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 secure. Your USM ID card is your key to your building, your floor, and your room.
  •  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 small refrigerator, and a microwave oven.  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 meal plan.  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?

  •  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.
  • The Fresh Food Company is closed between semesters and during Spring Break Week in March. Dormitory residents are assured of Break Housing during those periods, but you might be asked to temporarily relocate to another dormitory. Food service, however, is limited to non-existent during the break periods! You will need to make alternate arrangements for your meals. 
  •  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 $2,964.00 per semester. The unlimited meal plan costs $1,900.00 per semester. Campus Post Office box rental is $20.00 per semester.  
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.  If you really want your own space, you should probably find an apartment to your liking.