Terp Young Scholars

Commuter Option

Commuter Students

Commuting to Campus | Residence Hall | Activities | Dining Services | SupervisionParking

Commuting to Campus

Being a commuter scholar is a more independent experience than a residential scholar. As a result, fostering community requires more work and the commuter package is designed for students who will self-advocate and actively engage with their Terp Scholars peers and community.

Commuter scholars can arrive to and depart campus at any time of their convenience, as long as no class time is missed. There is no designated commuter drop-off location and commuter students can head straight to their classes when arriving to campus.

Residence Hall

Commuter students have access to the Terp Scholars’ residence hall for the purpose of study groups and community building activities. Commuter students are not permitted to spend the night or store belongings in the residence hall.


In addition to innovative courses, Terp Scholars also offers optional afternoon, evening, and weekend activities that provide a glimpse of UMD’s rich campus life. For an overview, see Sample Activity Calendar. All students—Residential and Commuter Terp Scholars—are encouraged to attend and participate to the fullest. Commuter Terp Scholars should make an effort to stay late or return to campus to enjoy evening and weekend activities. Upon completion of the program, we ask students to complete a survey. Over the years, these surveys demonstrate that those students who fully participated in the scheduled events were the ones with the highest satisfaction rating.

  • Academic Excellence and College Readiness: includes an Undergraduate Admissions presentation, study groups, and visits to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Campus Farm, UMD Observatory and Neutral Buoyancy and Robotics Labs.
  • Health and Wellness: includes access to the Eppley Recreation Center and fitness workshops lead by University Recreation & Wellness, including Zumba, Yoga, and Bodycombat. 
  • Community Development: includes social activities such as Mixers, Pool Nights, Roommate activities, and House Points.
  • Self- Exploration and Leadership Development: includes Community Service Project, Art classes, Mentor 101 sessions and True Colors.

Dining Services

The commuter student package includes lunch, Monday–Friday, available at various on-campus eateries. If your course has a scheduled all-day field trip, lunch is also provided.

  • Lunch: Commuter students use their Terrapin Express card, a prepaid meal card accepted at over fifty participating locations across campus. Terrapin Express cards give students to flexibility to eat where they want, when they want.
  • For more information, including Kosher, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free options, see Meal Plans and Dietary Accommodations
  • Students who require meal options and/or dietary accommodations will submit a request after admission.


Terp Scholars are responsible for making choices and organizing their time as part of exploring the independence of university life. In the classroom, Terp Scholars are supervised by course instructors and teaching assistants. For seminars and workshops, instructors for provide supervision during these events. Commuter Terp Scholars who remain on campus to complete course assignments, participate in study groups, afternoon, evening, and weekend activities, are supervised by program mentors.

Program mentors are selected UMD undergraduate students who work under the guidance of the program’s professional staff. All mentors complete federal and state child protective services and criminal background checks. The mentors supervise students in the dormitories to ensure safe, appropriate behavior. Mentors also supervise and provide participants with an insider’s view of what college life is like. The mentors provide supervision using a 15 students: 1 mentor ratio. Mentors are responsible for responding to any situations that may arise. To help Terp Scholars acclimate to the University of Maryland campus, program mentors escort students to class and meals for the first three days. Commuter Terp Scholars meet program mentors at the Terp Scholars’ residence hall at least 30 minutes prior to course start time if they would like to be included in the escorted group.

Commuter Terp Scholars are expected to:

  • Arrive and depart the University without supervision,
  • Attend class and eat lunch without supervision,
  • Walk to and from class and all scheduled campus activities without supervision,
  • Complete all course-related work without supervision, and
  • Seek academic support from course staff, including instructors and teaching assistants.


The program package fee does not include a parking permit. To park on campus, students must have a valid permit. After admission, students can purchase a Summer Session II parking permit from UMD’s Department of Transportation Services (DOTS).

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