University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

University Housing

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Contract Termination Considerations

"Contract Termination" refers to the dissolution of a University Housing contract prior to its natural expiration. Specifically, a termination occurs anytime a contract ends between its start date (date of assigned entry) and its end date. A termination is different than a cancellation. A cancellation occurs between the date of signing the contract and the start of the contract term.

Approved Reasons for Termination

In limited cases, contract termination occurs for an approved reason. Some examples of approved reasons are:

  • graduation (as long as the vacate date is the same as graduation or later);
  • personal illness, family illness, or serious emergency which prevents the resident's attendance;
  • assignment to a University-sponsored internship or other program which requires living outside of Milwaukee County; or
  • withdrawal, transfer or being dismissed by the University.

Common Situations and Reasons for Unapproved Contract Terminations

Financial Difficulty.

Lack of funds alone is not an acceptable basis for termination of your contract.  Financial aid is available to those who qualify.  You may still be eligible for Financial Aid even if there is no "need".  Terminations for financial reasons will only be considered when you have experienced a significant change in your financial situation since signing your contract (that is not otherwise rectified).  Finances for the academic year should be considered prior to enrollment to the university and signing your University Housing contract.  Late notices or inadequate notice from the Financial Aid Office are not grounds for approved termination. In review of termination request for financial reasons, University Housing relies on the expertise of the Financial Aid Office to determine if you have a sufficient financial aid package to attend UWM.

Unhappiness with residence hall life. 

Residence hall living is a new experience for most students and requires a certain amount of adjustment.  If you have made a concerted effort to adjust to the residence hall environment and are still unhappy, a community change, such as a room/floor change, or a roommate or suitemate change is generally an effective remedy.  If you continues to be unhappy, the Residence Life Coordinators are available to work with the resident on an individual basis to find a solution.  This involves and requires your active participation.

Commuting/living off-campus. 

The choice to commute from the home or live off campus must be made prior to signing the University Housing contract.

Health conditions.

Even with medical documentation, most medical conditions DO NOT automatically release you from the contract.  Your medical care provider needs to document your medical condition and outline your specific needs.  Prior to granting a termination for health reasons University Housing will work with you to manage or remove a particular problem.  Reviewing the steps you have taken to manage or remove a particular problem will be taken into account.  The alternative living option you are proposing needs to be considered during the decision making process.  In review of termination request for health reasons, University Housing relies on the expertise of the Student Accessibility Center (SAC) who will review these types of situations and make a recommendation to University Housing.


Before you submit a Contract Termination request consider the following…

  • Have you provided documentation supporting your reason for termination?
    • Doctor/Counselor letter confirming illness/injury and documenting your needs?
  • Have you explored all your alternatives?
    • Different roommate
    • Moving to a different environment (room, suite, floor)
    • Different study environment (library, hall/floor lounges, Union, etc.)
    • Single room, if available
  • Have you demonstrated what significant change has occurred in your financial situation and action(s) taken to prevent contract termination?
    • Have you met with your Financial Aid advisor?
    • Have you explored Parent PLUS or alternative loan options?
    • Have you provided sufficient figures regarding your financial picture/situation?
  • Have you explored other financial alternatives?
    • On and off-campus job(s) status
    • Investigated off-campus expenses (heat, water, cable, internet, travel, etc.)
    • Review of personal expenses for possible reduction
  • Have you worked with Restaurant Operations to address your dietary needs?
  • Have you provided enough information to allow for a complete understanding of your situation?
    • Specific background information.
  • Have you taken any responsibility to resolve or manage the situation:
    • Talked with your roommate/suitemates about your concerns?
    • Talked with RA or Residence Life Coordinator about your situation
    • Explored university resources such as Norris Health Center, Financial Aid, etc.
  • Were you aware of the situation before you signed the contract?

Click on one of the following links for more information about midyear contract terminations:



If you must pursue a termination, please consult the termination checklist to learn about the procedure for terminating your contract.