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URI Commuter Housing

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a "commuter" student?

A "commuter" student is a student who does not live on university-owned property. Students that live in the residence halls, fraternities, sororities, University Terrace or University Village are NOT considered commuters.

How do I find housing off-campus?

The Commuter Housing office maintains an up-to-date database of property listings off-campus. To search for current off-campus housing options visit our web page: Some individual students search for one-bedroom properties while others search for two-, three-, four-, five-bedroom properties or more. In addition, students have had much success contacting area realtors. A list of commonly used realtors is available in the Commuter Housing Office.

I need a roommate. Where can I find other students looking for roommates off-campus?

Our roommate database assists students looking for roommates off-campus. Students can create a profile for themselves as well as search the current database of student profiles. To search for a roommate visit:

Where do commuters usually live?

At URI, we typically have two kinds of commuters: those who live "down the line" and those who live "at home." "Down the line" students rent summer homes and apartments during the months of September through May. The most popular locations to rent such homes include Bonnet Shores, Eastward Look, Narragansett Pier, Scarborough Beach, Point Judith, Wakefield, Peacedale, South Kingstown, Matunuck, and Charlestown. "At home" students are students who live with their families or live off-campus year-round. Some students commute from as far as Coventry, Warwick and Providence.

Are there more commuter students at URI than students who live on-campus?

On average, there are usually about 6,000 undergraduate students who commute daily to classes out of 11,000 total undergraduates. This percentage means that an average of 5,000 students live on-campus. Usually freshmen and sophomores will either live at home or live on-campus; juniors and seniors tend to leave campus grounds and move "down the line" for their final years at URI.

Where should I get my mail sent to?

Commuter students are required to provide URI with a local address on e-campus. This allows URI to keep you updated with stuff happening on-campus and to send you important mail such as your financial aid check.

Where can transfer students find housing?

Often times transfer students are not able to receive on-campus housing. Many transfer students use the Roommate Database to search for potential roommates and/or create a self profile. There are typically many other transfer students who are in similar housing situations as well as current URI students in need of roommates. Many transfer students report wanting to meet new people when entering URI and often report feeling nervous about not 'œknowing anyone' at the university. Using Roommate Database is a great way to begin meeting other students.

I'm an international student and plan to live off-campus. What information do I need?

Depending on your needs, search for off-campus housing using the Off-Campus Property Listing, Roommate Database, and/or contact area realtors. In addition, many international students have concerns regarding transportation to the university. Students who do not have automobiles are encouraged to take the bus. Some of the properties listed on our site are on a bus route. For detailed bus information, please visit, and be sure to read the answer to our frequently asked transportation questions below. If you wish to purchase a car when you relocate to the URI area, you may wish to contact automobile dealerships such as,
Mike's Auto at 401-294-4379, or Hal's garage and Autobody at 401-783-0818.

Besides the properties listed on the Commuter Housing web site, what housing options are available to graduate students?

Graduate students are encouraged to search Off-Campus Property Listing for available properties as well as the Roommate Database. Many graduate students request to live on-campus in an apartment. Graduate students who are interested in living on-campus must call the Office of Housing and Residential Life at 401-874-2215 or go to Also, the Graduate Student Association lists properties on their web site that are available to graduate students at

Are there any specific housing options available for visiting professors?

Although our office does not offer a specific off-campus housing service for visiting professors or staff members at the university, many landlords prefer to rent their properties to faculty members or graduate students. Landlords may indicate on their listing that they prefer to rent to members from these groups. Search the Off-Campus Property Listings or contact your department office.

How much will off-campus housing cost me?

Students generally pay between $350-600 per person per month. However, the cost of off-campus housing varies depending on the number of bedrooms in a property and whether you are sharing with roommates. An individual may pay as low as $300 for a one-bedroom apartment, or may pay as much as $750 for a one-bedroom apartment. Individuals who share properties together typically pay less because they are able to split the cost of utilities. For example, four individuals living in a four bedroom house will split the costs of the electric, gas, phone, and grocery bills four ways. Utilities vary depending on the number of students sharing a property.

How do I set up utilities?

In most cases, utilities are not included in the monthly rent. Therefore, students should ask their landlord or realtor who the utility companies are prior to moving in and should set up accounts with the various companies. For example, a student must determine the heating method such as, gas, oil, or electric and contact that company. For internet and cable, many students use Cox Communications because they offer URI student discounts. Listed below is the contact information for local utility agencies:


Providence Gas Company



Narragansett Electric



Erickson Oil Company



Bell Atlantic



Cox Communications


Will I have to sign a lease?

