Resources for Commuter Students

Resources for Commuter Students

Build Your Future Among Our Engaged, Driven Community

No matter where you are, Clarkson University welcomes your innovative spirit and intense drive to pursue new discoveries. Each year, a number of students commute to our locations with a similar mission. Perhaps you’re local and seeking an applied education that paves the way to an impactful career or advances your path. Or, you’ve traveled here from overseas to carve out a niche in your field and collaborate with our world-renowned faculty on transformative research.

In all cases, start your journey and acclimate to life at Clarkson with the following resources for commuter students.

(Read more about our SPEED teams and our students' human powered vehicle, shown above)

For Undergraduate Commuter Students

You’re close by — in fact, you might live less than an hour from our Potsdam location. Understand how we help you adjust and the services available to you as a commuter student.

Orientation and Springboard Programming

Begin your journey at Clarkson by attending Springboard and pre-orientation events. Take the opportunity to get acquainted with both on- and off-campus resources, take placement tests, explore clubs and organizations and begin connecting with your peers.

Drop-in and Small Group Tutoring

We support the success of all students. For academic assistance, Potsdam commuter students have access to tutoring sessions free of charge through the Student Success Center.

Study Spaces

You study wherever you go. At our Potsdam location, hit the books at the Student Success Center’s dedicated study space for commuter students, whether before or after class or during a weekend on campus.

Commuter Advisory Committee

The Student Success Center’s academic support services and transition programming amplify your voice on campus.

Residence Life

The Office of Residence Life assigns all first-year commuter students a Living-Learning Community and a Resident Advisor. Discover an engaged, driven group of students ready to face a new challenge together and make the most of your experience here. Commuter students also have access to lounges and other common areas with their Clarkson ID.


Eat between classes on the Potsdam campus. We recommend that undergraduate students select the 50/500 dining plan or add a Declining Balance (DB) to their Knight Card to dine à la carte.

For Graduate Commuter Students

The majority of graduate students commute to Clarkson, either the Potsdam location for one of our research-centric programs or the Capital Region Campus for an applied, career-advancing education geared toward area professionals. Whether you’re searching for housing or have questions about parking or your student ID, we’ve compiled resources for master’s and PhD candidates.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Office of Residence Life allows first-year commuter students access to first-year residential halls by assigning them to a lounge space in our system. There is no charge associated with this placement. This allows your student ID card to work, so you can meet more of your peers and become engaged in the Clarkson community even though you do not live on campus. Additionally, this arrangement provides access to certain residential areas for studying and for using showers/bathrooms.

Through your housing questionnaire, we assign you to a Living-Learning Community (which is a floor of other first-year students with similar interests as you), where you can go hang out in the lounge, attend programs, receive emails, participate in First-Year Cup, receive guidance from a student peer known as a Resident Advisor (RA) and maximize your experience. You do not pay a cost for this, and you are not required to participate. However, it provides you with more opportunities to meet people and immerse yourself in the Clarkson campus.

Commuter students assigned to residential spaces typically communicate with the Resident Advisor (RA) or House Advisor (HA), who keeps them in the know about events, programs and other information relevant to their Clarkson experience.

Students sign up for their preferred housing theme preferences when they complete their housing questionnaire. Learn more about first-Year Housing floor themes.

All undergraduate commuter students must complete an Address Verification Form and submit accompanying documents to the Office of Residence Life for first-time approval of commuter status. Undergraduate students must annually confirm their intended commuter status for the upcoming year with the Office of Residence Life during Housing Lottery Season.

To qualify for commuter status related to housing, undergraduates must meet the following criteria: “The student is commuting from their parent’s or legal guardian's primary residence, which must be within 50 miles of the Clarkson University Potsdam campus.”

As a commuter student, you can still get a campus dining plan. Clarkson recommends the 50/500 plan for those who want to eat some meals on campus in between classes. To add the dining plan, please contact the Office of Residence Life.

If you don’t want a meal plan but want to buy food “à la carte,” you can add a Declining Balance (DB) to your Knight Card. These are dining dollars that you can spend at any of our campus dining locations. You can add to your DB at any time through the Student Finance Office.

Your Knight Card is your official Clarkson ID. You can pick this up at Campus Safety and Security (CSS). Your Knight Card gives you access to the Clarkson Fitness Center, the CUSA Shuttle and various swipe-accessible academic and other resources and lets you dine on campus if you have a meal plan or added a DB to your card.

Through our active contract with St. Lawrence County, a shuttle travels through Potsdam and stops on campus on an hourly basis. Students can ride any shuttle in St. Lawrence County for free using their student ID. Review the current shuttle schedule.

Parking on campus is free for students. Students need to register their vehicles with campus safety. Learn more about parking on campus.

Clarkson provides lockers to commuter students on the first floor of the ERC next to the archives and in the Student Center near the International and Graduate Student Lounges.

For academic support, Clarkson advises commuter students to take advantage of the services and programs available through the Student Success Center, including group tutoring, the Writing Center, the First-Year Seminar Course and general study and time management information.

Campus Safety and Security are here for more than just issuing parking permits. They can help you jump your car, change a flat tire and respond if you utilize the Blue Light Safety system on campus.

Contact Us

Have questions about resources for commuter students? Reach out for additional information: 

Residential Housing Manager: Emma Blaiklock 
Phone: 315-268-6642 


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