Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of Frequently Asked questions (FAQ's) related to Residence Life and On-Campus Housing. If you do not see your question answered below, please do not hesitate to reach out to hall staff of contact the Residence Life office at (936) 294-1812.

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FAQ's | General

  • Am I required to live on-campus and have a meal plan? Updated

    All students entering SHSU within 1 year of high school are required to reside on-campus and purchase a University Resident Meal Plan their first year of college, usually fall and spring semesters.

  • 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.

  • Can I be exempt from the requirement to live on-campus?

    Exceptions to the First Year Housing and Meal Plan Policy may be made by the Department of Residence Life.  Some exceptions include the student living at home (or with a grandparent or sibling) within a 60 mile radius to the SHSU campus, financial hardship, a medical condition that prevents a student from residing on-campus, marriage, or prior military service. A waiver may be requested here.

  • How much does housing cost?

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

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

    You can view the map of the SHSU campus and descriptions of each residence hall. You may also check out a limited virtual tour of some of the on-campus housing available.

  • Can I see a specific hall? Updated

    A specific tour of one of our showrooms, listed below, is given if we have available staff between 9AM - 4PM. For special accommodations, please contact the Residence Life Office prior to visit to make arrangements. Virtual tours can be found here.

    Halls available for tours:

    • Estill Hall
    • Lone Star Hall
    • Piney Woods Hall
    • Raven Village

    For more information, please contact the Residence Life Office.

  • Do the rooms have Wifi internet access and cable?

    All resident facilities have campus wireless internet access. No personal routers are allowed.

    Cable is completely unavailable and cannot be purchased in  any of the residence halls.

  • 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.

  • 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:

    Fall Semester 2021  
    Cancel by July 1, 2021 $190.00 refund
    Cancel by August 1, 2021 $100.00 refund
    Cancel after August 1, 2021  no refund
    Spring Semester 2022
    Cancel by January 1, 2022 $190.00 refund
    Cancel after January 1, 2022 no refund
  • 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.

  • Can I have a microwave in my room?

    Raven Village, Sam Houston Village, Baldwin, Crawford, Creager, Mallon, Jackson-Shaver, Lone Star Hall, Piney Woods Hall, and White Hall all have in-room microwaves and refrigerators. If not provided by Residence Life, microwaves are not allowed in individual residence hall rooms. However, microwaves 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.

  • Can I have a refrigerator in my room?

    Raven Village, Sam Houston Village, Baldwin, Crawford, Creager, Mallon, Jackson-Shaver, Lone Star Hall, Piney Woods Hall, 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. For all other buildings 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.

  • 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 curtains (tension rod only), throw rugs or carpet, pictures, computer, flashlight (with batteries), posters, and dishes for snacks. See Decorating Tips for more information.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • What housing options are available for transgender students?

    Transgender students are valued members of our on-campus community.  Residence Life strives to provide a safe, inclusive, comfortable, and supportive environment to all students who reside on-campus.  If you have questions or concerns about transgender housing options, please contact our office directly.  You will be directed to a staff member who will take an individual and personal approach to finding the perfect living arrangements.  Housing availability and preference is not guaranteed, so please contact the office as early in the process as possible to ensure the widest variety of housing availability.

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

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

  • 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 current Academic Year Contract (spring only).

  • Can I build a loft or bunk bed?

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

  • How are assignments made?

    Students 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Property Registration

    Register any electronic products with the University Police Department.

  • 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.

FAQ's | Dining & Meal Plans

  • How do I sign up for a meal plan?

    All residential students (except those residents in Bearkat Village) will have the all access plan added automatically to their student account. Before the academic year begins, students may adjust meal plan to the 15 or 20 meals per week plan through the MySam Portal. Commuter students may purchase any meal plan through the MySam Portal.

  • How much does a meal plan cost?

    You can see the rates for all meal plans here.

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

    All meal plans, regardless of type, are valid for the entire academic year.

  • 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.

  • Where can I eat with my meal plan?

    On the meal plan, you can eat at a variety of places during hours of operation. Please visit the dining website for locations.

  • 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 dining locations on campus. 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.

  • How can I check my Bearkat Bucks?

    Students can go to MySam to view their Bearkat Bucks balance.

  • 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).

  • What are the hours of operation for the dining facilities?

    Students can view hours of operation for each dining facility at . 

FAQ's | Decorating Tips

  • 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. It doesn't feel like "home" least not yet (read ahead)!

  • 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!

  • Packing

    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, Piney Woods 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.

  • What to bring:
    • alarm clock
    • sturdy key chain
    • umbrella / rain coat
    • 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
    • backpack
    • curtains (tension rod only)
    • cleaning supplies
    • surge protectors
    • flashlight (with batteries)
  • What NOT to bring:
    • personal router
    • 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
  • Furnishings

    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.

  • Engraving

    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.