Parents and Families FAQs

Welcome to Simmons University! This page is a good starting point for many of the questions you will have about Simmons and your student's university life. If you have any questions that aren't answered here, feel free to email us!

Life at Simmons | Safety | Residence Housing | Residence Campus Staff

Life at Simmons

What are the biggest adjustments during the first year?

Often the biggest change for students during their first year of university is adjusting to living away from home for the first time. Adjusting to life in a new place can be difficult, and living with a roommate can also be a big change for students. At the Office of Residence Life (ORL), we recognize that the first year of university can be difficult for many students and so we offer many opportunities for support. Our knowledgeable and compassionate staff of Resident Advisors (RAs) and Area Coordinators (ACs) are on hand to assist all students on the Residence Campus.

When is the best time for a student to travel home for the first time?

This decision is one that you and your student will have to decide upon together. However, we suggest new students remain on campus during the weekends for the first month or so. This time spent on campus is often the best way for students to develop the friendships that enrich the university experience.

My student called me anxious and upset, where can she find help?

There are many options available to students who are feeling anxious, upset, or in any sort of emotional distress. The Counseling Center on the main campus and the Health Center on the residence campus are available to all students free of charge. RAs and ACs also available to assist students during and after their transition to university and residence life. There are always RAs and an AC on duty when the ORL is closed and they can be reached in an emergency. If the situation is not an emergency, students are encouraged to set up appointments with their AC or stop by during office hours to discuss any problems, concerns, or questions. The ORL Central Staff are also more than willing to assist students in any way that they can.

What do students do when they get sick?

The Health Center, located on the Residence Campus, offers health care to Simmons undergraduate and graduate students and is a provider of health services to students at other area university's as well.

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, if students are on campus, they should call Public Safety at 617-521-1111.

Where do students do laundry?

Laundry facilities are available in each residence hall. All laundry costs are included in the Room and Board rates. To learn more about our Laundry facilities click here.

Can students have cars on campus?

Due to limited space, parking is not available to resident students. However, there is ample public transportation available surrounding the Simmons University campuses. Schedules are available at the Student Information Desk in the Main Campus Building or from the MBTA.

Are students able to work on campus?

Yes, many students are awarded Federal Work-Study as part of their financial aid package. Also, there are ample general employment opportunities for interested students. Students can find employment opportunities on Workday Student or Handshake.

What is my student's mailing address?

Each student is assigned a Mail Stop Code (MSC) number that also serves as their mailbox number in the mailroom. This number must be used on all incoming mail. Incoming mail should be addressed to the student as follows:

Student's Name
Simmons University MSC ####
54 Pilgrim Road
Boston, MA 02215

Where do students hang out on the Residence Campus?

Each of the residence halls has a variety of lounge spaces that are equipped with comfortable seating, study areas, and televisions.

Where do students study?

Several places are available for students to study. If students prefer to study outside of their rooms, many halls offer their own study areas for students. On the main campus, students are often seen studying in the library, Common Grounds Cafe or the Fens.

Are there computers available for students to use?

There are computers available for students to use both on the main campus and on the residence campus. Computer labs on the residence campus offer 24-hour internet access and are available to all residents. There are labs in Arnold, Mesick, North, Smith, and Simmons Halls.

What is Fenway Cash and how do students use them?

All students can use their ID card as a Fenway Card. Students can go to the Card Office to purchase Fenway Cash to be used in place of cash. Fenway Cash represents money linked to your ID card and can be used in place of cash. When a student's card is swiped, the amount of her purchase is deducted from her Fenway Cash total. There are two types of Fenway Cash: General and Bookstore. General Fenway Cash can be used to pay for items at the Bookstore, Dining Services, copiers, vending machines, and the Copy Center. For more information, contact the Campus Card office at 617-521-CARD (2273).


How safe is the campus?

Simmons University employs its own Public Safety department that provides security 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The Public Safety Office is located on the first floor of One Palace Road on the Academic Campus with a satellite office is on the Residence Campus located on the first floor of Simmons Hall.

All residence halls are locked 24 hours a day. Each student is given a key to their room as well as a Simmons University ID card (which also doubles as the Fenway Card). The campus is equipped with a computerized card access system, which allows access to all residence halls by all residents from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily and access to one's own hall of residence 24 hours a day. In addition to the card access system, the entire Residence Campus is enclosed by an iron gate, which is secured between 9 PM and 6 PM. During that time, students and visitors may gain access to the Residence Campus through the Public Safety control area located in Simmons Hall. Visitors must be escorted by a Simmons resident at all times, per the guest policy.

How safe is Boston?

