I’ve seen a lot of students/applicants posting here when they’re not actually non-traditional students - in an effort to keep the forums as organized as possible and make sure that everyone is posting in the most relevant forum to increase odds of getting helpful replies, I thought I’d post the definition here.
The National Center for Education Statistics considers anyone for whom at least one of the following statements is true to be a non-traditional student:
[<em>] Delays enrollment (does not enter postsecondary education in the same calendar year that he or she finished high school)
[</em>] Attends part-time for at least part of the academic year
[<em>] Works full-time (35 hours or more per week) while enrolled
[</em>] Is considered financially independent for purposes of determining eligibility for financial aid
[<em>] Has dependents other than a spouse (usually children, but may also be caregivers of sick or elderly family members)
[</em>] Is a single parent (either not married or married but separated and has dependents)
[li] Does not have a high school diploma (completed high school with a GED or other high school completion certificate or did not finish high school)[/li][/ul]
I hope this helps
What about students who have a lot of gaps in their academic record? For example, after graduating highschool they took one year off then went to college for two consecutive semesters then took a semster off again etc.
Did the ACT instead, and with the subject tests I’ve already completed, it’s looking promising. But, now it seems I will still need to go to CC… Dang it… I wanted to jump straight into a top college but my 32 ACT won’t cut it. I don’t know.
“Is considered financially independent for purposes of determining eligibility for financial aid.” You could transfer all you want, as long as your parents or someone claims you as a dependent, you are traditional. On the other hand, If you are paying for college yourself and are financially independent, you would be considered a non-traditional student.
The definition for education statistics may be less relevant than the definition used by each individual college you are considering, as far as it affects admissions, financial aid, on-campus housing options or requirements, state residency for tuition purposes at public universities, etc…
I am a non-traditional student. I got a lot of ridicule from adults and family members because it. It’s hard when coming from a polarized family. One cares and the other doesn’t. Then your supporter turns on you and makes you look horrible. I was basically belittled for using my education for way out of poverty and parents that used their illnesses and my depression as a way to control my life.