All landlords or realtors will have everyone living at the residence individually sign a lease. In addition, most realtors and landlords will require that you have a co-signer - like a parent or a guardian.

When students are sharing a property how do they divide the utilities?

Paying your bills on time is a necessity. Roommates should talk about dividing bills prior to moving-in or very early after, and how the division happens depends upon how you and your roommate/s feel. Many students feel it is easier to have one person put their name on all the utilities and collect a check from each roommate every month. Many other students find it easier to divide the utilities between the roommates, so each person an account in their name and has something they're in charge of. Regardless of what you choose, it is often still important to have one person in charge of determining who owes who what each month.

What questions should I ask when viewing potential properties?

Try to ask anything you can possibly think of to make the best possible decision when deciding where to live. Some common and important questions are:

  • How is the house heated, what was the average heating bill last year, and is the house well-insulated?
  • Who responds to maintenance calls and how quickly?
  • Who do I call if I get locked out?
  • How many students live in this area/neighborhood?
  • What's included in the rent '“ utilities, snow or trash removal, lawn care?
  • What are the parking regulations for this street?
  • Can I contact any of your previous renters as a reference?
Where can I park on campus as a commuter student?

First, you need to get a URI commuter student parking sticker. These are obtained online at the Parking Services web site: There is an annual fee $125.00 for commuting students and a fee of $200.00 for resident students. URI Parking Maps are available at the Parking Services Office.

I've had difficulty finding parking, where in the world can I park?

The number one complaint from commuter students is parking. Generally, if you arrive on-campus after 8:45am there WILL NOT be parking in the lots closest to where your classes will be (e.g., Fine Arts Lot, Church lot, or along Flagg Road,). However, there is ample parking available in the two lots (e.g., Plains Road Lot and the Keaney Lot) furthest from the upper section of campus. Rather than to searching for parking in the other lots, students generally find it faster to park in Plains Road Lot or the Keaney Lot and walk or take the RIPTA shuttle bus.

What are schedules, routes, and cost for the RIPTA shuttle buses on-campus?

There are three routes the RIPTA shuttle buses: The 211 RIPTA Bus, the 211 Night Service, and the 66 Passenger Express Bus.

The 211 RIPTA Bus serves Plains Road and Keaney Parking Lots connecting them with Upper Campus and the URI Student Memorial Union. The 211 runs approximately every 8 minutes between 7:30a.m.-5:00 p.m. and every 15 minutes between 5:00p.m.-7:00p.m.

The 211 Night Service was made available due to the demand for evening service and connects the Emporium, Butterfield Road and Resident parking lots with the center of campus. The Night Service is available weekdays 7:30p.m.'“12:30a.m.

During peak commuting hours, the 66 Passenger Express Bus runs an express service connecting Commuter parking lots and Butterfield Road with the center of campus. The Express Service provides more transportation to commuting students during peak commuting hours and a shuttle service to residents and Health Services for the first time. The Express Service runs from 8:30a.m.'“11:30a.m. Stops are made at designated locations every 15 minutes.

Where can I get bus schedules or train schedules?

You may get bus and train schedules from the Memorial Union Information Desk, located on the second floor, or you may search bus routes at There are four bus routes that URI students commonly use: the 'œ66' URI/Galilee (previously Providence/URI) route, the 'œ64' Newport/URI route, the 'œ14' West Bay route, and the 'œ210 Kingston Connection.'

What discounts are offered to URI students who take RIPTA Buses?

URI students, staff, and faculty may receive a 50% discount on an unlimited ride monthly pass for $31.00 and a 15-ride e-Ticket for $13.00. These discounted passes may be purchased at the Memorial Union Information Desk by providing your student ID.

How do I get to the train station?

Students can take either the 210 Kingston Connection Bus or the 64 Newport/URI RIPTA bus. Please visit the Memorial Union Information Desk, located on the second floor, visit to view the 64 bus route, or visit the parking services web site for the 210 Kingston Connection schedule,

Where can I find commuter students who wish to form carpools?

To find students interested in forming a carpool, use the carpool board in the Memorial Union, first floor.

Where and what is the Commuter Lounge?

The Commuter Lounge in Memorial Union Room 310 features a casual atmosphere where students can relax or eat lunch away from the hurried pace of the Ram's Den. A microwave and refrigerator are available as well as university-sponsored pamphlets and brochures. A TV/VCR is also available. A computer lab is located across the hall from the lounge. The Commuter Lounge is open 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. In addition, two bulletin boards are available for students and landlords to post requests for roommates, notices of available housing and general information.

