Student housing

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have listed some of the questions that we are frequently asked. Select a category below to find more information. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact housing at (269) 783-2159 or by emailing housing@swmich.edu.

Suite Features and Housing Amenities

How many bedrooms are in each suite?

The majority of our suites have four private bedrooms. There are a very limited number of two-bedroom suites that are also available for an extra charge.

Is there a kitchen in the suite?

Yes! Each suite includes a complete kitchen, including full-size refrigerator, stove/oven, dishwasher and microwave. Students are responsible for bringing their own small appliances, cooking utensils and food.

Do I need to bring my own furniture?

No, our suites are fully furnished. The living area comes with a couch and chair, kitchen table with four chairs, two barstools, coffee table and TV stand. Private bedrooms come with a bed with a twin XL mattress, desk with chair and two stackable dresser drawers. There is also a closet area in each bedroom with a rack for hanging clothes.

Can I bring my own furniture from home?

We do not allow any stuffed furniture to be brought into SMC Housing. We are very dedicated to bed bug prevention. We do allow you to bring in solid items such as bookshelves.

Is there a bathroom in the apartments?

Each four-bedroom suite has two bathrooms. There is also a door between the shower/toilet area and the sink area. This means that all four roommates can be getting ready at the same time.

What utilities are included?

All utilities are covered by your housing payment. This includes: heat/air conditioning, cable TV, Wired and wireless internet and electricity.

What items should I bring for move-in?

Prior to move-in, we will send you a packing list that will include what to pack for housing and what to leave at home. For move-in, we suggest you wait until you have lived in your room for a few weeks before you buy items such as extra drawers. This gives you a chance to really understand your space before you buy anything extra.

Can I have a car as a freshman?

Yes! All students are allowed to park a car in our gated parking lot. The best part is that it’s completely free!

How big are the bedrooms?

While each room varies slightly, our smallest room is about 10ft. x 10ft. Each bedroom has at least one window.

Housing Requirements and Contract Information

Where can I find a copy of the “Terms and Conditions of Student Housing?”

Terms and Conditions of Student Housing” can be found on our housing website.

Do I need to be a fulltime student at SMC to live in housing?

All housing students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours during the Fall and Spring semesters. Students who drop below 12 credits during the semester may lose eligibility for housing. You must be enrolled fulltime for the Fall Semester by July 1 and for the Spring Semester on December 2.

Is there an age restriction on housing?

While the majority of our students are between 18-20, there is no age restriction on housing. We do like to remind people that alcohol is prohibited in housing even if you are 21.

Can a married couple live in housing?

We do not offer married or family housing at SMC. There are many family apartments and homes available in the Dowagiac area.

Does SMC Housing conduct background checks?

Yes! Safety is a top priority at SMC. Every student who moves into SMC housing receives a background check. If any items are found on the background check, they will be thoroughly reviewed before a student is allowed to live in Housing.

Can I stay for only one semester?

The contract you sign is for the academic year. This includes both the Fall and Spring semesters. You can request a cancellation if you have a specific reason such as graduation.

Can I cancel housing after I move in/between semesters?

Once the housing contract starts on move-in day for a specific semester, your contract officially begins. You are obligated for both the Fall and Spring semesters. You may request a cancellation, but it is not guaranteed. If SMC Housing is able to find a replacement for your contract, we will be able to release you from your obligation.

Is there a GPA requirement to live in SMC Housing?

Yes, all students must maintain at least a 1.0 every semester. Any student who earns less than a 1.0 will be removed from housing. Also, any student who earns less than a 2.0 during two consecutive semesters will also be removed from housing.

Reserving a Room

Is housing guaranteed at SMC?

There are only a limited number of spaces available. Your space in housing will be reserved once we receive the Residential Housing Application and Contract, you submit your $25 non-refundable application fee and submit your $175 security deposit.

What do I need to do to reserve a room?

There are three things you must turn in to reserve a room: Complete the Residential Housing Application and Contract, submit a $25 non-refundable application fee and a $175 security deposit. Your space in housing will be reserved once we have received all three of these items — provided there are still rooms available.

Why is the $25 application fee non-refundable?

This application fee is used to cover the cost of background checks. Every student who moves into SMC Housing receives a background check. If any items are found on the background check, they will be thoroughly reviewed before a student is allowed to live in housing.

Is the $175 security deposit refundable?

Your $175 security deposit is refundable until June 1. If you cancel after June 1, but prior to move-in, you forfeit the $175 security deposit. Once you move in, your security deposit will be refunded after you move out minus any outstanding charges on your SMC account.

How can I pay the application fee and security deposit?

There are three ways you can pay for the application fee and security deposit. The first is in person with cash, check or money order. To pay in person, please stop by the Student Service Center in the David C. Briegel Building. The second way is by mail. You can mail a check or money order to: Southwestern Michigan College, Student Housing, 58900 Cherry Grove Rd., Dowagiac, MI 49047. The third way is online through the Bill and Payment Center on your SMC Wired account. You can pay by debit card, credit card or ACH Bank Withdrawal. Please remember there is a 2.75-percent fee when using a credit or debit card.

Can financial aid be used to cover the security deposit?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. SMC Housing is unable to use financial aid for the application fee or security deposit since it is due before financial aid is available to students. This amount must be paid using cash, check or credit card.

How do I cancel a room reservation?

All requests for cancellation must be received in writing. The best way to submit your request is by using the SMC Housing Request Form.

Paying for Housing

What is the cost for Housing?

