Frequently Asked Questions

Starting college comes with a lot of really great questions! Let’s answer some of the top questions we receive from new students and families.

Financial aid

Is my scholarship good all 4 years?

Your total financial aid package, including merit scholarship, may be subject to change from year to year based upon enrollment status, academic standing, housing status and/or demonstrated financial need. The FAFSA must be submitted annually to continue to be eligible for institutional, federal or state need-based aid.

What do I have to do to get my scholarship and/or grant every year?

Your merit scholarship automatically renews as long as you remain a full time student, maintain good academic standing, and your cost of attendance does not change. Grants are associated with your FAFSA, so don’t forget to refile the FAFSA each year to maintain that aid. Grants are based on financial information on your FAFSA, so if that information changes it can affect your grant.

What is an outside scholarship and how do I find one?

An outside scholarship is simply a scholarship that comes from outside the school or the government. A student must initiate applications for outside scholarships. 

There are many resources available for additional outside scholarships. Touching base with your school counselor is a great way to see what your school and community may offer. Local rotary clubs, religious institutions, and parent employers may also have scholarship opportunities.

We do provide a list of some scholarships, as well as recommendations for scholarship databases on our website.

I applied as a resident student, but now I am thinking of being a commuter (or vice versa). How will this affect my financial aid?

Changing your housing status will therefore change your cost of attendance, which will affect your financial aid. Your financial aid counselor can help map out your various scenarios. Find your financial aid counselor in your applicant portal, under the financial aid tab.

I have questions about my financial aid. How do I get in contact with someone?

Each student has their own dedicated financial aid counselor. You can find your financial aid counselor in your applicant portal under the financial aid tab. 

Once we review your FAFSA, you will receive a detailed financial aid offer which lists all of the financial aid options you qualify for in addition to your merit scholarship. You can then sign up for a Financial Aid Consultation to talk with a counselor about any questions you have.

And always feel free to email with an general questions!


What will my dorm be like?

Freshmen are typically housed in Ash CentreDeegan Hall, or Monican Centre. Your room will have a bed, a set of drawers, a wardrobe (aka a closet), a desk and a chair. New students should expect to live in a triple, double, suite or quad. There are laundry facilities in all of these buildings, and laundry is FREE! Some buildings also have common areas featuring lounges, fireplaces, pool or ping pong tables. Explore the Merrimack Res Life Instagram account for more info! 

How do I choose or find a roommate?

All resident students fill out a housing questionnaire which asks things like: are you a morning person or night owl? Are you clean or messy? Residence Life staff will then use your answers to match you up with someone compatible. You and another freshman can also request each other on the questionnaire, and Residence Life will honor mutual requests. You do not need to find a roommate, but some ways to do so are through the class facebook group or at an admitted student event. We’ll let you know when the Housing Questionnaire will be available to complete. (it will be one of your new student MackTasks!)

I’m a transfer student. Will I be living with freshmen?

We do our best to match you with someone in your cohort/class, but reach out to Residence Life to learn more! 

Who can I talk to about my specific housing needs?

Merrimack responds to requests for housing accommodations based on medical and/or psychological needs. To learn more, visit the Accessibility Services website.

Do I have to live on campus?

While housing is guaranteed all four years, living on campus is not required. Typically, about 15% of the freshman class are commuters and we have programming and support for you, too!

What are Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and are they required?

LLCs are encouraged but they are not required. LLCs are built-in communities in the residence halls, bringing together students who are in the same program(s) and/or who share similar interests. This makes it even easier to make friends, find study groups, and more. Our largest LLCs are iTEC for Science & Engineering majors, Honors, and Austin Scholars. While students cannot request specific buildings on their questionnaire, they can request a living learning community.


How can I get acclimated as a freshman? Who will be there to help me?

You won’t be flying solo! We have programs and resources in place to help guide the way. Summer Orientation in June introduces you to your Orientation Leader who will be your go-to person throughout the summer. Then, Fall Orientation kicks off a “Welcome Week” full of activities, events and resources to help you get settled in. You’ll have the support of your Orientation Leader, academic and career advisors and so many others you can lean on for a helping hand or a push in the right direction.


Each school has the support of an Advising Center.  Staff members in these offices can help you with all the resources that you need as you adjust to life as a college student.

How many classes will I take? What is a typical freshman schedule?

We take an individualized approach to creating first-semester schedules for new first-year students and here’s how we do it. Students typically take 4 classes a semester for 4 credits each. First semester freshmen may have 5 or 6 classes.  A typical first year schedule includes a combination of core graduation requirements along with introductory classes in your major courses. If you are undeclared, don’t worry. The Discover Program works with all students to craft a first year schedule that aligns with your interests.

How hard are the classes at Merrimack? Will I be ready?

College classes are definitely different than high school, and we can’t promise they won’t come without their challenges and stressors! But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Merrimack is known for supporting students and making sure you have the tools and support you need to be successful in your first year. From tutoring and academic advising, to faculty office hours and study groups, and so much more, we’re ready to assist you at every step of the way.

How should I buy my books?