Where can I eat on campus?

There are many options for dining for commuters on campus. In the Memorial Union, you'll find the Ram's Den (cafeteria style), the America's Cup Room (restaurant style), Ronzio's Pizza and the RAM Escape (coffee and pastries). You'll find a variety of restaurants and stores at the Kingston Emporium, a quick walk to the top of campus by Upper College Road and Fortin Road. Also, special dining plans for commuter students are available through Dining Services. For more information contact 874-2055. And remember, if you bring your own food, a microwave and refrigerator are available in the Commuter Lounge.

As a commuter student, can I get a meal plan?

You should also know that as an off-campus student or commuter, you can get a commuter meal plan or a 'œApartment/Commuter Flex Plan'. For more information on that, check out dining services web site for their commuter meal plan:

I need to use a computer. Where do I go?

Several computer labs are available on campus, including facilities in the Memorial Union, Chafee, Tyler, Quinn and the Library. Call the IITS (Instructional Information and Technology Services) Help Desk at 874-2301 for more information. If you need to buy a computer, visit the Ram Computer Store on the first floor of the Memorial Union.

I need to get my email address.

A free campus email account is available to all students. To get your email account (and instructions on how to use the email system), go to the IITS Dispatch Desk, Tyler Hall first floor. Bring your student ID.

I'm not feeling well. What do I do?

Health Services, located on Butterfield Road, is available for all of your medical needs. Whether you need cold medication, a physical, a gynecologist, a nutritionist, STD testing or a referral, Health Services has a variety of services available. Please call 874-2246 for more information.

What do I do if my vehicle breaks down or if I'm stranded because of bad weather?

Try to make arrangements with a friend in a dormitory, fraternity, sorority or a nearby home so that you can stay with him or her in an emergency. If your car breaks down while on your way home, pull to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic. Turn on your hazard lights and raise the hood so others will know you have broken down. Try to avoid walking to a phone. If another driver stops to help you, ask him or her to contact the police or call for assistance. Lock yourself in the car and do not get out of your car for anyone other than the police or a service truck. Also, be familiar with emergency roadside assistance programs offered by your insurance company or auto manufacturer.

What are some things I should keep in my vehicle?

Jumper cables, a bucket of sand (in case you get stuck), a shovel (for the snow you get stuck in), an ice scraper, deicer, a box of tools, a flashlight, flares, blankets, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, spare eating utensils and a change of clothes (in case you get stuck on-campus).

What recreational services are available on campus?

A variety of recreational facilities are available on campus (you pay for these services as a part of your student fees). The URI Athletic Complex includes pool facilities, aerobics classes, a weight room and more. Call 874-4343 for the Rec Services Hotline or stop by Mackal Field House for more information.

The weather outside looks frightful! How do I know if classes have been canceled?

Snow storm and emergency campus closing information is available by calling 874-1000 or 874-SNOW (7669).

Where can I find out about campus policies for students?

The URI Student Handbook covers all student policies. Copies of the handbook are available in the Commuter Housing Office or the Office of Student Life.

I'm interested in student organizations. Where can I find information about existing organizations?

For a list of all recognized student organizations (as well as information on how to start your own organization), go to the Student Senate Office, Memorial Union Room 210.

What legal services are available to students?

For FREE and confidential legal advice, make an appointment with the student senate attorney, call (401) 874-2261 or stop by the Student Senate office in the Memorial Union, Room 201. A notary public is also available free of charge. Contact Vin McWilliams at the Providence Human Relations Office at 401-421-3708.

I am having trouble with my landlord. Where can I get help?

Legal guidelines for tenants and landlords in Rhode Island can be downloaded at:

Helpful Information


Unit Inspection Checklist

Local Laws and Ordinances

Living Large Off Campus

Living in Narragansett Guide

Helpful Forms

To list your property on our website, please see information under landlord to the left.

Sample Lease
Landlords, use this sample lease as a guide for the creation of your own lease.

Narragansett Code and Regulations
This document contains local laws and regulations governing rental properties in Narragansett.

Narragansett Landlord Registration Form
This form should be filled out by all landlords in Narragansett and submitted to the Building Inspector's Office.

Designation of Agent for Nonresident Landlord
This form must be completed by any landlord who is not a resident of the State of Rhode Island. This form must be returned to the Office of the Secretary of State.

Student Life Departments

URI Cornerstones

Commuter Housing

Disability Services

Greek Affairs

Office for Civility Education

Narragansett Coalition

Student Conduct

Student Life

Substance Abuse Prevention