Commuting students

Commuter Lounge

Commuter lounge

Although Bluffton is a residential campus, we recognize circumstances when students may choose to live at home and commute for classes and activities. We want to provide a supportive campus environment to help all students thrive, being mindful of the specific needs to those who commute. 

Arrangements for living off-campus must be approved by the director of residential life. Complete the “Request To Live Off-Campus Form” found at under the Student Life tab and submit your request for consideration.  

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

  • A student commuting from the primary home of a parent (within 50 driving 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 transferring 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

Students who wish to commute for the next academic year need to submit the “Request To Live Off-Campus Form” found at under the Student Life tab before July 1.

Once granted, permission to live off-campus is only valid for that academic year. 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 are invited to eat lunch in Marbeck Commons on Fridays, compliments of Student Life Office.

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: $1,114 per semester in 2022-23. 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.

In addition to other common spaces on campus (including library, technology center, Marbeck Center, athletic facilities, etc.) one lounge is available for commuting students. The lounge on first floor Centennial Hall includes study space with tables and chairs, individual lockers, refrigerator, microwave, Keurig coffee maker and several computers with printer access. To reserve a locker, contact Student Life Office. Locks/keys are available from Student Life Office to loan for $10 which will be reimbursed when the lock is returned. 

All students need to register their vehicle online at my.bluffton to receive a parking permit. Three parking areas are designated for commuting students. 

Staff liaison: Megan Coffman  419-358-3376