Finding Fulfillment as a Commuter in the Honors College

For many Kent State students, commuting can be key to collegiate success

Honors College Commuter student Gracia Lu Head Shot
When students decide what college or university to attend, one of the biggest decisions that follows is whether to live on campus or commute to campus from home or an apartment. While living on campus is an integral part of the college experience for some students, each of these options has its perks and drawbacks, and students who commute should know that they have plenty of company, particularly at Kent State: according to data from Institutional Research, 49.2% of Kent State Honors College students commuted to campus during the fall 2019 semester. 


Gracia Lu, a senior Honors College student majoring in digital media production, commuted to campus from her family’s home in Kent during her sophomore and junior years because it was the most cost-effective option for her. She moved to University Edge apartments, which are located close to campus, for her senior year, and she likes that she lives off campus but is still “close enough to still be involved and attend campus events.” Gracia says that it can be harder to stay involved in campus organizations and events as a commuter student, but she has tried to combat this by joining on-campus student organizations, such as Kent State University Independent Films, which gives her a reason to stay on campus longer. She says that she also tries to take as many in-person classes as possible rather than taking online classes.


Gracia believes that Kent State “has provided a very commuter-friendly campus,” and she says that there is no shortage of places for her and other commuter students to go to study, work on assignments, or take a break between classes, such as the University Library and the Hub. Kent State’s Commuter and Off-Campus Student Organization offers useful information and resources about parking services and PARTA, dining services, and places where commuter students can go to make the most of the time they spend on campus.


Many people associate the Honors College with the Living-Learning Community, part of which is housed in Stopher and Johnson Halls. Gracia lived on campus in this community during her freshman year, which she says she would recommend to students who have the option to do so: it helped her form many great relationships with her peers and that “it’s a great way to really be involved” in campus life. However, she adds that “the Honors College has been wonderful about hosting events open to all honors students,” including Taco Tuesdays and registration for classes with Insomnia Cookies in the Stopher-Johnson bridge lounge. Additional resources for which Gracia is very grateful are the printing capabilities and comfortable study spaces provided by the Honors College library. “Overall, I feel that the events and resources offered by the Honors College have really helped me succeed academically while also having fun once in a while,” Gracia says.


Of the honors students who are commuting to Kent State, many reside less than ten miles from campus. However, some are commuting from much further distances, including Stark, Cuyahoga, and Mahoning counties. Regardless of the length of the commute, opportunities are available for all honors students to engage in the life and activities of both the Honors College, and the university. Commuter students may initially worry that they might have a difficult time connecting with the rest of the student body while not physically residing on campus, but the opportunities for student engagement provided by the Honors College and Kent State continue to encourage student interaction amongst peers, in order to foster feelings of inclusion and connection. For more information regarding commuter opportunities within the Honors College, please visit the Honors College website, or email for more information.    





Photo of Gracia Lu, Honors College senior.

Media Contact:
Stephanie Moskal,, (330) 672-2312

UPDATED: Friday, December 09, 2022 11:34 AM
Honors College Intern Nina Palattella