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.

Features and Amenities

How many bedrooms are in each suite?

Most suites at SMC are 4 bedroom with 1 student assigned to each bedroom. We do offer a few 2 bedroom options as well.

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 the residence halls. 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 suites?

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 ResLife 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! All vehicles are required to be registered with housing. All registered vehicles will be given a parking decal that is required to be displayed on the vehicle.

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.

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 in the student handbook.

Do I need to be a full-time student at SMC to live on campus?

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 full-time by July 15 for the Fall Semester and by December 1 for the Spring Semester.

Is there an age restriction?

While the majority of our students are 18-20 years old, all students must be at least 16 years old to live in housing. No overnight guests under the age of 13 are allowed. We do like to remind people that alcohol is prohibited in housing even if you are 21.

Can a married couple live on campus?

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

Does the Department of Residence Life conduct background checks?

Yes! Safety is a top priority at SMC. Every student who moves into an on-campus suite 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 on campus. Returning students living on campus for a second year will have a new background check completed before the start of the Fall semester.

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. It is important to note that students who cancel their housing contract may still be held responsible for the remainder of the ResLife fees left on their contracts. Students who cancel after the cancellation deadline but prior to move-in may be charged a $1,000 cancellation fee.

Is there a GPA requirement to live on campus?

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.

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. Once all the open spaces have been assigned, a waitlist will be created.

What do I need to do to reserve a room?

You will first need to apply for admission to SMC. After you receive an acceptance letter, you may apply to live on campus. Housing is assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Is the $75 application fee refundable?

Your $75 application fee is non-refundable. This fee covers the administrative costs associated with processing your housing application and your background check.

How can I pay the application fee?

You will be prompted to pay your application fee at the end of the application process. Please remember that there is a 2.75 percent fee when using a credit or debit card.

Can financial aid be used to cover the application fee?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. ResLife is unable to use financial aid for the application fee. This amount must be paid by debit or credit card.

How do I cancel a room reservation?

To cancel a room reservation, please submit a cancellation request through the ResLife Portal by clicking on the application term that you are trying to cancel. If the semester has already started, you are still responsible for all ResLife fees. If the semester hasn't started, there will be a $1,000 cancellation fee.

Paying for Housing

What is the cost for Housing?

Housing Costs: Fall 2019-Spring 2020

Four-bedroom Suite: $3,250/semester* or $6,500/year

Two-bedroom Suite: $3,900/semester* or $7,800/year

Application Fee: $75

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

When is payment due for Housing?

ResLife fees are due by July 15 for the Fall semester. All other charges, including tuition and fees, are due by August 1. For the Spring semester, ResLife fees are due by December 1. All other charges, including tuition and fees, are also due by December 1.

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! During the open roommate request process, you can go into the ResLife portal and submit a specific roommate request. This can be done by typing in a specific student's name or by filtering by answers to several questions from the application. All roommate requests must be accepted by the student being requested.

How do you pick whom I live with?

If you do not choose specific roommates, SMC Housing will look at your roommate preferences and try to make the best possible match. We take into account your answers to questions on the housing application 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?

You can only request to live with people who have already completed the housing application. This will need to be done before we start assigning rooms in May. Once assignments have been made we will not be able to move anyone around.

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 once we start making assignments in May. Roommate information can be found on the self-service page in the housing portal. Please be aware that student assignments are not considered locked until move-in day.

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 can potentially 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?

Residence Life 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 sixteen total nights per guest per semester. Residence Life reserves the right to deny any visitation at any time. Guests found in violation of Residence Life policies or who are not signed in properly may be asked to leave the building.

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 Residence Hall Manager (RHM) who lives in the building. RHMs are professional staff members and 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 an 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 24/7.

Summer and Winter Break Housing

Is SMC Housing open during Winter Break?

Yes. One hall, Jerdon Hall, is open during winter break. We ask that you indicate on your application if you need winter break housing.

Is Summer Housing available?

Yes. Students enrolled in 5 credit hours of summer classes at SMC can stay in campus housing for the summer. Summer applications must be submitted through the same process as your Fall/Spring application. Prices for summer housing will be posted after they are released.