Are you a non-traditional student? READ THIS FIRST.

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 :slight_smile:

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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.

That sounds like a transfer to me.

Did you read the very first bullet the op said?

I’m (hopefully) getting my GED for early college later this year and will enroll in college winter semester.

Accidental bump :slight_smile:

I recently earned my GED. I’m trying to score high enough on the SAT so that I can go straight into a 4 year college.

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.

I would think that age would also be on the list. I have 4 out of the 7, and then age (46). I guess that makes me non-traditional… :slight_smile:


“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.

I’m all but one of the qualifications for being a non traditional at 36 yrs of age.Thanks for this forum!

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.

TheYoungProdigy, forget them. “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind!”
Keep your chin up and keep working hard. You’re not doing it for them, you’re doing it for yourself.

Can anyone assist me in the application process? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Can you take sat’s post highschool graduation??