If you’re thinking about applying to Butler as a commuter, know that you are not alone. Any student who lives with parents or guardians within 30 miles of campus is eligible to commute. So, is commuting right for you?

We chatted with Marissa Klingler, an Arts Administration major, who drives to campus from her family home in the Indianapolis area, to learn more.


Why did you choose Butler?

It was my dream school. I loved the small class sizes—I do really well with that kind of close-knit interaction. It was also close to home, so it checked all my boxes.

Why did you decide to commute?

I personally struggled with the decision to commute because I wanted to be close to my family, but I didn’t want to be alienated by not living at school. But commuting doesn’t have to inhibit your college experience in any way.

My main reason for commuting is that it saves money. And I figured if I didn’t go home right after class—if I still spent time on campus by getting jobs or joining clubs—it would feel the same as if I lived there.

Commuting has allowed me to stay home, sleep in my own bed, see my pets and family every day, and not pay for a meal plan. But I’m still going to my top-choice school and having a full experience.

What does your day-to-day schedule look like?

My commute is about 15 minutes. I try to schedule my classes for later in the morning because I’m not really an early riser, and you never know what traffic or weather will be like.

When I have gaps between classes, I don’t go home: staying on campus helps me feel more connected. I work shifts at the Clowes Hall box office and tutor students in the Writers’ Studio. When I have extra time, I study at Irwin Library or have coffee with friends at Starbucks.

What advice would you give to new students who are thinking about commuting?

Don’t go straight home after class. I know the temptation is there, especially if you only have one or two classes that day. But do your best to stay on campus and find a few comfortable places to spend your time. And don’t overwhelm yourself, but find a community to join.

Don’t think of commuting as a limitation or restriction: I think I spend more time at school than I do at home.


Applying as a commuter:

After receiving your admission decision, you should fill out the “Commuter Request” form in the housing application. You can also contact your admission counselor if you have more questions about applying or commuting to Butler.