Families of Commuter Students
Approximately 85% of Rhode Island College students commute to campus. RIC commuter students utilize a variety of modes of transportation to get to and from campus, including their own vehicles, carpooling, the RIPTA bus, RIDE, MBTA commuter rail, walking, bicycling, and getting rides from family members or friends. However your student gets to campus, we value the effort they make to attend classes, study on campus, and get involved in co-curricular activities. Here are some tips for helping you and your student to have a successful college experience.
- Encourage your student to have a back-up transportation plan. Cars break down, bicycles get flat tires, and snow happens; students should always have the number of a fellow student in each of their classes or of a student with a similar class schedule to ask for a ride, in case of an emergency. Furthermore, it’s helpful to know the RIPTA route serving your area in order to access public transportation. RIC students can purchase half price RIPTA passes at the Campus Card Office in the Student Union.
- Suggest to your student that they leave more than adequate time to allow for traffic and finding a parking spot. If you live 10 minutes from campus, leaving 10 minutes before class begins is not sufficient.
- While your student may still live at home, it is possible that you won’t see them as often as you did when they were in high school. It is not uncommon for college students’ schedules to not match that of their families – evening classes, work schedules, library study hours, and other commitments can cause students to miss family meals or other occasions.
- If possible, help your student to limit their work hours to 20 hours or less a week. While that limitation might not be possible due to financial need, research has shown that students who work less hours are able to spend more time concentrating on their studies and achieve greater academic success. If your student needs to work more than 20 hours, it’s best for them to have a predictable work schedule so they can plan their classes and study time, as well as to have a job (or jobs) that appreciate the demands of college and is supportive of their academic endeavors.