Commuting students

As a residential campus, full-time traditional Bluffton University students are required to live on-campus. There is much to be gained from learning and living in a residence hall. However, we also recognize that there are situations where students may need to live off-campus. 

Approval for living off-campus must be requested by filling out the "Request To Live Off-Campus form" found on under the student life or admissions tab. Alternate living arrangements must be approved by the director of residence life each academic year.

The following exceptions exist to the on-campus housing rule:

  • A student commuting from the primary home of a parent (within 50 miles)
  • A part-time student, taking less than 12 hours during the current semester
  • A student who is married
  • A student who is 23 years of age or older prior to the start of the semester
  • A custodial parent
  • A full time off campus internship or student teaching more than 80 miles from campus
  • 5th year senior
  • A student transfering to Bluffton who is at least 21 years of age by the first day of class and has an associate's degree or more than 60 credit hours college level credit

Once granted, permission to live off-campus is only valid so long as the reason for the original approval exists. Students supplying false information to obtain off-campus residency will be held accountable through the Bluffton University conduct process.

Support for commuting students

Commuting students have the option of purchasing Beaver Bucks in any amount. Beaver Bucks can be used for meal purchases in the Commons or at Freshens in Bob's Place. Purchased Beaver Bucks are just like cash and will be available from year to year as long as you are a Bluffton student, faculty or staff member

A commuter only meal plan is also available which provides commuting students with access to five meals per week and $100 Beaver Bucks per semester. Cost: $1,068 per semester. These Beaver Bucks expire at the end of the academic year.

The meal exchange program will allow you to use your dining plan in exchange for a meal at Freshens in Bob's Place, 2:30-3:30 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Commuting students who do not select meal plans at orientation may do so at the business office. This should be done prior to the first day of class.

A commuter lobby, complete with lockers, computers, a refrigerator and study nooks, is located on the Centennial Hall first floor.