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Life at NC State

Commuting to NC State

Campus life is not just for students living in the residence halls, but for commuter students as well. By definition, a commuter student is a student not living in any of the University-owned properties. Commuter students either live at home with parents/guardians or in an apartment close to campus.  NC State recognizes commuter students as an essential part of the university community.

Active involvement in campus life is a vital component of a successful college experience. NC State prides itself in providing a wide range of out-of-the-classroom opportunities enabling all students to have a fulfilled and meaningful experience while at NC State.

Campus Connections for Commuters is a list of resources identified for commuting students.  Parents can provide this information to help their students better understand the opportunities and connections available for NC State students to get the most out of their college experience.

Campus Connections for Commuters

Balance and Time Management

Have a discussion with your student about staying on campus between classes.  Breaks between classes are a good time to go to the library, attend athletics or arts events, work on homework, hang out with friends in Talley Student Union, visit a friend in the residence hall and participate in events planned for students. These are all important components of the college experience.

Counseling Services

“Getting help can be hard. The Counseling Center at NC State is here to make it easier.” From self-help resources to personal and career counseling; social anxiety to academic performance issues; the diverse staff is trained to address common problems that students face while attending college. Learn more about the services and resources available online or call 919.515.2423 to make an appointment. Counselors are available 24/7 to help students in need.

NC State Police Department

Talk to your student about contacting University Police to unlock, jump-start their car, or request an escort service to their vehicle at night. For a listing of other services provided by the University Police, visit or call 919.515.3000.

Campus Health

Located in the University Health Center at 2815 Cates Avenue, Student Health Services offers an array of high-quality services to meet the unique needs of college students along with some specialty medical services, such as laboratory and x-ray, travel clinic, physical therapy, women’s health, occupational medicine and allergy shots. Student Health Services is the primary medical provider for enrolled NC State students.

Student Health Services also provides extensive mental health and wellness resources as well as personal, career and academic counseling services to students. As a part of tuition and fees, the health fee at NC State covers routine visits to providers and most Counseling Center Services, encouraging and offering the support any student at NC State needs to be successful.

Please note, some information may require parental access for release.


Encourage your student to go to Carmichael Gym to work out.  It is free for all students.  Carmichael Complex has tons of amenities for students including two Olympic size pools, basketball courts, jogging tracks, racquetball courts and fencing rooms as well as cardio and weight training equipment.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Talk to your student about finding a niche within the campus community. One of the biggest challenges commuter students face is meeting other students. Rather than going home after classes, encourage your student to make a conscious effort to meet other students. There are decades of research indicating that students who are engaged on campus tend to stay and finish their degrees at a greater rate than those less involved in campus activities. NC State offers over 600 student organizations on campus. (See the full list here)

Remind your commuter to take advantage of the many events and activities offered. It is important to their overall experience and will help to reduce and eliminate the sense of isolation many commuters experience. Your student is a member of the Wolfpack community, help us ensure that he or she has the full Wolfpack experience.

Wolfpack Welcome Week

Encourage your student, especially if he or she is a freshman, to participate in activities planned during the first week of school. Activities during Wolfpack Welcome Week are designed to help students transition to campus, meet their peers, faculty, and, staff in their college.  Visit Wolfpack Welcome Week for additional information.

Transportation and Commuting to Campus

Talk to your student about how they plan to commute to campus for classes and other activities.

University Housing

University Housing provides several on-campus living options for more than 9,200 students through 20 residence halls and four on-campus apartment complexes. Living on campus is an essential part of the Wolfpack experience and students are required to live in on-campus accommodations their first year. University Housing staff have developed unique residential experiences to promote academic and personal success. On-campus summer housing options are also available to students taking summer classes or interning in the greater Raleigh area. Students should apply for on-campus housing through MyPack Portal.

Living and Learning Villages allow students to pursue their academic and personal goals in close collaboration with mentors, professors and others who share common interests.

Resident Advisors (RAs) and Village Mentors are students trained and employed by University Housing to build community and maintain a safe living and learning environment within a residence hall or an on-campus apartment. RAs are resources and peer role models for students. They work with residence directors (RDs) to plan activities that support students’ personal, academic and professional success.

Move-In Tips from the Pros

Moving to college is an exciting time for your student and your family. To help prepare for move-in events, we encourage you to plan ahead and take your time. In August, there will be over 750+ volunteers Friday and Saturday to help welcome and assist your family with an extra set of hands if needed. To better prepare, we asked our students some of their top tips to make this process even easier.

Top Tips for Move-In 

  • Be sure to print your loading permit and have it displayed while unloading 
  • Bring a hand truck or cart 
  • Bring a mallet for bed lofting and a toolkit 
  • Connect with roommates prior to moving in to avoid duplicating items 
  • Don’t overpack (there is no need for winter clothes in August) 
  • Dress comfortably and stay hydrated 
  • Pack in plastic tubs with lids (these can double as storage containers) 

Mail and Packages

On-campus residents receive mail and packages on a regular basis. Items sent through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to university residence halls and apartments are delivered daily Monday-Friday.

