Mother & DaughterOff-Campus & Non-Traditional Student Services aims to foster a sense of community for NIU students by providing a supportive and inclusive environment for off-campus and non-traditional students. The office assesses the needs of our students to strive to provide the best services which benefit them. By collaborating with key university and external partners, the department provides resources which address the diverse needs of these specific student populations. This department promotes social, intellectual, and academic growth and development through programs and services which facilitate lifelong learning.

What is the difference between a commuter and an off-campus student?

Nationwide, over 87% of college students commute to campus. We want you to know that you are not alone! Technically, if you walk across the street from your residence to campus, you have engaged in a "commute."

However, at Northern Illinois University, we recognize that the needs and interests of our off-campus students are quite different from those of our long distance commuter students. Therefore, Off-Campus & Non-Traditional Student Services will identify commuter students as those students who commute from a city outside of DeKalb, and off-campus students as those students who live in DeKalb but do not reside in the residence halls or in a Greek chapter house.

What makes a student a non-traditional student?

Typically, non-traditional students are 24 years old or older. However, there are many ways in which a non-traditional student can be defined. Non-traditional students may work full- or part-time, be married, single, or divorced, and may or may not have family members to support. Non-traditional students may be returning to school after a long break in their studies or may only be one or two years out of high school. Non-Traditional students can also be online learners. The point is, your approach to your academic life may be very different from that of the traditional college student. Off-Campus & Non-Traditional Student Services offers support that can assist you in making your academic endeavors a little easier through resources, advocacy, and programming.