2014-2015 Housing Costs
4-Bedroom - $2,900 per semester* ($5,800 per academic year)
2-Bedroom - $3,500 per semester* ($7,000 per academic year)

There is a non-refundable $25 application fee and a $175 security deposit.

* This amount is due in full by the payment due date.

For 2014 spring and summer rates, please stop by the Student Service Center on the first floor of the David C. Briegel Building on the Dowagiac campus or call at 269-782-1499 for a 2013-2014 Housing Application.

View example of housing costs.

When is payment due for Housing?

Housing payment is due in full before the beginning of each semester. For the 2014 school year, the due dates are July 18 for Fall Semester and Dec. 3 for Spring Semester. On these dates tuition/fees and housing are due for all housing students.

Can I use financial aid to pay for Housing?

Yes! Financial aid is applied to tuition and fees first and then applied to housing. There are some specific forms of financial aid that cannot be applied, but most are able to be used. Pell Grant and federal loans can be applied to housing after tuition and fees are covered.

Can I set up a payment plan for Housing?

Yes! You may choose to pay your semester balance on a payment plan. To view available payment plans or to enroll, log in to SMC Wired and click on the “Bill and Payment Center” under the “My SMC Space” tab. Once you are on the Bill and Payment Center page, select “Payment Plans” from the options. There is a $35 non-refundable enrollment fee to enroll in a payment plan each semester. The payment plan requires 10 percent down at the time you sign up.

Roommates and Room Assignments

Can I choose whom I live with?

Yes! All you need to do is make sure that you put each other’s name under the Roommate and Assignment Preferences on the housing application. All roommate requests must be mutual. If you want to add a person to your application, you can complete the SMC Housing Request Form.

How do you pick whom I live with?

If you do not choose roommates, SMC Housing will look at your roommate preferences and try to make the best possible match. We take into account where you are from and also work with your Admission Advisor to be sure we are making the best possible fit.

Can I request to live with somebody who has not yet turned in their housing application?

Yes, but their room will not be reserved until they turn in their application, application fee and security deposit. As long as everyone has a spot before we start assigning rooms in July, we will be able to room you together.

Can I live with somebody of the opposite gender?

No, all suites are single gender. You will not be able to share a living room or bathroom with somebody of the opposite gender. Your neighbors may be either gender.

When will I find out whom I am living with?

Roommate information will be available in early August. We will put your roommate information on your SMC Dashboard, which can be found on SMC Wired. You will have a chance to meet your roommate prior to move in at the Housing Kick-off during Freshman Orientation.

What do you do to make sure roommates get along?

During the first week after move-in, your Resident Assistant will sit down with you and your roommates to complete a Roommate Agreement. This Agreement covers all the basic items that cause conflict between roommates. This includes items such as cleaning, guests and sharing of items.

Can I request a change in room assignment?

You will not be able to request a change in rooms until after two weeks into the semester. This allows time for us to make sure everyone is in place and to take care of any administrative needs. We cannot guarantee specific requests, but do try to make room changes that best serve all people involved.

Housing Policies

Is alcohol allowed on campus?

No, SMC is a drug- and alcohol-free campus. We have strict policies against drugs and alcohol. Alcohol is not allowed on campus at any time.

What happens if I am found with drugs on campus?

Any student found responsible for possessing or using drugs or drug paraphernalia will be removed from housing.

What pets are allowed on campus?

We only allow fish on campus. They must be in a 20-gallon or smaller fish tank.

Do you allow overnight guests?

SMC Housing does allow overnight guests. All roommates must agree on the gender and allowed time frame for visitation. Guest visitations are limited to three consecutive nights and nine total nights per guest per semester. SMC Housing reserves the right to deny any visitation at any time.

What other rules are there on campus?

All rules can be found in the Student Code of Conduct and Student Housing Handbook. All students should review these documents before move-in.

Safety and Security

How secure are the buildings?

SMC Housing is a very secure environment. Each building has keycard access. Only students who live in SMC Housing can enter housing. These entrances are monitored by a 24-hour front desk staffed by student workers. Most of the common areas in housing are also monitored by security camera.

What staff is there in SMC Housing?

Each building has a Master’s Degree level Residence Hall Manager (RHM) who lives in each building. Their primary responsibility is for the safety, security and academic success of the students in their building. Each floor also has a Resident Assistant (RA) who is a current SMC student and helps students in their assigned community. Each night there is a RHM and a RA on duty to respond to any emergency situation. Additionally, there is a 24-hour front desk staffed by students who live in SMC housing.

Does SMC have its own police force?

While SMC does not have its own force, we have an outstanding relationship with the Dowagiac Police Department. They are present on our campus throughout the day. We also have a Security Coordinator and contracted security on campus.

Summer and Winter Break Housing

Is SMC Housing open during Winter Break?

Yes, SMC Housing is open during winter break. We only keep one building open. We ask that you indicate on your application if you need winter break housing. If you did not indicate that you need winter break housing on your application, please complete the SMC Housing Request Form.

Is Summer Housing available?

SMC housing is available for students who lived on campus during the school year. It is guaranteed to all students who lived in housing during Spring Semester. There will be a time to sign up during March of each year.

How much is Summer Housing?

Since many students do not have financial aid for the summer, we only charge $600 for the summer semester.

How many credits do we need for Summer Housing?

Students only need to be enrolled in six credit hours for the summer. Students with at least a 2.50 cumulative GPA will be allowed to live in housing with at least three credit hours.