Commuters Get Much-Needed Help at Arcadia, Chestnut Hill

Life is a lot easier for commuters at Chestnut Hill College than it is for those attending school elsewhere. Photo courtesy of the Princeton Review.

Seventy-five percent of college students in America are commuters. That astonishing, little-known fact suggests that the average college experience is far different from the one often depicted in the media.

According to a recent report in The Chestnut Hill Local, to help soften the blow of being a commuter student, Arcadia University and Chestnut Hill College have their own programs for commuter students.

While a lot of schools have resident assistants for the students that stay in the dormitories, both of these schools have commuter assistants, or CAs for short. Also, both schools have their own commuter lounge.

“I took over at Arcadia two years ago,” said Nick Kirkstadt, Area Coordinator. “$500,000 has gone to the commuter lounge place for students to hang, have a quiet study area, kitchen, and more. We also do programming throughout the semester, involving physical and emotional health.”

At Chestnut Hill, a Commuter Assistant Program was launched at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. This program is used to monitor commuter students’ progress throughout the school year.

“It was needed to help create a system where the commuter student received a mentor for assistance,” said William Johnson, who was once a commuter student from Sharon Hill, where he took two buses and a train each way to get to school and back home.

“We’re in the process of adding meal plans for commuters,” said Dr. Krista Murphy, dean of student life at Chestnut Hill College. “We are also trying to make the commuter lounge more welcoming.”

With the continual travel from home to class and vice-versa, and the late nights on campus, being a commuter student is not an easy task. At Chestnut Hill, there are around 350 commuters out of the 800 undergraduates on campus, and at Arcadia, there are approximately 750-900 commuters out of the 1,200-1,500 students on campus.

The best argument for commuting is the amount of money students save. At Chestnut Hill, commuter students save roughly $11,000 a year, and at Arcadia, the estimated savings is around $13,500 a year.

Click here to read The Chestnut Hill Local’s report in its entirety.

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