Frequently Asked Questions
Housing Contract, Assignments, Move In
* How can I request more information and a housing contract?
* Can I cancel my housing contract and receive a refund of the $75.00 deposit?
* Can I cancel my housing contract after I move in?
* How are meal plans refunded?
* What if I want to move out after the fall semester?
* Will I be guaranteed housing while I'm a student at USM?
* When will I find out about my room assignment?
* How much will it cost to live on campus?
* Do I have to be a full time student to live on campus?
* Do I have to be matriculated to live on campus?
* Do you have graduate student housing?
* When do I move in?
Facilities and Amenities
* What size are the residence hall rooms?
* How many people share a bathroom?
* Are there facilities for washing and drying clothes?
* Are there lounges available for me to study in?
* Is cable t.v. available in the residence halls?
* What kinds of housekeeping services are provided?
* Is telephone service provided by the University?
* Is internet service provided by the University?
* How will I receive US mail while I am living on campus?
* Do the residence halls stay open during official USM breaks?
What to bring, what to leave at home
* What can I bring with me?
* May I bring a computer?
* What are MicroFridges, and what is your policy regarding other units?
* May I bring my own furniture with me?
* May I bring or build a loft in my residence hall room?
* Are pets allowed in the residence halls?
Parking and Transportation
Housing Contract, Assignments, Move In
How do I apply for housing?
Complete the online housing application. Beginning in mid-February, housing letters and brochures will be mailed in weekly batches to newly accepted students who indicated "Resident" on their USM application. Your letter will include instructions for applying for on campus housing through the online application. If you have not received a housing letter within a few weeks of being accepted to USM, please notify our office. If you are a matriculated student at USM and currently commuting, you may apply for housing through the online housing application
Questions? Call us at 207.780.5240, or e-mail email@example.com.
The housing application instructions on our website will also guide you through the application process.
FOR NEW STUDENTS: If you are applying for fall 2016-spring 2017, you may cancel your housing contract on or before June 1, 2016 in writing and we will issue a refund request to Student Accounts. If you have a zero balance on your account, Student Accounts will issue a refund check.
The $75.00 deposit is non-refundable after June 1, 2016 for fall 2016, or after January 1, 2017 if applying solely for spring 2017.
Cancellations may be made by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, mailed to Residential Life, 37 College Ave., Gorham, ME 04038, or faxed to 207.780.5597. Phone cancellations will not be accepted.
RETURNING USM STUDENTS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: No initial deposit required. Housing cancellations received on or after July 1, 2016 for fall 2016, or on or after January 1, 2017 for spring 2017 will result in a $75 cancellation fee being applied to the student bill.
Yes, but please refer to the Residence Hall and Board Contract Terms and Conditions, specifically section C. Refund Information, for more information. By saving and submitting the online housing application, you are bound by the terms and conditions of the contract.
If you Move Out of the RESIDENCE HALLS ONLY and you are STILL ENROLLED AT USM, the following refund schedule applies:
Canceling your housing between move in and the end of the fourth week of the first semester of occupancy: 50% refund of fall room rate, the fall meal plan will be prorated, and the student shall be released from the remainder of the contract period.
Canceling your housing after end of fourth week of the first semester of occupancy: student shall be charged the full room rate for the fall and spring semesters, fall meal plan will be prorated, and no charge for spring meal plan will be incurred.
In the case of spring being the first semester of occupancy, the student shall be charged the full room rate for the spring semester if the student leaves after the end of the fourth week of the spring semester and the meal plan will be prorated.
If you WITHDRAW from the RESIDENCE HALLS and ALL classes at USM, the following room refund schedule applies.
Withdrawal prior to the end of the second week (14 days) 100% room refund
Withdrawal prior to the end of the fourth week (28 days) 75% room refund
Withdrawal prior to the end of the sixth week (42 days) 50% room refund
Withdrawal prior to the end of the eighth week (56 days) 25% room refund
Withdrawal after the eighth week (57 days and after) 0% room refund
These provisions hold true unless the student is released from the contract in writing by Residential Life.
