Office of Residence Life with a decision in reference to their request to reside off campus.
  4. If the ruling is not in the student's favor, the student may, within five business days of receiving written notice, request a review of the decision by the Director of Residence Life. The student will be notified of the Director's decision in writing within 14 business days. Appeals must include new information not previously included in your original request for exemption. A review by the Director of Residence Life is not an automatic reversal of the previous decision. All appeal decisions made by the Director of Residence Life are final.