Boston is an urban environment and as such caution should be exercised at all times. However, Simmons University is located in an area where there are many other colleges and there are many college students who have a wonderful, safe, and enjoyable experience in Boston. Here at Simmons, we are committed to supporting student safety and encourage students to participate in the free self-defense courses that are offered as well as communicate with their RAs and other students about common sense strategies for staying safe. Many students enjoy living in an urban area and feel quite safe in and around the Simmons community.

Residence Housing

When are the deadlines for housing applications and deposits?

For Fall semester, all completed applications with housing deposits date stamped on or before May 1 will receive a housing assignment. Please note, July 1 is the last day that new students can withdraw from housing and be refunded their $250 housing deposit.

Which residence halls might an incoming student expect to be placed in?

Most incoming students live in Simmons and Morse Halls, except for students who have an eligible accommodation through the Office of Accessibility Services as their accommodation may require a space that Morse and Simmons cannot meet. While there are some double occupancy rooms, please know that many of our incoming students will assigned to Expanded Occupancy Triple rooms. The prices are the same for all housing options, and each student will be given their own set of furniture (bed, desk, shelves).

What is a Living Learning Community and what are the benefits of living within one?

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) are centered around students living together who share identities, interests, or goals. LLCs encourage student learning through shared experiences and opportunities for personal discovery and reflection. Research shows that students, who live in LLC environments are more likely to stay in college, earn a higher GPA, and experience a greater degree of satisfaction with their overall college experience. Research also demonstrates that faculty and staff involved in the LLCs derive an equally rich and rewarding experience as the students.

Our goal is to foster a strong sense of student belonging, self-efficacy, and well-being through our LLCs. LLCs reflect purposeful programming achieved through the collaborative efforts of campus partnerships. Finally, LLCs also meet the Residence Life mission of providing resources to assist in the development of residents' emotional intelligence, resilience, and well-being; encouragement to actively participate in social responsibility and personal accountability; pathways for leadership and mentorship; support for navigating processes and procedures of our department; and opportunities for cultivating university community connections and sense of belonging.

LLCs create a rich educational living experience that compliments classroom learning. LLCs provide unique learning experiences that facilitate social connections and positive identification with their community.

How are the student rooms furnished?

Rooms are furnished with a standard twin-size bed (NOT extra long twin-size beds), desk, dresser, and bookcase for each student. Expanded Occupnacy Triples may require shared desk space, but as mentioned above there are plenty of study spaces students prefer to do their work. Students may not bring their own beds or mattresses.

What should my student bring and what is prohibited in the halls?

Students are allowed to bring standing lamps (except for halogen lamps), curtains, rugs, stereos, televisions, and computers. Posters, picture frames, easy-care plants, and bicycles are also acceptable. Pets are strictly prohibited except for service animals, approved Emotional Support Animals, and small fish in properly maintained tanks of no more than a five-gallon capacity. If any prohibited item is found in a student's room, it will be confiscated by a member of the ORL team, held for a designated time so a student can return it home, and if not picked up donated or tossed away. More information can be found on our What to Bring page.

What are students allowed to do to their rooms?

Students may not physically alter, remove, or in any way tamper with the room furnishings provided by Simmons. This includes construction of any kind (i.e. lofts or other alterations of the bed) or painting of the walls, ceilings, and floors.

Can we rent or purchase a microfridge unit?

Students may opt to bring their own mini fridge but it must comply with Residence Hall Policies & Procedures which state the appliance must be "energy-star compliant" and no larger than 3.6 cubic feet. You can also rent a microfridge.

Can we bring our own furniture into the halls?

Massachusetts state law prohibits the use of upholstered furniture in student rooms unless it is treated with a fire-retardant chemical and is labeled as such. Upholstered furniture includes couches, futons, and overstuffed chairs. Waterbeds, lofts, and hanging chairs are prohibited in residence hall rooms. Furniture which contains polyurethane foam will not be permitted due to their increased risk of being flammable. All furniture brought into the residence halls should have a CAL 133 or 117 labels.

Residence Campus Staff

What is the role of the Area Coordinators?

Area Coordinators (ACss) are full-time professionals who live in the residence halls. Each AC is responsible for supervising a staff of Resident Advisors, assisting with the coordination of activities within the halls, assisting students with transitional concerns, and serving as an important link between the central office and the residential students. An AC is also on duty whenever the Residence Life Office is closed.

What is the role of the Resident Advisor?

Resident Advisors (RAs) are carefully selected and trained undergraduates who serve as peer advisors and educators to residents. RAs assist students in their transition to college and residence life. They strive to build supportive and fun communities based on civility and mutual respect. Each night, residence halls are staffed by an RA on duty.

Who should I call if I have questions?

While the RA and ACs are available for student support, the Central Staff members of the Office of Residence Life all are available for parent concerns and questions. All parents with questions will be directed to the Office of Residence Life at (617) 521-1096. Our office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.