You can find out all the textbooks that your faculty are requiring for classes through the Merrimack College Bookstore website. With a copy of your schedule, you will select the correct Term, Department, Course and Section. All of the books required for that course will be listed. Many books are available to rent or are “used” (great condition at a discounted rate). Selecting to order your books from the Merrimack College Bookstore may be a good option your first semester. If you need to make an exchange or return, the bookstore is easily accessible and sure to have the correct materials for all of your courses. You can order online and have your books waiting for you as you arrive or, if you live close, come over to campus and pick them up now.

Should I take a summer course to get ready for college?

If you want to! Earn college credit while exploring a new subject or challenge yourself by taking a tough subject pass/fail. All classes are hosted online. Learn more about the course offerings and registration details.

Day to day life on campus

Can I bring my car?

All commuter students are guaranteed on-campus parking. The Student Vehicle Registration Form is in MyMack > Quick Links. Resident students are welcome to complete the Student Vehicle Registration Application, however parking spaces are not guaranteed and will be prioritized based on class year, students with approved accommodations from the Accessibility Services Office and students with confirmed off-campus experiential-education placements. Freshmen and sophomore resident students, as a general rule, should not expect to have a vehicle on campus and opportunities for juniors will be limited. 

Does Merrimack have off-campus transportation?

Yes! The Warrior Shuttle is a free service for Merrimack College faculty, staff and students. Learn more here. Merrimack also provides residential students access to a student shuttle between Boston Logan International Airport,  South Station and campus during official breaks including holidays, spring break, and the start and end of each semester. Learn more here.

What does my meal plan include? When do I choose it?

There are a variety of meal plans for residents and commuters. Whether it is comfort food, sushi or a quick coffee, you have a variety of food options to satisfy your appetite. Our newest options include a Monica’s Kitchen and the Merrimack Food Truck. And don’t worry, no matter if you are a Dunkin or Starbucks lover, we have both on campus for you to order your favorite brew.

FYI: Resident students are automatically signed up for a meal plan —it’s included in your housing costs.

Getting ready

Once I deposit, what are my next steps?

Once you deposit, it’s time to celebrate! You can also register for New Student Orientation on your applicant portal when you’re ready. Look around for important dates and next steps.

Starting in  April, you will receive your Merrimack email address and more information about preparing for your first semester. We’ll help you every step of the way.

When is Orientation?

New Fall students choose from single-day or overnight June Orientation sessions:

June 11: Single-day
June 12-13: Overnight
June 17-18: Overnight
June 20: Single-day

At Orientation, you’ll review your Fall schedule, learn about campus resources, meet other new students and become more and more comfortable at Merrimack. You will also participate in Fall Orientation over the days before classes start. Learn more on the Orientation website.

When is move-in and the first day of classes?

Merrimack’s academic calendar is available here. Fall classes begin August 26. Move-in dates will be communicated over the summer, but typically are during the week before the start of classes.  Athletes and students in LLC’s may have earlier move-in dates.  Learn more here and contact Residence Life at 978-837-5507

Can I mail packages to Merrimack before I move in?

You can! See step-by-step instructions to find your Mail Stop and how to format your mailing address.

How do I request accommodations?

The Office of Accessibility Services works closely with students with documented disabilities who may require reasonable accommodations with regard to academics, housing and medical-related parking. Learn more about the Accessibility Services Office and how to register for accommodations.

How/When do I find out about transfer credits for my AP, IB, CLEP or College courses?

Please ensure your score reports or official transcripts with final grades are submitted electronically to Merrimack College by emailing More information about the Transfer credit awarding process can be found on our Transfer Credit page. We encourage you to use the site to identify some of Merrimack’s current equivalencies for both College courses and AP & IB exam scores.


What are MackTasks?

MackTasks is your customized list of to-do items that you need to complete before you start classes. MackTasks become available to deposited students in early April, and can be found on myMack – Merrimack’s online student portal.

The MackTasks list you see in your portal is personalized just for you, so what you see might be different from a friend’s list. Due dates vary depending on the task with dates ranging between May and September for students starting in the fall semester, and November and February for students starting in the spring semester.

How do I set up my new Merrimack accounts (myMack, email, etc)?

Merrimack accounts will be created for new students in April. At that time, follow the instructions in an email from your admission counselor, Subject > Merrimack email set up and next steps. If you do not see this email, contact the Admission Office at or 978-837-5100 so we can look into this for you. If you are having difficulty with the instructions, call our IT Tech Bar Monday-Thursday, 8:30AM-4:30PM at 978-837-3500.

How do I take my Math and Language Placement Assessments?

These placement assessments are fully online in Canvas and will become available in April. Use your Merrimack Username (full email address) and Password to login.

If you have difficulty logging in or have additional questions, contact the Admission Office for assistance, Even if you miss the due date, it is still important to complete these 2 assessments.

How do I change my major?

Prior to the start of classes, you can request major changes through the Office of Admission. There is an online form in your Merrimack Applicant Portal and you can also email major change requests to New students start Merrimack with one major. Once you are a student here, you can work with your academic advisor to add a second major and/or minor(s).

Something else on your mind?

Please reach out to your admission counselor! They are your go-to person and can help with any questions you may have. If you are not sure who your counselor is, you can find yours on the applicant portal. We also have Mack, our chatbot, available to answer your questions 24/7. Keep an eye out for Mack in the bottom corner of this page.