The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has identified seven characteristics that are common to nontraditional students. To be considered a nontraditional undergraduate, you:
- Do not immediately continue your education after you graduate from high school
- Attend college only part time
- Work full time (35 hours or more per week)
- Are financially independent
- Have children or dependents other than your spouse
- Are a single parent
- Have a GED, not a high school diploma
How many of these characteristics do you have? Believe it or not, 75% of all undergraduate students have a least one of these characteristics and are thus "nontraditional" in one way or another.
- Among students with only one nontraditional characteristic, part-time attendance is the most common (36%), followed by full-time employment (23%) and delayed enrollment (23%).
- Among students with more than three nontraditional characteristics, having a dependent is the most common (80%).