What does it mean to be a nontraditional student?
It’s almost easier to define a traditional student, and if you don’t qualify for that, then you likely possess some characteristics of a nontraditional student! A traditional student is one who enters college within a year of high school graduation and whose primary focus is earning a college degree.
Why does it make a difference? Your situation as a nontraditional student may mean you are financially independent, which dramatically changes your financial aid outlook. If you have a child or are working full time, you have different challenges.
It’s worth the effort though! The research is clear that you are likely to make more money and be more satisfied with your work responsibilities when you’ve received some education beyond high school. Although you think you’ll be lonely, you are one of many nontraditional students. In fact, about one-fourth of all college students are nontraditional.
The bottom line is this. If you want to go to college, you can make this work. There is ALWAYS a way to figure it out. Albert Einstein said it well, “A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is not what it is built for.” So, start sailing. There are resources to help you be successful, so read on!