Frequently Asked Questions

Campus Life




Dining and Meal Plan Questions

SH Dining Services' website


Decorating Tips

A decorated Living Room


How do I apply for housing?

In order to apply for housing, you must:

  1. Be admitted to the University
  2. Fill out a housing application

Please note: First year students will automatically receive a housing packet by mail when their admission status has been verified. Upperclassmen may request a housing packet by calling (936) 294-1812.

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How much does housing cost?

The housing and dining rates will show you the different prices per hall/house.

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Where are the halls located and what do they look like?

Visit our Virtual Tours section for a 360° tour of our facilities. You can view the map of the SHSU campus and descriptions of each hall and house. You may also come by our office, if you are visiting campus, and request a hall tour.

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Can I see a specific hall?

Tours are available at the Residence Life Office, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

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Do the rooms have cable?

Yes, every residence hall and house has basic cable.

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Is there telephone service in the rooms?

Student rooms do not have telephone service. Students who want phone service in their halls can contract with Suddenlink – the land-line will be a part of the cable box that a student will receive – this cable box will connect to the cable outlet in the room and will include a phone jack for students to plug their phones into. The charge is approximately $20 per line per month.  There are courtesy phones available for local calls in each residence hall lobby.

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Am I required to live on campus and purchase a meal plan?

Only those students who graduated from high school in the current academic year are required to live on campus and purchase a 15, 20 or all access meal plan for the following academic year. Exceptions may be made for students who meet the approved waiver requirement to commute from a distance of no greater than 60 miles from campus under certain circumstances. A waiver request form may be obtained from the Department of Residence Life.

2015-2016 High School Graduates:

For example, if you graduate from high school during the 2015 academic year (September-June), you are required to live on-campus the 2015 academic year (fall 2015 and spring 2016), regardless of the college hours earned.

NOTE: Once an Academic Year Contract has been signed and you have moved in, the exemptions to this policy may no longer be considered.

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How do I get a private room?

After the freeze period at the beginning of each semester, there may be space available for a person to have a private room. Private rooms are one and a half times the double room rate. Requests for a private room may be made with your hall staff after you check in. If space is available, then you will be asked to fill out a private room agreement. Once the private room agreement is signed, you will be billed the prorated charge for the private room.

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If I cancel, will I get a refund?

The deposit is refundable upon written request if admission to the university is denied or if cancellation for a housing reservation is made according to the following schedule:

Spring Semester 2016  
Cancel by January 4, 2016 $190.00 refund
Cancel after January 4, 2016 no refund
Summer Session I, 2015  
Cancel by May 20, 2015 $190.00 refund
Cancel after May 20, 2015 no refund
Summer Session II, 2015  
Cancel by July 1, 2015 $190.00 refund
Cancel after July 1, 2015 no refund
Fall Semester 2015  
Cancel by July 1, 2015 $190.00 refund
Cancel by August 15, 2015 $100.00 refund
Cancel after August 15, 2015 no refund

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Can I have a guest in my room?

Overnight guests of the same sex must be arranged in advance with roommates, suitemates, and the Residence Hall Director. Guests must be sixteen years of age or older, and may stay a maximum of 2 nights and 3 days. More information may be obtained through the Residence Hall Handbook.   


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Can I have a microwave in my room?

Raven Village, Sam Houston Village, Baldwin, Crawford, Creager, Mallon, Randel, Jackson-Shaver, Lone Star Hall, Spivey and Vick houses and White Hall all have in-room microwaves and refrigerators. If not provided by Residence Life, microwave ovens are not allowed in individual residence hall rooms. However, microwave ovens in residence hall lobbies are available for residents' occasional use for snacks. The microwaves are for snack items only, and are not intended to supplement a meal plan.

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Can I have a refrigerator in my room?

Raven Village, Sam Houston Village, Baldwin, Crawford, Creagor, Mallon, Randel, Jackson-Shaver, Lone Star Hall, Spivey and Vick houses and White Hall all have in-room microwaves and refrigerators. If you are assigned to be in these buildings, you may not bring an additional refrigerator. You may bring a small personal refrigerator if one is not already provided. The maximum allowable size for any refrigerator unit is 5.0 cubic feet capacity. Each student in a room may have a unit so long as the combined total capacity of both units in a room is no more than 10.0 cubic feet.

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What do I need to bring with me?

You will need to bring linens for a twin bed (mattress size: 36"x78"), pillows, blankets, towels, wastebaskets, an alarm clock, cleaning supplies and toiletries, and toilet paper. Other things you may want to bring include a stereo, iron, curtains (tension rod only), throw rugs or carpet, pictures, computer, flashlight (with batteries), posters, and dishes for snacks. See Decorating Tips for more information.

