Commuter Students

The Dean of Students Office provides services, programs and information for the off-campus student population fostering university involvement and connection. The office, located in the Student Center, Room 320 serves the needs of students who live off-campus. For information, call 296-2525 or e-mail Here are a few highlights you may find helpful:

Home away from home for off-campus students.

Seattle University is proud of its three-time national awarding winning Collegia Program which provides living/learning environments for off-campus students to study, socialize, relax, snack and play while they are on campus. The five Collegia, serving undergraduate and graduate off-campus students, provide a homelike setting furnished with comfortable furniture, study tables, kitchen facilities, computers and printers, and access to a snack bar system, newspapers, books and office supplies.

Student staff in the Collegia provides a welcoming and resourceful presence to the members via a listening ear, a referral to a campus office, an introduction to other students, or an update on campus activities. One Collegium serves freshmen commuters from all programs enabling a focus on that important transition to college and building relationships with other students. Other Collegia serve particular academic populations.

Commuter Meal Plan

Commuter students can put meal dollars in any amount on their campus card to be used at any of the food services on campus. The money in the account rolls over from quarter to quarter until a student graduates. More money can be added at anytime. This convenience makes it easy for students to get a latte or have lunch with a friend.

There are several options for placing the money to the food account on the card. You or your student can bring a check to the Campus Card Office (Engineering 306B) or Student Financial Services (University Services building) and the money will be posted to the account. You can contact Student Financial Services directly (296-2000) and arrange to have an amount added to the tuition bill and paid in that way. Money can be added to the Campus Card food account by using a Value Transfer Station (VTS). A VTS is located by the Bookstore in the University Services Building and one is located on the first floor of the Student Center near the West elevator. Value Transfer Stations accept cash only.

Off-Campus Housing and Living

The Housing and Residence Life Office assists students with questions regarding off-campus living. This site is packed full of resources with links for

  • housing listing maintained by Housing and Residence Life
  • external housing links
  • community newspapers links
  • general information
  • tenant/landlord responsibilities and rights
  • moving in help
  • Seattle resources

The Unique Situation of Commuters

College students face a variety of transition issues surrounding university life. Students commuting from home may also have the following issues effect their transition

  • They are more likely to work than students who live on campus.
  • They may experience more challenges related to balancing education, family and work.
  • Their time on campus is limited so it may be challenging to build relationships with faculty, advisors and other campus resources.
  • They are more diverse in terms of age, experience and culture.

Being a commuter may also have some advantages:

  • Commuters may have an easier time maintaining good communication with family members.
  • Commuters have greater opportunity to maintain participation in family traditions.
  • Family members are also able to participate in campus events because of their close proximity.

Families also experience transition as a first year student enters college, even if the student lives at home. Students are moving more towards independence and, like their peers living on campus, may be testing newfound freedoms. College courses require participation in events outside of scheduled class time, meaning students may have evening commitments related to academics and may no longer be available for responsibilities they may have had at home related to the family.

Your student will need your support and understanding as they adapt to these changing roles and responsibilities. You can help by being there but not taking on responsibilities that the student should handle on their own. Because your student is at home you may be tempted to say, "I can take care of that for you." But in the long run your student will need to learn to manage things without your direct involvement.

As with many things, good communication is the key to helping your student through this transition. Seattle University offers resources specifically for our commuter students. Encouraging your student to take advantage of these programs will help them connect with the university community.