If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to contact the Residential Life office at 207.780.5240 or email@example.com.
The meal plan will be pro-rated according to the date of last meal eaten, the number of meal plan dollars used, and the week the meal plan is canceled. For more information, please contact us.
What if I want to move out after the fall semester?
You have signed an academic year contract, which means you committed to live on campus for the entire academic year, or until you are no longer a student at U.S.M., whichever comes first. If you graduate, go on exchange, transfer or withdraw from USM and check out appropriately at the end of the fall semester, you are not held to the contract for spring semester.
Will I be guaranteed housing for the whole time I'm a USM student?
Assignments are made each year for new students according to the living learning community EYE course you have registered for, so the earlier you are register for classes AND get your housing application in, the better your chances of receiving a housing assignment. We guarantee housing for anyone who applies by May 1st. For questions regarding this process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 207.780.5240. Current residential students are guaranteed housing as long as they are able to participate in the Room Selection process each spring for the following school year. Returning residents are assigned to rooms before new students are assigned to housing. A new contract must be submitted each year, even if you go through the Room Selection process in spring as a returning resident.
How much will it cost to live on campus?
You can find housing and meal plan costs at the Room & Board Rates page. Posted rates include full cable television lineup (students need to provide their own cable-ready television and coaxial cable), laundry and high speed internet access.
Do I have to be a full time student to live on campus?
No, any enrolled USM student can apply to live on campus. You do not have to be full time. For instance, if you begin your semester with 15 credits and drop to 9 credits, you do not have to move out. However, you should check with the Financial Aid office to see if changing your course load affects your financial aid package.
Do you have graduate student housing?
While we do not have separate housing for graduate students, we are happy to accommodate graduate students in our residence halls. Graduate students may find our two upperclass residences, Upperclass Hall and Philippi Hall, more amenable to their needs. Please note that we do not have family housing available, and all residents must be enrolled USM students to live on campus.
When do I move in to my room?
If you are a new resident for Spring 2017 semester, you will move in on Sunday, January 15, 2017. You will receive more information in your housing assignment letter. Returning residents who did not request semester break access will also move in that Sunday. Classes begin Tuesday, January 17, 2017.
How will you match me up with a roommate?
The housing application has a number of lifestyle questions. This simple questionnaire is designed to aid us in assigning compatible roommates. You should be as honest as possible when answering the questions, remembering that this is our primary roommate matching tool.
Can I request a particular roommate(s)?
Yes, you can, though these preferences are not guaranteed. Although this is an application/contract for space and does not guarantee assignment, every effort will be made to honor your preference for living learning community, room type (for non-first years), or roommate(s) if it is a mutual request AND you are both in the same Living Learning Community (for first year students) and EYE course. Please include your preferred roommate's name and their MaineStreet student ID number on the housing application (this is the seven digit number beginning with zero which is assigned to you by USM - it is not your social security number or any number on your student ID card). We need to receive housing applications around the same time in order to make our best effort to match roommates, and the request must be mutual. This will also depend on the availability of completely open rooms, so the earlier you apply, the better your chances of receiving your requested roommate(s). These are preferences, not guarantees.
What if my roommate and I cannot get along?
We hope that you and your assigned roommate will find a way to work through any issues. It may help to meet with your Resident Assistant together to complete a roommate agreement, which clarifies any expectations or needs. Your Resident Director can also mediate conversations. We also realize that when every effort to work out issues between roommates has been exhausted, a room change may be considered. After a room freeze at the beginning of each semester, room changes may be granted at the discretion of your Resident Director or the Assistant Director, depending on available space.
Facilities and Amenities
How big are the residence hall rooms?
While room sizes vary to some extent, many of the double rooms are approximately 12' by 15'. Please contact email@example.com for more specific information if needed.
How many people share a bathroom?
