Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Expenses

The University of Southern Mississippi is supported chiefly by legislative appropriations. Increases in student fees are put into effect only when public support funds are inadequate and no other recourse is available. Increases are made only for support of the institution or improvement of the activity program of the students; therefore, the university must reserve the right to increase or modify fees and expenses without prior notice but with approval of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Fees and expenses are in the form of general tuition, room and board, and special fees.

Cost of attendance information is published on the Business Services Tuition and Fees webpage. https://www.usm.edu/business-services/general-tuition-fees.php

General Tuition

This fee, together with the allocation from the legislative appropriation, is used for general support of the University. Athletic activities and SMAC programs are not included for part-time students.

Full-time enrollment for tuition calculation is different from full-time enrollment for academic load. Full-time students for purposes of assessing fees are those who take 9-13 semester hours at the graduate level and 12-19 semester hours at the undergraduate level during fall, spring and summer semesters. Graduate students enrolled for more than 13 semester hours during fall, spring and summer semesters will be assessed the applicable fee for each additional semester hour. Undergraduate students enrolled for more than 19 semester hours during fall, spring and summer semesters will be assessed the applicable fee for each additional semester hour.

Clinical and hospital services covered by the health service charge included in the general tuition fee are limited to cases of ordinary illness. Services are provided within the limits of the professional, technical and physical resources of the clinic. The University does not assume responsibility in cases of extended illness or for treatment of chronic diseases. Cases requiring surgery must be handled by a physician and hospital of the student’s choice and at the student’s expense.

Residential Meal Plans

Resident students will automatically be assigned to the To The Top Plan when they choose on-campus housing. Students will have the opportunity to downgrade their meal plans, add Dining Dollars or make other changes to their meal plans before the University’s deadline for charges to student accounts, usually about a week after the start of each semester. Each residential unlimited meal plan includes 5 guest meals swipes, which will allow you to treat a friend or visiting relative to a meal at the Fresh Food Company.

Freshmen will be required to purchase one of our unlimited plans, To The Top or the Black & Gold plan. Upperclassmen can choose a Weekly 10 or Weekly 14 meal plan. 

Meal Plan costs for Hattiesburg residents are published on the Eagle Dining Meal Plans webpage. https://usm.campusdish.com/MealPlans 

Commuter Meal Plans

Both of our Commuter plans combine residential meal swipes and bonus bucks. Any commuter can purchase a residential plan if they choose. Select a plan that best meets your needs, or combine one of these plans with a Dining Dollar block to maximize flexibility.

Meal Plan costs for commuters to the Hattiesburg campus and Gulf Park campus are published on the Eagle Dining Meal Plans webpage. https://usm.campusdish.com/MealPlans 

Meal Plan Refund Policies

Meal plan refund policies are found on the Eagle Dining Terms and Conditions webpage. https://usm.campusdish.com/TermsAndConditions


Housing costs are published on the Department of Housing and Residence Life Campus Living webpage. https://www.usm.edu/housing-residence-life/apply/housing-rates.php

The housing cancellation policy is published in the Housing Contract Agreement available on the Department of Residence Life Housing Contracts webpage. https://www.usm.edu/housing-residence-life/housing-contracts.php

Housing is only available on the Hattiesburg campus.

Additional Miscellaneous Expenses

Business Services publishes additional Miscellaneous Expenses on their webpage. https://www.usm.edu/business-services/miscellaneous-expenses-0.php

Telephone Service

Telephone services for students residing in Residence Halls are available. For more information regarding student telephone services, visit www.usm.edu/itech/student-telephone-request-process.

Post Office Box

The post office box rental fee is assessed to all students living in university-controlled housing. Fees are assessed on an academic year basis and are calculated on time remaining in the academic year. The fee covers box rental for the remainder of the academic year provided the student remains enrolled. Those students living off campus may rent a post office box if they so desire.

Student ID Cards

The ID card is a permanent card for each student. The fall semester (permanent) ID card will also be used for spring and summer semesters. The same card must be kept and used even when returning from a previous year or semester. Do not destroy, lose, bend or tamper with an ID card. The fee for first time enrolling freshman, graduate or transfer students is $15. Lost ID cards can be replaced at Southern Miss Image Center for $25. Payment for first time and lost cards is due at the time the card is printed. Payments can be made by cash, VISA, or Mastercard. Payments CANNOT be made to the student accounts.


The University of Southern Mississippi uses a license plate recognition system to identify vehicles parked on our campuses and to verify parking access permissions in all areas. All vehicles utilizing campus parking should have registered license plates or proper visitor credentials, either on their account or displayed in the vehicle.

