What is a non-traditional student?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there is no real definition. In general, a student who meets the following criteria is generally considered non-traditional:
Delays enrollment (does not enter post-secondary education in the same calendar year that he or she finished high school);
- Attends part time for at least part of the academic year;
- Works full time (35 hours or more per week) while enrolled;
- Is considered financially independent for purposes of determining eligibility for financial aid;
- Has dependents other than a spouse (usually children, but sometimes others);
- Is a single parent (either not married or married but separated and has dependents); or
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).