In most of our residence halls, except for Upperclass Hall and parts of Philippi Hall, we have common bathrooms. A whole floor or section shares one large bathroom, usually with 3-4 showers and 3-4 toilets. In Philippi Hall, there are wings with traditional doubles and singles, which share common, single user bathrooms. Suites and apartments have private bathrooms shared by 2-4 people.
Is cable television available in the residence halls?
In all rooms there is a cable outlet with 50+ channels standard, the price of which is included in the room rate. You must provide your own cable-ready television and a coaxial cable for service. Use your remote to auto program and scan for channels after you've connected, or you won't get the stations. If you are having problems with your cable tv, please contact the Residential Life office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the specific issue in detail, and your name, room number and building, and a contact phone number. (Note to High Definition tv owners - HDTV service is only available if you set up a private account with Time Warner Cable of Maine, and requires additional components. Please contact Time Warner Cable if you have questions about HDTV.)
What kinds of housekeeping services are provided?
Normal wear-and-tear housekeeping services are provided on a daily basis for public areas and public bathrooms only. You are responsible for cleaning your bedroom and any appliances supplied with the room. If you live in a suite or apartment, you are also responsible for cleanling your living room, bathroom, and kitchen and supplying your own toilet paper. We have great resources for "green" cleaning - ask us!
Is telephone service provided by the University?
Telephone service is not provided standard in rooms. For an additional charge, you may have the phone jack activated in your room for local and on campus calls. Long distance calls require a calling card. Please contact Telecom if you are interested in this option. You need to bring a touch tone phone.
Is internet service provided by the University?
Yes, all residence hall rooms have wireless internet access. In addition, wired high speed internet access is provided in every resident room, including Upperclass and Philippi. For wired access, you will need a CAT 5 cable to connect. Each resident has their own internet jack. Please do not use wireless routers, modems, or hubs, as they interfere with university systems. Residential networking questions may be directed to ResNet at 207.780.5650.
How will I receive US mail while I am living on campus?
All residence hall student mail, except mail for Upperclass Hall, is delivered to individual, private mailboxes in the basement of Upton Hall. Each box has a Unit #, designated by a letter and a 3 digit number. You can pick up your Unit # and combination from Mail Services in the basement of Upton Hall or from your hall staff while they are on duty after 7pm. As long as you are a resident anywhere but Upperclass Hall, your Unit # will stay the same, even if you move around on campus. If you move to Upperclass Hall, you will be assigned a new mailbox Unit number in Upperclass Hall, designated by 3 numbers. These unit numbers are not the same as your room number.
If you live in Upton Hastings, Robie Andrews, Philippi, Anderson, or Woodward, please write your address as:
37 College Ave.
Unit # x-xxx (this will be a letter and 3 number combination)
Gorham, ME 04038
Upperclass Hall residents have individual mailboxes in Upperclass Hall lobby. Upperclass Hall mail should be addressed:
Upperclass Hall, Unit # xxx
37 College Ave.
Gorham, ME 04038
Outgoing mail may be dropped off at Mail Services in the basement of Upton Hall.
Always remember to CLOSE your mailbox and SPIN the combination lock to secure your mailbox.
Do the residence halls stay open during official University breaks?
Residence halls are open during official University breaks, but you must register through our online form to have access to stay for some of the breaks. The regular meal plan is not in effect during breaks, but Dining Services offers limited meal service. Please check with Dining Services at 207.780.5420 if you have any questions about meal availability.
College Avenue: 6 weekly all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester & $400.00 meal plan dollars
Residential Way: 10 weekly all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester & $225.00 meal plan dollars
Husky Drive: 14 weekly all-you-care-to-eat meals per semester & 100.00 meal plan dollars
For more Dining Service information, including descriptions of the various meal plans and how they work, please visit the Dining Services page or call Dining Services at 207.780.5420.
Do I have to have a meal plan?