Delivery Service (FedEx, UPS, etc.)

Packages sent through a delivery service such as FedEx or UPS will be delivered directly to the student’s residence hall/apartment 24-hour service desk and bypass the Campus Mail Center. Community Assistants at the hall/apartment desks will notify residents that a package has been received for them. The resident is responsible for retrieving the package.

Inter-Residence Council (IRC)

The Inter-Residence Council (IRC) is a student-led residential and educational resource organization supporting on-campus residents by providing leadership services and opportunities; creating a link between the residents and the larger community.

Care Packages

IRC’s largest fundraiser is the coordination of Care Packages for students. Parents can go online directly to order NC State Care Packages at any time throughout the academic year. 

Visit for more information and to order directly.

NC State Dining

NC State’s award-winning dining program offers food options that are convenient, fresh, wholesome and delicious. We have over 40 dining locations across the NC State campus, all of which accept some combination of dining hall passes, meal swipes and dining dollars. From traditional dining halls to a mix of restaurants, cafes and convenience stores, our program is designed to meet the unique needs and tastes of our student body. 


Students can find fresh, healthy and sustainable food options at every turn at NC State. We are here to help students make healthy decisions that will help them do their best in school and assist with the management of food allergies, intolerances and dietary preferences. Daily nutritional information can be found on the digital menu boards, online or via the On Campus mobile app. Nutrition kiosks are located at each dining venue where students can check the daily menu for allergens, ingredients and nutritional content. 

Encourage your student to follow @NCStateDining and @WellFedWolfpack on Twitter and Instagram for nutrition updates, health and wellness tips, recipes, prizes and more.

Getting Around / Transportation

To park on campus, your student will need to purchase a parking permit through NC State Transportation. Permits are sold based on the number of credit hours a student has completed. Please see our student parking webpage for more information about exactly which type of parking permit your student is eligible for. Our campus parking map will show where each parking area is located. Parking permits typically sell out quickly each year, so it is important that your student purchases their parking permit on the date of their permit sale.

Students who wish to carpool with another student to campus can apply to purchase a carpool permit. Carpool permits allow students to split the cost of one permit by driving only one vehicle to campus at a time. Carpool applications are only open for a set amount of time, so be sure your student applies and accepts their invitation early.

For those with cars but without parking permits, NC State provides Park & Ride commuter lots, all served by Wolfline buses. These lots are located off-campus and are created with the intention that students will “park” and “ride” the Wolfline bus from their parking location to campus. We have three Park and Ride locations- Carter Finley Stadium, Spring Hill Lot, and Avent Ferry Food Lion.

Commuters who do not park on campus but ride the bus, bike, or walk can register for the WolfTrails commuter benefits program. Student WolfTrails members receive 6 free virtual parking passes per semester for the Varsity lot.

Once on campus, we suggest utilizing the Wolfline bus to get around campus. The bus system is free and anyone can ride! The Wolfline connects all three campuses (Main, Centennial, and Biomedical) and can take your student throughout each campus as well. Track the buses in real time-using the Transloc App. Not only does this app show you where the buses are, but it also shows the capacity of each bus.

If you or your student ever have any questions about parking, transit, or transportation, please do not hesitate to reach out to NC State Transportation at 919.515.3424.

Student Legal Services

University Student Legal Services is a nonprofit corporation initiated by the Student Government at NC State which is funded by student fees. The purpose of University Student Legal Services is to provide education, advice and representation within the scope of the prepaid legal plan. 

This office promotes preventative law, enabling students to make educated choices. The University Student Legal Services’ plan is registered with the North Carolina State Bar, the parameters of which are set by students at NC State. Student Legal Services is aimed at helping students resolve their legal problems with as little disruption as possible to their primary education endeavors.

Wolfpack One Card

The Wolfpack One Card is a unified identification card that students use to access campus services, such as spending accounts, athletic events, the gym and restricted areas like residence halls and labs. Three spending accounts include All Campus, Dining and PNC Bank. 

All Campus is an on-campus debit account that students can use to pay at NC State Dining locations (including vending machines), NC State Stores, Health Services and WolfPrint. It is especially important to have funds in this account to use WolfPrint printers as this is the only form of payment campus printers accept. The NC State Dining Meal Plan account allows meal plan holders to swipe their card to access their meal swipes, meal credits and dining dollars. Through our partnership with PNC Bank, students who hold PNC accounts can use their ID card to access their debit account. 

Replacement cards carry a $20 fee, so students are encouraged to find a safe and convenient way to keep their cards for regular use on campus. Report lost or stolen cards on our website below.