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Do the rooms have carpet?

The Housing and Dining Rates page will show you which rooms have carpet. You are welcome to bring an area rug to campus.

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Do the rooms have air conditioning?

All the rooms have air conditioning. The Housing and Dining Rates page will show you which have central air vs. window air conditioning units.

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Do the rooms have a safe?

Students living in Baldwin House, Crawford House, Creager House, Elliott Hall, Jackson-Shaver Hall, Mallon House, Sam Houston Village, and White Hall have safes installed and students will activate the safe after check in. There is no additional cost to use the safe. To activate safe, click here and follow instructions Students living in buildings where there are not in-room safes already installed are welcome to bring their own safe from home. They must be free-standing, and they may not be bolted to furniture or the wall.

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Which hall or house is the best?

Everyone has different needs and desires, so what do you think is best? Refer to the Housing and Dining Rates page to determine which house or hall may meet your needs.

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How do I pay for housing and dining? Can I pay in installments?

You can by by cash, check, E-Check, American Express, or MasterCard. All payment options are located on the Bursar's Office website. All payments must be made on-line or at the Bursar's Office.

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Can I sign a one semester housing contract?

All housing contracts are for a full academic year (from fall to spring). However, if you are transferring or graduating in December, you must cancel your spring housing in writing by December 1st in order to receive your deposit back. If you apply for spring only, you will only be required to complete the terms of the Academic Year Contract (spring only).

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Can I use a computer to access the Internet in my room?

Yes, you can. Refer to Information Resources for network access in residence halls.

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Can I build a loft or bunk bed?

Lofts (homemade or commercially built) are NOT permitted in the residence halls or apartments.  However, all residence hall beds are bunk-able and students may bunk their beds to maximize space in their residence hall room.  Bunk bed pegs are available in the hall offices.

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How are assignments made?

The Department of Residence Life no longer assigns room spaces.  Students now have the opportunity to select the specific room where they wish to reside and can make room changes until shortly before move-in.  Room selection timeslots are determined by the date SHSU receives the student application and deposit, as well as verification of bacterial meningitis vaccination.

Students also have the opportunity to find roommates using the housing portal.  Confirmed roommates will receive a common date of priority (average of both dates of deposit) to enter the portal to select a room.


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Can I request a roommate?

Students have the opportunity to find roommates using the housing portal.  Confirmed roommates will receive a common date of priority (average of both dates of deposit) to enter the portal to select a room.

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If my roommate and I do not get along, can I change rooms?

If you want to move rooms or halls, please talk to your hall staff for available options.

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What if I want to live with a certain ethnic group?

Sam Houston State University accepts applications and makes arrangements in university housing without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status.

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Can I bring my own mattress?

You must have a medical need in order to request that the university mattress be removed from your room. A physician’s note stating the medical reason for the request must be provided to the Residence Life Student Relations Clerk via fax 936.294.1920 or email If your request is approved, the university mattress will be removed from the room. If you do not have a medical need, but would still like to bring your own mattress you may bring it; however, the mattress that has been provided by Sam Houston State University must stay in the room.

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Property Registration

Register any electronic products with the University Police Department.


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Am I required to live on campus and purchase a meal plan?

Only those students who graduated from high school in the current academic year are required to live on campus and purchase a 15, 20, or all access meal plan for the upcoming academic year.

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How do I sign up for a meal plan?

If you are a "required first year student" (you graduated from high school in the previous academic year that you started college), then you will find your meal plan options included in the housing application.

If you are not a required first year student, you have the option to purchase a meal plan every semester (Fall and Spring). Meal plans are available online under the Residence Life link on SamWeb. After you sign up for a meal plan, it will be added to your account, and you can then pay accordingly

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How much does a meal plan cost?


Fall 2015 - Spring 2016



All Access Plan (unlimited dining hall access for card holder only) plus $125 Bearkat Bucks

7 Day -20 meal per week plan plus $175 Bearkat Bucks

$1,890 per semester

$1,800 per semester

15 meal per week plan plus $225 Bearkat Bucks

$1,770 per semester

Any 90 meals per semester plus $300 Bearkat Bucks

$990 per semester

Any 60 meal per semester plus $300 Bearkat Bucks

$750 per semester

Any 30 meal per semester plus $300 Bearkat Bucks

$525 per semester



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How long am I under contract if I sign a meal plan?

