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COVID-19 Residential Life FAQ’s (Spring 2020)

We’ve received many questions about how Residential Life is handling various aspects of our response to COVID-19.  Some of the most common questions are listed below.  We will continue to update these entries as we receive more information, so keep checking back!

COVID-19 Residential Life FAQs

When will I be able to remove my items from my room?

Residential students may now schedule an appointment to return to campus and retrieve your belongings beginning Monday, May 4th. Please refer to the student communication sent to your email, dated April 30th, for your sign-up link.

Will I receive a refund for my semester housing?

Yes, eligible students will receive a refund based on the date of their departure from campus. For the most current information, please visit the UMBC COVID-19 Reimbursement and Refunds page.

I was approved for late stay and/or transitional housing, when will I receive my refund?

Students who were approved for any type of late stay were not part of the initial Reimbursement & Refund process. We intend to process any late stay refunds on or around May 1.  We will utilize room access data, as well as communication with our staff to reconcile the first day of your refund period.

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How were housing refunds calculated?

Residential Life refunds are prorated by calculating the daily room rate (Semester Rate /115 days in the semester). Refunds reflect the days that Residential Life was unable to honor the terms of the housing license, based on student’s assignment in either a 9-month or 8-month community. Students that were approved to remain on campus will receive a refund calculated based on their last day of occupancy.
Nine-month housing permits students to remain during break periods. These students vacated campus on March 14, 2020 and had 67 unavailable days. These communities include: West Hill, Terrace, Hillside, Potomac and designated Harbor rooms.
Eight-month housing requires students to vacate during break periods. These students left during the normal break closing period, but were unable to return as planned on March 23. They had 58 unavailable days. These communities include: Patapsco, Susquehanna, Chesapeake, Erickson, and designated Harbor Hall rooms.
The housing refund does not include the $175 semester communication fee that covers Xfinity Streaming IPTV which continues to be available to students.

Room Rates
Semester Rate

Refund Amount Based on Housing Type
8-Month Resident 9-Month Resident

9-Month Harbor & Apartments


Double & Single Bedrooms



Triple & Quad Bedrooms


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When will I get my $200 Housing Deposit refund?

We will hold housing deposits for current residents who re-licensed for the 2020-2021 academic year. Current residents who are graduating in May and/or not returning to housing for the 2020-2021 academic year will be issued their housing deposit in June 2020.

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How do I receive mail or packages that have been sent to UMBC?

All community desks closed on March 13, 2020 and are unable to receive mail/packages. All student mail sent/received via USPS will be returned to sender by Campus Card and Mail Services. When UMBC staff resume normal operations any packages received for students before March 13, 2020 will be returned to sender. We encourage students to contact their delivery carrier and/or vendors to update their delivery options and address.

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Do I need to complete my Census?

The Census Bureau has issued updated guidance that college students will be counted as they would have if COVID-19 had not occurred. In other words, you should be counted as living at your on-campus residence as if the health crisis did not cause your living arrangements to change. Even if you have returned to your family home or are residing somewhere else temporarily, you should still be counted as part of the university community where you normally live. If someone else has counted you in their Census questionnaire, the Census Bureau asks that they “return to the online questionnaire and resubmit your information.” The Census Bureau has procedures in place to resolve duplicate submissions. UMBC originally intended to offer in-person census collection for residential students. The Census Bureau provided guidance to shift to an eResponse option due to COVID-19.

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Can I apply for summer housing?

Generally, Residential Life only provides housing to students enrolled in summer courses. Due to the health risks presented by COVID-19, all UMBC summer sessions will be offered in online course delivery formats. In congruence with this decision and to minimize ongoing COVID-19 health risks, summer school housing will not be available for any summer 2020 session.  Students currently approved as transitional through May 20, 2020 will receive additional communication from Residential Life. For more information regarding COVID-19 impacts to all summer programs, please visit:

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What if I can’t move everything out in one slot? Can I sign up for multiple move-out slots?

We are providing an expanded three-hour window based on feedback from students. We encourage students to try to complete their move within the time provided, in order to give our staff adequate time to clean and sanitize equipment and to limit the number of individuals in the building at a given time. If you believe that you will not be able to complete your move-out in the time allotted, please contact your community director.

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Can I have additional help to move out?

We highly recommend students to bring no more than two volunteers to assist with their moveout to help protect your health and safety, and the health and safety of our community and beyond. If you require additional support we encourage you to follow the recommendations and COVID-19 guidelines for social distancing.

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I won’t be able to return to campus because…. Can someone else collect/pick up my belongings?

We understand that returning to campus may be challenging for [international/out-of-state/etc.] students. If you cannot return before May 22, 2020 and your roommate/local contact is unable to gather your items, please submit an RT Ticket and someone will contact you and walk you through the moving services options.

If you want to work with a current roommate/suitemate who can help collect your items, you may coordinate that option. Alternatively, you may submit an RT Ticket to request an alternate time that works for you to return.

If you wish to have a non-roommate/suitemate collect your items, they should bring a photo ID which matches the names you’ve provided in your email. When they arrive they should call the phone number published at the community desk to get in touch with our staff so they can provide them with a temporary card. The community director, or designee, will provide access to the person with written permission. You should ensure that they know which items belong to you and let your roommate(s) know that they will be coming to gather your items.

If you choose not to return to campus and wish to have your belongings packed, shipped and or stored, UMBC has two approved movers, Von Paris and District Moving, that you can contract with directly.

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Can I move out before May 4?

Based upon the Stay-at-Home Order issued by the Maryland Governor, we are not permitting students to move out prior to May 4, except when granted permission for essential property.

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I am currently living on campus. How do I access my room if I lost my UMBC ID?

If you do not have your UMBC ID to access your room, you will need to provide another photo ID to verify your identity. Once verified by Residential Life staff, you will be provided with a temporary ID. You can arrange this by calling 410-635-0353.

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Do I need to clean and vacuum my room?

No, you do not need to vacuum, but please make sure all your personal items and trash are removed.

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How do I access my room during my move out appointment if I have lost my UMBC ID?

Call the number posted in your residence hall lobby, and a staff member will open your room and provide access through your move-out time slot.

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Am I allowed to travel to campus during the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Orders?

The Governor’s Executive Order allows colleges and universities to proceed with a coordinated plan to allow students to safely retrieve personal belongings. Travel made by students, or their designee, to retrieve their possessions would be deemed essential.

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