A Decision You Can Feel Good About
You want a better life for yourself and your family. We can help.
We’ve crafted academic programs and support resources to suit the needs of people like you who need to work or manage a family while earning a degree.
With flexible schedules, low tuition, and one-on-one advising, Southwestern Michigan College is a choice you can feel confident making.
How to Become a Student
Follow the simple steps below to become an SMC student.
If at any point you’d rather talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to help!
Apply for Admission
Applying is easy, fast, and free. Fill out the online application here. You should receive a decision letter via email and/or mail in one to two weeks.
If accepted, the decision letter will contain a link to your Admitted Student Portal, where you’ll find your login credentials for SMC Wired and your SMC email as well as the status of your FAFSA, transcript, and more.
Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships (Optional)
The first step to getting most types of financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. We encourage you to do that early to get a better idea of how much it will cost.
You can also apply for some of our hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships.
Take Placement Tests (if needed)
Placement tests help place you in the appropriate classes so that you don’t take classes in subjects you’ve already mastered or that are beyond your current skill level.
You can come in to take placement tests anytime on either campus.
Complete New Student Orientation
Adult students have two options for completing orientation:
1. Sign up for New Student Orientation to register for classes and get acquainted with the resources you need to succeed at SMC, OR
2. Meet directly with an advisor in-person or via phone, email, or video chat to register for classes, then attend an Adult New Student Orientation for a more adult-focused introduction to campus resources and technology. Sessions will be offered August 19 in Dowagiac and August 25 in Niles.
Whichever option you choose, you should also complete the Part 1: Online Orientation module found here.
Send Us Your Transcripts
We’ll need final, official transcripts from your high school and any colleges you’ve attended. Work with your high school counselor or college Records Office to have your transcripts sent to SMC.
High school transcripts should be sent ATTN: Admissions.
College transcripts should be sent ATTN: Records
Pay Your Bill
The final step to securing your place as an SMC student is paying your bill. Failure to pay by the payment deadline may result in losing your spot in housing and being dropped from your classes.
Payment Due Dates
Fall Semester, Housing Students: July 15
Fall Semester, Other Students: August 1
Spring Semester: December 1
Summer Semester: May 1
Other Action Items
Buy books and course materials at the bookstore on the Dowagiac campus or at shopsouthwestern.com. Books can be shipped to your home for a small fee, or you can pick them up at either campus at no additional cost. Find the list of books and materials you need on SMC Wired under Student Resources > Bookstore or at shopsouthwestern.com. You will need your student ID to access course information and to use financial aid for payment.
Check Your SMC Email and SMC Wired
All campus announcements and reminders will be sent to your SMC email or posted to Wired, SMC's online student portal. Checking these frequently is the best way to stay up-to-date with SMC events and your financial aid status. As a reminder, your first bill will be sent to your SMC email.
Free Tuition for Michigan Adults
Michigan Reconnect is a State of Michigan program offering free community college tuition to qualifying residents ages 25+. Learn more and see if you qualify here.
SMC now offers the SMC Guarantee, guaranteed scholarships of at least $600 to every new student that can be used to cover any remaining expenses not covered by Reconnect (fees, books, etc.). If you don't qualify for Reconnect, you can use it for regular tuition expenses. Learn more about the SMC Guarantee here.
Programs in In-demand Fields
We can get you started in nearly any high-wage, high-demand career. You can even complete a four-year degree on our Dowagiac campus through our partnership with Ferris State University.
New Evening Programs
Evening class options help you keep a healthy balance between school, work and family responsibilities.
Learn more about the programs at the links below, then reach out to an advisor to learn about the evening format options.
Low Tuition + Financial Aid
Tuition at SMC is a fraction of the cost of four-year schools. Financial aid makes it even more affordable. Learn more about costs here.
Two Convenient Locations
Southwestern Michigan College has campuses in Dowagiac and Niles, so you can take classes in a location close to you.*
*Programs offered vary by location.
Library (Dowagiac Campus)
Payment Plan Options
Free Computer/Technology Support
Free Fitness Center
MI Works! Offices on the Niles Campus
Visual and Performing Arts
School of Business