All About Nontraditional Students

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Back in 2015, the National Center for Education Statistics conducted a study to determine the percentage of nontraditional students compared to traditional students. The results were quite shocking, with an NCES conclusion that 75% of students can be defined as nontraditional. 

Who are nontraditional students, though? Apart from the fact that they are people who don’t live on-campus, several other specifics should be discussed. Let’s get started!

The Universal Definition Of a Nontraditional Student

Not all higher education institutions define nontraditional students in the same manner. There are several factors that colleges/universities take into consideration, including financial status, previous education, and whether the person is married or not. 

The most basic definition is that a nontraditional student didn’t enroll and attend the institution immediately after getting a high school diploma. Additionally, if you are studying part-time, you will be defined as a nontraditional student by NCES and most institutions. 

Apart from these categories, the living situation, family history, previous college experience, and age (above 25) are also common determinants.

Challenges That Nontraditional Students Have To Overcome

While traditional students aren’t necessarily privileged by the college or university, most nontraditional students go to college while also having a full-time job, which needs to be considered into the equation. 

Completing daily chores, going to classes, and still finding time to relax can be quite challenging. For this reason, nontraditional students have to be experts in time management to succeed. 

Another huge challenge is adapting to modern technology and evolving learning methods. If you took some time away from school and are going back to get your degree, it will take some time to adapt. 

Still, as long as you are motivated and invest your time and effort into this process, you can obtain that degree. When you are a nontraditional student, self-confidence matters more than anything.

Important Tips For Nontraditional Students 

If you define yourself as a nontraditional student, it is essential to find an excellent academic program. Luckily, there are many flexible options out there, with accelerated programs and weekend classes being our personal favorite. 

If you live far from the desired college or university, you should look into the available online programs, which can save you both time and money. 

The fact that the average tuition for private higher education institutions is $36,000 per year is quite disturbing. This is why you should invest extra time finding the academic programs that won’t break your budget while still allowing you to feel welcomed.

Concluding Thoughts

If we were to go by the uniform definition, nontraditional students exceed a certain age (25+), are not bound to campus life, and are married. If you meet any of the criteria, then you can be considered a nontraditional student. It can be quite challenging to balance academic life with jobs and family, but you have the motivation to do it means that you can.

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