A required first year student at SHSU is required to purchase a meal plan for two semesters (one academic year). For anyone other than required first year students, the contractual obligation is just for a semester.

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Can I eat without my Student ID card?

No, you may not eat without a valid Student ID card. If you have lost your ID card, then you need to contact the Bearkat OneCard Office or call (936) 294-CARD.

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Where can I eat with my meal plan?

On the meal plan, you can eat at Old Main Market, Tortilla Fresca, or Grille Works in the South Paw during their hours of operation.

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What are Bearkat Bucks and where do I use them?

The Bearkat Bucks is a pre-paid balance account that can be used to purchase items at the following food locations on campus: Old Main Market, Pawprint inside the Lowman Student Center (featuring Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, Quiznos Sub, and Burger King Express), Einstein Bros Bagels and the C-Store, the SouthPaw (featuring Subway, Starbucks, Suchic, and Tortilla Fresca), Einstein Bros in the PAC, and Starbucks in the Library. Students can deposit money into the Bearkat Bucks account online. A minimum of $25.00 is required to make a deposit. After the payment is received and verified, the Residence Life staff will add the Bearkat Bucks to the student account, and will notify the student when the funds are available for use. Funds are normally available at the end of the next business day. Bearkat Bucks are accessed through the Bearkat Onecard.

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How can I check my Bearkat Bucks?

Students can go to SamWeb to view their Bearkat Bucks balance.  To do so, from Sam Web, click Residence Life.  In the menu, click Bearkat Bucks Payment.  On the following screen, select the term you are looking for and click Submit.  Your balance will be listed on the next screen.

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Are my Bearkat Bucks refundable?

All Bearkat Bucks accounts are cleared out at the conclusion of Summer Session II classes. This means that any balance on those accounts are cleared to a zero amount and no refunds are given. The best thing to keep in mind regarding this issue is to use it or lose it. The only exception to this rule is if you resign from school (only your deposits are refunded, not bonus points included with your meal plan).

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What are the hours of operation for the dining facilities?

Students can view hours of operation for each dining facility at

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Making yourself at home

Consider for a moment your first impression of your residence hall room upon entering it for the very first time. You will probably notice that the room seems pretty typical with box-like dimensions, a window, two standard beds, sterile-looking white walls, several stationary pieces of furniture, etc. Your room looks like every other room down the hallway. The greeting may seem impersonal, unlike the feeling one has when returning home.

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The addition of you

But then in the following few days the transformation occurs. The previous uniform, ordered and indestructible looking room assumes a more personalized atmosphere. Posters are hung, plants are added, music plays and an identity begins to take shape. The key ingredient is as unique as you, because the key ingredient is YOU!

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New students tend to bring far too much to campus, and you should not try to bring all of your worldly possessions. Belvin-Buchanan, Lone Star Hall, Sam Houston Village, and Raven Village are the only halls with elevators, so it is better to pack a number of small boxes rather than a few large ones. Spread your heavy items in a number of boxes, and you can pack light items in large plastic bags. When you are packing, keep in mind that you will be sharing your room with someone else. Also, be certain to pack your registration information, ID card, class schedule, and any correspondence from the University in an easily accessible place.

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What to bring:

  • alarm clock
  • sturdy key chain

umbrella / rain coat A picture of what to bring

  • reading lamp
  • bath robe
  • area rug / carpet
  • toiletries
  • small refrigerator (5.0 cu. ft. max.) unless one is already provided
  • twin size sheets (mattresses are 36" x 78")
  • towels
  • laundry basket
  • detergent
  • sewing kit / safety pins / school supplies
  • stationary
  • backpack
  • curtains (tension rod only)
  • cleaning supplies
  • radio/TV/VCR/cable extension cord
  • surge protectors
  • flashlight (with batteries)

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What NOT to bring:

  • hot pot
  • space heater
  • microwave
  • pets (except for fish)
  • waterbed
  • candles or incense
  • weights (over 5 lbs.)
  • hot plates
  • skillet
  • toaster / ovens
  • potpourri burners
  • halogen lamp
  • extension cords

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Room furnishings differ somewhat in various halls, but most rooms include a desk with drawers, chair, mirror, dresser, bed, and shelving unit. Before you bring book shelves or extra pieces of furniture, you might check with your future roommate to coordinate plans.

Accessories: wall hangings, plants, paintings, fans, posters, throw pillows, baskets, full-length mirror, flower arrangements, lamp, bulletin board, comfortable chair, curtains.

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It is important to engrave your personal property with an identification number so that if it is lost or stolen it can very easily be tracked back to you. You may check out an engraver through your hall staff during regular office hours.

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