Permit Information and Registration fees are found on the Parking and Transit Services webpage. https://www.usm.edu/parking-transit-services/ permit-information.php


The University of Southern Mississippi in partnership with Barnes & Noble College has launched a new program designed to lower costs and increase access to required course materials for undergraduate classes before the first day. Eagle Direct Textbooks allows students to select all their required course materials for their undergraduate classes for a flat fee, regardless of how much each individual textbook or digital access would cost to rent or purchase separately. 

Cost information can be found on the Eagle Direct Textbooks webpage: https://www.usm.edu/procurement-contract-services/eagle-direct-textbooks.php

Students can purchase or rent textbooks or digital content through the The University of Southern Mississippi’s Official Bookstore, Barnes and Noble. https://usm.bncollege.com/shop/usm/page/find-textbooks

Other Financial Information

Payment of Fees

The University requires each term to be paid in full before a student starts class. An installment payment plan is offered for students not able to pay their balance in full before class starts. Students with loans, grants and/or scholarships may use those funds as payment toward their total fees. Loans, grants, scholarships, and checks made payable to the University must be applied to fees in full before a refund can be given. These loans, grants and scholarships may not be used to pay prior term outstanding balances. A monthly late fee will be applied to the unpaid balance. All charges from a prior and/or current term must be paid for the student to attend next term.

The University accepts payment by check, money order or cash at Hattiesburg Business Services located in Forrest County Hall, Room 101, and by check or money order at Gulf Park Student Services One Stop, Hardy Hall, 1st floor. Paper checks and money orders may be mailed to USM Business Services, 118 College Drive #5133, Hattiesburg, MS 39406. All credit and debit card payments must be made online via the student’s SOAR account and a convenience fee will be added to the payment. Students may also pay online with an eCheck, an ACH transfer from your bank account, and this payment will NOT incur a convenience fee. The University reserves the right to refuse payment by check or eCheck where an individual has previously given a check which has been returned.

The University reserves the right to withhold readmission of a student until all delinquent accounts have been paid. Transcripts of credits will not be issued for students whose accounts are delinquent. All fees must be paid before a degree will be awarded. Payments by personal check on delinquent accounts will be sent for collection before transcripts or degrees will be released. To avoid any delay in receiving these documents, payments can be made by cash, cashier’s check or money order.

By registering for classes, the student agreed to the terms and conditions in the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement as posted in SOAR including but not limited to the following:

  • The student entered a legally binding contract to pay all tuition and fees and related expenses.
  • The student is liable for all collection costs and attorney fees Southern Miss may incur to collect any unpaid balance on the student account.
  • To avoid financial obligation to Southern Miss, a registration cancellation must be completed prior to the first day of class for the semester or term.
  • Once the term begins, the student is responsible for completing the withdrawal and refund authorization which can be obtained via the SOAR student center.

Fines accumulated as a result of failure to adhere to the established procedures of the University, such as library and public safety regulations, or any other policy establishing regulations for the protection of university property, shall become collectable by the Business Office. If not collected, these fines shall constitute a delinquent account. If further action is warranted, the student may be responsible for all collection costs and legal fees.

A fee of $50 will be assessed to students who register during the late registration period.

Classes may be dropped and a late fee may be assessed if a check which prevented class cancellation is returned. Returned checks not promptly paid may result in dismissal from the University.

Course Fees

If applicable, individual Course Fees and Expenses are found in SOAR in the Class Notes section for each course. https://www.usm.edu/registrar/soar.php

Special Fees and Expenses

Some colleges, schools and departments have additional fees for selected courses and for special services offered to students. 

Refund Policy - Withdrawals and Drops

Students who find it necessary to withdraw from the university (or cancel classes prior to the first day of classes) must log on to their SOAR account, choose the Courses and Enrollment tile, Drop a Class tab and choose the appropriate action.

Refunds are based on the following (applies to withdrawals and dropped classes):

  Withdrawal prior to the first day of classes of any semester 100 percent  
  Intersession Classes    
  The second day of the intersession 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee  
  After the second day of the intersession None  
  Fall and Spring Semesters    
  The first through the sixth working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee  
  After the sixth working day None  
  8W1 and 8W2 Fall and Spring Semesters    
  The first through the third working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee  
  After the third working day None  
  Summer Semester    
  The first through the sixth working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee  
  After the sixth working day None  
  Summer Semester I & II    
  The first through the third working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee  
  After the third working day None  

These schedule dates are published on the Business Office Web site at https://www.usm.edu/business-services/important-financial-dates.

Refunds are based on the assessment, not upon the amount paid by the student.

Appeals for refunds due to extenuating circumstances may be made in writing to Business Services, 118 College Drive #5133, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001. Appeals must be received prior to the end of the academic year.

Refunds and returns of Title IV funds for students who participate in SFA (Student Financial Assistance) programs are calculated based on federal regulations. The processing steps for determining refunds/returns are available in Business Services, Forrest County Hall, room 101.