Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of furniture is provided?

Each room contains a desk, a chair, a dresser, a wardrobe and a twin XL bed for each student.  Because all housing options are furnished, the College does not permit students to bring upholstered furniture to campus residence halls, theme houses or apartment spaces.

Do I need renters insurance?

The college encourages all students to purchase renters insurance to protect their personal property.  Students that select off campus apartment spaces as upper class students are REQUIRED to purchase renter's insurance.  Please visit the website below to view the plans and features specifically designed for college students.

College renters insurance also has liability protection for bodily injury and property damages.  Please visit for more information.

What size are the mattresses? 

All mattresses are twin XL.  Regular sheets will not fit.  You can purchase twin XL sheets at most bedding and bath stores or retail discount stores.  We also expect to have a new preferred vendor this year to offer to incoming students.

Can we loft our beds?

Some residence halls have loftable furniture.  Please see "information about my room" for more information.

How much space is under the bed?

The twin XL beds have 10" of space underneath for storage.

What color is my room?

All rooms are neutral in decor.  Most rooms have white walls.  Carpet remnants and accessories can be used to bring color to the room. 

Can I hang things on the walls?

The walls are made with cinder block construction, so we ask that you not drill into the walls.  Most student find that poster putty or 3M removable hooks work well for the purpose of hanging things on the walls.

Is there enough room for two refrigerators or two TVs?

You may bring either a 1.8 cu ft or 4 cu ft refrigerator (please no more than 4 cu ft). Two 1.8 cu ft. refrigerators can fit relatively well in most rooms. The majority of students have one TV per room and one refrigerator.  To rent a microfridge, please visit

Should I bring my own desk chair?

Each desk comes with a chair, so you do not need to bring your own.  If you elect to bring your own chair, that's OK, but we ask the college-issued desk chair stay in your room as well.

Can I bring a microwave?

No.  We've found if students bring their own microwaves they present circuit outages in the residential halls.  Microwave/refrigerator combination units are available for rental.  Please visit to place your order.   The rental units meet all voltage requirements.

Can I bring an electric blanket?

No.  Electric blankets are not permitted.  They present a safety risk.  They also have apropensity to cause tripped electrical breakers

Is there a program to purchase a carpet area rug for my assigned room?

Yes.  Some rooms on campus are carpeted and others are tile.  If you'd like to order an area rug for you residence hall room, please visit  The rug will be shrink wrapped and delivered to your room prior to your arrival.  If you are unsure if your room is carpeted or not, please email  for information.  Please see "information about my room" section to clarify as well.

Is there lighting in each room?

All rooms are equipped with lighting. Students often choose to bring lamps to soften the otherwise fluorescent lighting.

What is the flooring like?

It varies by building and by room.  It can be wall-to-wall carpeting or VCT (Quartz) tile.  Please see the "information about my room" section to verify.

Are there curtains?

Each room has mini-blinds.

Are the rooms air-conditioned?

Yes, each room is cooled through central air conditioning.

Are there screens in the windows?

Our windows do not have screens. If you'd like the option of opening your window, home improvement stores often sell expandible screens that work well.

Is there a mirror in my room?

There is a mirror behind each door.

Is there a trash can in my room?

Each room comes with two trash cans. Each double room has two twin XL beds, two desks, two desk chairs, and two clothing wardrobes (closets). All the rooms have central heat and air conditioning.

Should I bring my own fan?

Students often chose to bring fans for days in the early spring or late fall when it is warm but not quite warm enough to activate central air conditioning. 

Can I take a tour of my room?

Unfortunately, we cannot offer tours of individual rooms during the summer.  At this busy time of year, we simply cannot accommodate these requests.

May I have appliances in my room?

Heavy appliances or items with exposed heating units, such as air conditioners, large refrigerators, hot plates, microwave ovens and electric heaters are not permitted in the residence halls. Small 1.8 or 4 cubic foot refrigerators are allowed or you can rent a microfridge by visiting

What policies do I have to follow in the College Houses?

Students are responsible for following all state and federal laws and all policies outlined in The College Life Manual.  Please read this book carefully so you know your responsibilities as a member of the Franklin & Marshall community. Some of the most important policies and regulations that apply to residential living are highlighted in the following section, which describes the Room and Food Service Contract.

How can I make the most out of living on campus?

Living in a residence hall offers great opportunities to practice life skills, acquire leadership experience, meet other students and to take part in the out-of-class college life. Most students learn a great deal on campus, and, while students are required to live in the residence halls during their first and second years, many students choose to do so for all four years at F&M. There are also special interest options for students after the first year. These currently include the Arts House, the Sustainability House, the Wellness House, W. James Apartments and Dietz Hall Quiet Living. In short, the residence halls at F&M are a big part of college life for the vast majority of students. We think you'll find your experience in them to be a positive one. More information can be found on the Admissions page.

Can I bring a car to campus as a first-year student?

No. First year students are NOT permitted to bring their car to campus, nor are they allowed to register their car or park on campus. If the College finds out you have a car and are parking it in the Lancaster community (i.e., on Race Ave.), the Office of Public Safety will discuss this with you and decide on an appropriate course of action. Exceptions will be granted for commuting students.

