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Challenges of a Commuter Student

Commuter students face many of the same concerns that come with adjusting to college that all students face (e.g. making new friends, finding ways to become involved, time management, handling college finances, learning new study skills). They also face some unique challenges that on-campus students do not face.

Commuters often believe their classmates who live on campus have more time to engage socially which leads to having more fun, friends, and freedom. Commuters can have the same opportunities as residential students, but where they live means they must approach these opportunities somewhat differently.

What Family Can Do

Family who understand the unique challenges of a commuter student can help make their college experience better overall

Acknowledge the Commute

Recognize the time your student spends waiting for a bus, riding to school, driving, or finding parking. Scheduling a checkup on the car, will show your student that you think his or her commute is important.

Acknowledge your Student’s Commitment to Academics

By talking about changes in family chores and granting more flexibility for household responsibilities, you will let your student know that you understand and respect that their work at college should be their number one priority.

Be Aware of Stressful Times

Mark the important dates and deadlines that related to your student on your calendar. Midterms and exams are particularly difficult times for students. The little things such as reducing/eliminating their chores, providing food and snacks, or filling their gas tank are valued gifts during these difficult times. View our Academic Calendar below for all of the important dates and deadlines that relate to academics.

Academic Calendar

Encourage your Student to Stay on Campus

Staying on campus and engaging with the community in between classes will help your student feel like a valued member of the community. The College holds many athletic events, concerts, and other student activities that all students can attend. Students feel more committed to college and have a higher success rate when they participate in activities and share experiences with other students.

Purchase the Commuter Meal Plan

Eating on campus is another way students can connect to each other and develop important peer networks of support.

Purchase a meal pass

Encourage Your Student to Work on Campus

There are benefits to working an on-campus job. The support of college-based supervisors and the time on campus are beneficial.

Student Employment

Stay Up-to-Date on Campus News & Events

Ask your student to explain the things you don’t understand. If you acknowledge the importance of what’s happening at the college or university, your student will, too.

Last Updated 7/21/22