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.


MackTasks is your customized list of to-do items that you need to complete before you start classes. It lives 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 fall 2022 and November and February for students starting in spring 2023.

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.

These placement assessments are both in Canvas. 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 missed the due date, it is still important to complete these 2 assessments.

The Orientation Registration link is one of your MackTasks. It does take 2-3 days to update on MackTasks, but if you received a registration confirmation email then you know you’re all set.

The Academic Interest Form lives in your Merrimack Applicant Portal. This uses your personal Email Address. Contact us at or 978-837-5100 for assistance.

Financial aid

Your merit scholarship is renewable for all 4 years as long as you maintain full time status, good academic standing, and there are no changes in your cost of attendance (changes made to your FAFSA, housing status, etc.). There is nothing you need to do to receive your scholarship each year; it automatically renews.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Email to schedule a 20 minute mobile or virtual consultation. During this time we can cover topics such as loan options, understanding your financial aid package, direct vs. indirect costs and more.


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. 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.

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!)

Housing is guaranteed for all undergraduate students! We do our best to match you with someone in your cohort/class. Feel free to contact Residence Life with any questions.

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

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!

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.


Your First Year Experience class (FYE) is designed to help you transition from high school to college. It’s taught by a professional staff/faculty member and an upperclassman student mentor. It’s pretty much your “Merrimack 101” course to get you started!

Each school also 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Priority parking will be based on class year, students with approved accommodations from the Accessibility Services Office and students with confirmed off-campus experiential-education placements. All commuter students are guaranteed on-campus parking. The Student Vehicle Registration Form is in MyMack > Quick Links. Click here to learn more about medical parking accommodations.

Through Mobile Merrimack, all of our undergraduate students receive an iPad, allowing for extensive flexibility through a multitude of learning options in the classroom and online. You’ll receive your iPad during Fall Orientation.

It is your choice if you’d like to have another device, such as a laptop. If you prefer to have both a computer and an iPad, Engineering and Business majors somewhat prefer PC over Mac. For the other majors, there is no preference. You shouldn’t need a printer since all students get over 1000 print credits a year to print out items in the library!

We strongly encourage you to hold off on purchasing software, as Merrimack’s Student Software Store provides academic software at discounted prices, and sometimes free of charge!

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 Majors and Minors Eatery, McQuade Café and Pizzeria, 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.

Students can utilize the Bite U app to make eating on campus easier. View menus at locations across campus, customize your order and avoid lines by ordering ahead of time.

FYI: Resident students are automatically signed up for the 19+ meal plan - it’s included in your room & board fees. If you want to change to the 13+ meal plan, you’ll make this change online in the Residence Life portal during your first week of classes. Both meal plans cost the same, but the 13+ is popular for students who tend toward 2 meals/day rather than 3.

Getting ready

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 November (new Spring 2023 students) and April (new Fall 2023 students), 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.

Orientation for new Spring 2023 students is over 2 days, and right before classes start in January.

For new Fall 2023 students, once you submit your deposit to Merrimack, we’ll send you instructions on how to sign up for Summer Orientation in June. You will 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 in early August on the Orientation website and in your Fall Orientation Info MackTask.

Merrimack’s 2022-2023 calendar is available, and the first day of Spring 2023 classes will be Tuesday, January 17.

Most new students will move in on January 15. Athletes may have an earlier date.

Learn more here and contact Residence Life at 978-837-5507 for more information.

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

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.

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 Advanced credits. 

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.