Transfer, Nontraditional and
Adult Student Information
WHAT EXACTLY IS A NONTRADITIONAL STUDENT?
The terms adult and nontraditional student are used synonymously today to define the growing student population that exemplifies at least one or more of the following characteristics:
- Students who are 25 years of age or older.
- Students who are married or are parents of dependent children or have other family members to support.
- Students who are returning to school after an extended absence of at least 3 years or more. This includes students who are changing careers.
- Students who are veterans of the armed forces.
- Students who are working full or part-time.
- Transfer and Commuting Students.
- Students of any age who are responsible for funding their own education, are financially independent and/or are assuming certain responsibilities which include non-academic commitments (work, family, health, financial issues) that would preclude or significantly impede the student from obtaining a degree through traditional academic full-time study.
- Full or part-time students who are taking the majority of their college coursework online or through some long-distance, low-residential format.
Transfer students are generally defined as nontraditional students, but are more particularly those students who began their college studies at another institution of higher learning, often at a two-year or community college, and are coming to our university to complete their education. Adult, nontraditional and transfer students have certain circumstances in their lives that create specific challenges in fully achieving their academic, intellectual and social goals. For these students, college life can often be quite complex, whether that be because of age, time away from academia, multiple life roles and responsibilities, reduced time on campus and lack of familiarity with campus resources and facilities, or the juggling act that often goes along with being self-supporting.
Adult and nontraditional students want to fully participate and excel in what they learn and how they learn it, but they are often unfamiliar or “behind the curve” with traditional educational processes and resultant expectations. Many of these students bring the perspective of years of “real life” personal and work experience with them to the traditional classroom, which enhances their contributions to the overall class experience, but sometimes gives them greater concern for more practical and focused applications and less patience with theory and abstraction.