Students’ guide to parking on and around campus

Felicia Guadagni

Oh, the perils of parking. With winter in full swing and snowy conditions threatening students’ commute to class, many Kent State University students — campus residents and commuters alike — choose to buy a parking pass over playing a hide-and-seek game with Parking Services to ease their trip to class.

Kent State’s commuter population makes up 80 percent of the student body, and there are 21 different types of commuter parking permits available to these students for purchase, each depending on class standing. While graduate students are allowed to purchase any of the permit options, freshman students qualify to purchase only four out of the 21 permits.

The type of permit varies in price, location, spots available and class standing restrictions for purchase. Only Allerton Sports Complex, Summit East, Evening/Weekend and Disability are available for freshman. C-Greek Village, C-Ice Arena, C-MWF, C-Recreation Center, C-Science, Allerton Sports Complex, Summit East, morning/weekend, afternoon/weekend, evening/weekend and disability parking permits are open for sophomores.

Juniors and seniors are allotted more options for parking. R1-Lincoln, C-All, C-Campus Center, and C-CPA are extended to students with graduate, senior and junior class standing. However, R1-Rockewell, R2-Business, R4-Center for the Performing Arts, R8-Liquid Crystal, R12-Schwartz Center and R16-White Hall are exclusively reserved for graduate students.

Students with a graduate, senior and junior class standing may have the most permit options, but junior Craig Zombar doesn’t feel this is enough.

“I’ve been to three universities — Cleveland State, University of Cincinnati and now Kent — and Kent has the worst parking problem out of all three,” Zombar said.

If class standing isn’t a concern, then timing is. At least it was for Skye McEowen, a magazine journalism major, who, due to her junior standing was eligible for more permit options, had to purchase a stadium permit because she waited too long to buy a pass.

“I think there is a lot of parking, but not many options for students that live on campus,” McEowen said. “Seeing open spaces in a lot is frustrating.”

However, certain lots open up for students to park in after a set time each day. For instance, ‘Non-Restricted R-lots’ allow students with valid KSU parking permits to park after 4 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. In order to ensure an ‘R’ lot is unrestricted after a certain time, students should read the yellow sign upon entering the specific lot, which outlines the regulations set for that particular parking location.

Larry Emling, manager of Parking Services, emphasized that although students can park in specific lots after 4 p.m., they still need to display a valid KSU parking permit and be cautious of the signs.

“Students need a permit in any lot at all times,” Emling said. “Students sometimes park in a lot after 4 p.m. and think it’s OK, but they haven’t read the entire sign for that space. The complete information is on the sign.” 

There are also time-specific permits for students who are only on campus during morning, afternoon or night hours. These passes- Morning/Weekend, Afternoon/Weekend and Evening/Weekend- allow students to park in all C-lots and all non-restricted R-lots during allotted times. The Morning/Weekend permits allow parking from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m.; the Afternoon/Weekend permits for any time after 2 p.m. in C-lots and 4 p.m. in non-restricted R-lots; the Evening/Weekend permit’s for any time after 4 p.m.

For those looking for parking options off campus, the PARTA parking garage in downtown Kent offers a ‘Fall/Spring’ parking pass for students with a valid KSU ID. The passes cost $150 and are valid Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and the passes can be purchased at Kent Central Gateway ticket offices on the corner of South Depeyster and Erie streets with a KSU student ID. Kent Presbyterian on 1456 East Summit St. sells student parking passes, as well.

Parking on Kent State’s campus may not be ideal for every student, but the parking options available on and off campus make it easier and possible for commuters to call Kent State University their home.

Commuter parking passes can be purchased online at or at the Parking and Transit Services office in Room 123 Schwartz Center. Passes are available to purchase until each lot’s passes are sold out.

Contact Felicia Guadagni at [email protected].