Dormitory Living

1.  Are ELI students required to live in campus dormitories?
No.  Many ELI students live in apartments or houses near the campus.

2.  Which is better:  living in a dormitory on campus or living in an apartment off-campus?
Each option has advantages and disadvantages.  You must decide which is better for you.

3.  What are the advantages of dormitory living?

  •  It’s convenient.  You are already on campus and can walk to class, to the cafeteria, the post office, the library, the Payne Center, the football stadium, and anywhere else you need to get to.  A bicycle is useful, but you don’t have to have any “wheels” to get around campus.
  •  It’s economical.  Minimal furnishings are provided, and utilities are included in the cost.  Each air-conditioned bedroom has 2 beds, 2 closets, 2 study desks, 2 chairs, a telephone outlet, a cable tv outlet, a small refrigerator, and a microwave oven. Three bedrooms share one bathroom in a suite. You must bring your clothes, bed linens, bath linens, and your personal belongings.
  • There is no kitchen to take care of.  All dorm residents are required to purchase a mealplan.  The Fresh Food Company takes care of all the shopping, cooking, and dishwashing.  You just show up to eat!  [For more information about The Fresh Food Company, click here.]
  •  Laundry facilities are located in or near your dorm building.  Use of the machines is free for residents; all you need to provide is the detergent.
  •  You have many opportunities to talk and listen.  You will have English-speaking neighbors on your hall --- someone to talk to every day.  While your friends in apartments must make special efforts to find people to talk to and interact with, you’ve got that problem solved!

4.  What are the disadvantages of dormitory living?

  •  Lack of privacy.  If you really want your own private space, you need to find an apartment.
  •  Dorm rooms are small.  They are designed for frugal students on a tight budget!  If you are going to be at Southern Miss for a long time, or if you plan to bring lots of stuff with you, then you should probably plan on renting an apartment.
  •  Dorms are closed at certain times during the year.  Dorms are closed for semester breaks in December, May, and July/August.  Everyone is required to vacate (move out completely) at the end of the spring semester, and your summer dorm may not be your fall dorm.  Also, dorms are closed for Spring Break Week in March.  The Fresh Food Company is also closed whenever dorms are closed.  You will need to make alternate arrangements for housing and food service during those periods:  travel, make friends who live in apartments, or move into an apartment yourself. 
  •  I want to cook.  Although each dorm room is equipped with a small refrigerator and a microwave oven, those units are intended for your snacking convenience only.  If you want to prepare meals and have a fully equipped kitchen, then apartment living is for you.
  •  I want to invite friends over for a meal or to watch a movie.  You need your own apartment with entertaining space.

5.  How much does it cost to live in a dorm?
Each dorm room accommodates two occupants, who pay $1,058.00 per person, per ELI term.  The unlimited mealplan costs $749.00 per ELI term.  Campus Post Office box rental is $10.00 per term.

6.  Can I have a private room in a dorm?
Because on-campus housing is so convenient and economical, demand is usually high.  It is not always possible to have a private room in a dormitory.  Expect to pay higher rates for private rooms, but only when such rooms are available.  Keep in mind that “private room” typically means only “private bedroom/sleeping room.”  It does not mean “private bathroom.”  If you really want your own space, you should probably find an apartment to your liking.