Unless assigned to an apartment (not a suite) in Upperclass Hall, all residential students are required to have a meal plan as part of the room and board contract. Initially all residents, including those in apartments, are automatically assigned a default meal plan or to the meal plan they chose during Room Selection. Students may change their meal plan prior to the end of the second week of classes each semester by going to Dining and completing a meal plan change form.
Meal plans are optional for residents in apartments, but must be cancelled IN WRITING before or during the first week of any semester, and must not have been used at all in order to receive a full refund. In the case of a student moving to an Upperclass Hall apartment mid-semester, canceling the meal plan is an option. There are financial implications to canceling the meal plan once the plan has been used; speak with Residential Life for specifics.
Are vegetarian dishes offered in the dining center?
Yes. Vegetarian entrees are offered at each meal. Vegan options are also available. Please speak with Dining Services at 207.780.5420 if you have other special dietary needs, i.e. gluten free, etc.
If I live off-campus, can I still eat in the dining center?
Yes! Commuters can purchase a commuter/voluntary meal plan of block meals, dining dollars, or a combination. Please see the Dining Services web page for complete plan details and to purchase a plan.
What to bring, what to leave at home
Below are suggested items. Check with roommate(s) before moving in to avoid duplication.
FOR YOUR BED - mattresses are standard twin size, not extra long
Standard regular size twin sheets and pillowcase
Bedspread or comforter
ELECTRICAL ITEMS ALLOWED
All rooms come with a MicroFridge unit. These units are designed to save energy and are very convenient (combined refrigerator, freezer and microwave). Please do not bring a refrigerator or microwave to school.
We recommend Energy Star rated appliances in accordance with our sustainability philosophy.
Printer and accessories
Power strip with circuit breaker
Study lamp with compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs
Low power stereo (less than 800 watts)
DVD, Blu-ray player
Iron w/automatic shutoff
Hair dryer, curling iron, etc.
Keurig machine or comparable machine using a similar brewing mechanism
Shower shoes or flip flops, shower caddy
RECOMMENDED FIRST AID SUPPLIES
Hot pack/Cold pack, adhesive strips in assorted sizes, gauze pads in several sizes, adhesive tape, rolled stretch gauze, triangular bandages, anti-bacterial wipes, saline nasal spray, over the counter medications for colds, pain, fever, stomach, and intestinal, tweezers, personal medical non-mercury thermometer
Closet curtains for all halls except Robie Andrews
Posters affixed w/poster putty, no tacks or nails
Pictures of family and friends
Many of these items may also be purchased at the USM Bookstore in Portland.
Three ring binders, notebook paper
Pencils, pens, highlighters, sharpies
Scissors, tape, ruler
Stapler and staples
Cell phone - in-room jacks may be activated for local calls for a fee
Coaxial cable for your television
Storage boxes/space organizers
Trash can and trash bags
Broom and basic cleaning supplies
Laundry basket, detergent
Basic kitchen supplies for common kitchen use
Utensils, cups, plates, bowls
Sports equipment - must be kept in your room
Toilet paper for apartments and suites
If you plan to have a car on campus, we encourage you to bring a snow shovel over Thanksgiving Break.
PLEASE DO NOT BRING
Hoverboards - Recent information has revealed that the batteries in the devices are dangerous and prone to explosion, creating a safety and fire risk. Our priority is the safety of the members of our community, and until a time that the safety standards of these devices are improved, Residential Life has prohibited these devices from being in all residential buildings. Should these devices be found in the halls, students will be asked to remove them from the building by appropriate staff (Resident Assistant, Resident Director, etc.). Such violations will be referred through the student conduct process.
Incandescent light bulbs - please use compact fluorescents and LEDs, which save energy
Candles, incense, oil burning lamps
Toaster ovens, toasters, hot plates
George Foreman grills, charcoal or gas grills
Coffee makers, electric tea kettles (except Keurig machines or those with similar brewing mechanism)
Weapons of any kind
Animals, except fish or service animals as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, subject to approval
Fry Daddys, electric frying pans
Air conditioners, dehumidifiers, halogen lamps, medusa lamps
Ceiling hangings, ceiling fans
May I bring a computer?