Can I change roommates?

Roommates are carefully matched according to the living habits and personality questionnaire all students completed. That said, we do realize that not all roommates are destined to become best of friends. We encourage students to speak with their HAs if they have concerns.  HAs are carefully trained to handle roommate concerns of all types. If after trying to work through roommate issues a student still wants a roommate switch, the House Prefect will work closely with them to find a suitable and compatible match.

Where do first-year students live?

First-year students live on floors with other first students.  If you have a special medical need for a single room as a first year student, our campus physician, Dr. Amy Myers, will need to meet with the student to discuss.  Documentation from the treating physician will also be required.  

How is my roommate chosen?

At Beginnings (or by phone if you are unable to attend Beginnings) students will interview you to obtain useful information to determine the best possible match. Over the summer, the Orientation Planning Directors from your house will match roommates according to the information they collected during student interviews. Answering questions as honestly and completely as possible will assist these students in making room assignments.

What is an "HA"?

House Advisers (HAs) are upper-class students employed by the Office of the Dean of the College. Each floor has an HA who is available to assist students in their transition to college life.  They facilitate floor decision-making, serve as a resource for information about the College, enforce College policies, plan programs to bring the residents of a floor together, help to foster a sense of community among residents and much more. You will find your HA to be an invaluable resource at F&M.

What time are the residence halls locked?

The residence halls are locked 24 hours a day to insure the safety of everyone in our community.  Residential students are provided with an electronic door FOB for access to the residence halls. Resident students have access to all residential buildings from 7 a.m. to midnight each day.  Students also have access to key buildings on campus such as the library.

May I smoke in the residence Halls?

Franklin & Marshall is a smoke-free campus. This policy means that there is no smoking in any common areas on campus (i.e., bathrooms, lounges, classrooms, stairwells, residence halls, etc.). Students may not smoke in their residence hall rooms.

What if I don't have a roommate?

We know what a critical role roommates play in defining your collegiate experience. If you do not have a roommate listed in your housing packet right now, don't worry. It may be that the original person with whom you were assigned to live will no longer be attending F&M.

Do the rooms have cable TV?

Yes. There is one cable TV outlet per room.  Each room is wired for basic cable, however, students must provide their own coaxial cable. Reception is excellent and there are many channels from which to choose.

What about cellular phones?

Most students bring cellular phones to campus.  

Can my roommate and I each use the Internet simultaneously?

Each room has two Ethernet jacks that enable two computers to function on the Internet at the same time.  Please bring your own Ethernet cord.  Additionally, wireless connectivity is available in your room and in most areas around campus.

What is my campus mailing address?

Your campus address will look like this: Your Name F&M # PO Box 3003 Lancaster, PA 17604 Your specific F&M number is assigned approximately one week before you get here. Mail services will provide you with your number upon your arrival.

My insurance company does not take a P.O. address. What is my address for insurance purposes?

Your Name 415 Harrisburg Pike Lancaster, PA 17603

What will my e-mail address be?

You will be receiving information from F&M's Computing Services, providing you with both your e-mail address and your password. Typically, that address is

How do block meal plans work?

A set number of meals/flex dollars are added to your ID card for the semester based on the plan you choose (first year students are required to carry the 225 block plan). Each time a meal swipe is used, your meal balance declines by one. You may use as many meals in a period as you would like.  In addition, each block meal plan comes with Flex dollars that work the same as debit dollars, but can only be used for dining services. If your total purchase at Vocelli's exceeds your equivalency value, you may use your flex dollars, Ben's Bucks or cash to cover the difference. It's your choice! You can also purchase Bens Bucks to be used on and around campus.  Please visit for more information.  For more information on the block meal plans and other dining related questions, visit the Dining Services webpage at  Meal swipes do not carry over from the Fall to the Spring semester, however, unused flex dollars will carry from the Fall to the Spring semester.  At the end of the Spring semester balances reduce to zero until the start of the new semester.

How do I sign up for a meal plan?

All first-year students are required to purchase a 225 block meal plan (this means 215 meal swipes with 10 guest passes per semester). Sophomore students are required to purchase either a 225 or a 180 block mean plan.  Upper class, junior or senior, students may choose one of five meal plans offered or they may opt out of the meal plan altogether.  To view meal plan option info, please visit and click on student accounts then meal plan options to the right for complete information.

Can I change or delete my meal plan?

Incoming first year students are requird to carry the 225 block meal plan. Sophomore, junior or senior students may change their meal plan choice up until the second week of classes.  After the second week of classes no changes or deletions will be permitted.

What are the laundry facilities like?

The laundry facilities on campus are push to start as laundry fees are included in the housing cost.  Students are able to check on the website which laundry machines are in use in each building and can receive an Instant Message or e-mail confirmation when their laundry is done!  High efficiency (HE) detergent should be used.

How can I stay safe on campus?

Visit the Franklin & Marshall Public Safety Web site for tips on staying safe.