Yes. Just remember that as with all personal property, you are responsible for its security. USM offers an in-room internet access program called ResNet, which is explained further on the ResNet homepage. Wireless is in all residence hall rooms and common areas.
* One University owned Microfridge unit will be provided for each designed double or single. A second University owned Microfridge unit will be provided for designed triples or 4 person rooms or suites (without kitchens). All other microwave and/or refrigerators are prohibited.
* Only one University owned Microfridge unit will be provided for "overcrowd" doubles or triples. An additional University owned Microfridge unit may be requested from the Resident Director.
* Microfridge units must be left clean, unplugged and with the refrigerator and freezer doors open when all occupants check out of the room. Microfridge units that require cleaning by custodial staff will incur a cleaning fee, billed to the occupant(s) of the room/suite. Occupant(s) will be billed for unit(s) that are damaged or missing parts.
May I bring my own furniture with me?
All residence hall rooms are fully furnished with a bed, a desk, a chair, bureau space and a closet available to each resident. Please note that all furniture assigned to a room must stay in the room - it will not be moved or stored to make room for your own. You may bring any furniture that you might like to have in your room, (with the exception of waterbeds and lofts), but you should consider what your roommate(s) may also be bringing; talk to them before you make any final decisions. Useful items might be a small bedside table, floor lamp, television stand, rug and so forth.
May I bring or build a loft in my residence hall room?
No, we do not allow lofts in student rooms. Some beds in some halls are already semi-lofted. For beds that are not semi-lofted, you may use plastic bed risers for a bit more under-bed storage.
Are pets allowed in the residence halls?
No pets or animals of any kind may be kept in the residence halls, with the exception of non-poisonous, non-walking fish in aquariums, service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments 2008, or approved assistance animals. Prior approval of an assistance animal is required by the Disability Services Center. For more information and request for documentation guidelines, please contact 207-780-4706. The University is not responsible for the loss or harm to any fish due to interruptions in power services.
Parking and Transportation
Is there parking available on campus?
On the Gorham campus, parking is available for any resident student who applies for a parking decal through the USM Public Safety office, located in the USM parking garage in Portland, 207.780.4718 or at the dispatch desk at 28 Husky Drive, Gorham. Simply present a current class schedule and vehicle registration and complete the parking decal form. Residential students in Gorham may park in the residential lots which are designated by green signs.
Is there a way to travel between campuses without my own car?
Yes, a free shuttle bus runs between the Portland and Gorham campuses about every 45 minutes while classes are in session. The trip between campuses takes about 25 minutes. The shuttle does not run during University breaks or summer session.
Where do I go for move in?
On the official fall move in day, drive directly to your assigned residence hall. Special temporary parking will be available for you to unload your vehicle. Please unload and immediately move your car so other residents can unload their belongings as well. Staff and Pack Leaders will be around to help stage and move materials.
Alcohol is not allowed in any public area, including lounges, bathrooms and hallways by any person, regardless of age, in any residence halls. Any resident who is of legal drinking age (21) may consume alcohol in the privacy of his/her room or suite in Philippi, Robie Andrews, Anderson, and Upperclass residence halls only. No under-age person is allowed to have alcohol or alcohol containers in their possession, or in their room, at any time in any of USM's residence halls. Please see the Residence Hall Policies for details.
May I have guests in my residence hall room?
Yes, you may have guests stay in your room with some provisions: 1.) You should always check with your roommate(s) before inviting any guest to your room, 2.) You must always sign any guest into the residence hall at the security desk and remain with them while they are in the hall (they will need a picture ID!), and 3.) You may not have any guest stay in your room more than three nights in any consecutive two week period.
What if none of my questions were answered here?
Please contact us, either by phone at 207.780.5240, or by writing to Office of Residential Life, 37 College Ave., Gorham, ME 04038, or by e-mailing email@example.com. We are physically located at 100 Upton Hall. We're happy to answer your questions!