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The National Center for Educational Statistics lists seven characteristics of nontraditional students. If any one of the following fits your situation, you’re a nontraditional student!

Non Traditional Student Archetypes

  • You’re a part time student.
  • You work full time.
  • You are financially independent.
  • You didn’t immediately continue education after graduating from high school.
  • You have children or dependents other than your spouse.
  • You are a single parent.
  • You have a GED rather than a high school diploma.

If you read through these characteristics and one of them applied to you, you may be surprised to learn that you’re actually in the majority! Despite the moniker, 73% of students in 2002 were in some way nontraditional. That’s why we’ve made it a priority at Point to make sure that nontraditional students have access to the resources they need. Here, we cover some of the unique needs of nontraditional students, and the ways in which we’re meeting them. You may fall into several of these categories!

1. The Hard Worker

Non Traditional Student Archetypes

This nontraditional student is working full time in addition to going to school. He or she may be going to school part time, or juggling a full-time job and a full-time workload. Many people can’t give up a source of income for the time it takes to get their education, so they need to balance work and school.

At Point University, we offer entirely online degrees, so you can set your own schedule and work at a pace that’s right for you. As long as you have Internet access, you can get an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree from Point. And you shouldn’t think that an online degree means you’ll be isolated. On the contrary, you’ll have plenty of interaction with your professors and peers.

2. The Parent


You know how important a college education is, but your children come first. At Point, we understand that your number one priority is (and should be) your children, but we don’t think you should have to sacrifice your education in order to be present for them. That’s why we offer the online programs for busy adults. Online students take online courses that are convenient for them. You just log in to your ‘virtual classroom’ and complete coursework as you go.

Your bachelor’s or associate degree will help you support your family in the long run, but you should never have to miss going to a school play or tucking your baby in at night. With an online program, you don’t have to.

3. Money Maker


For the purposes of financial aid, you are generally considered financially independent if you are 24 years or older, married, a veteran, have dependents other than a spouse, or are an orphan or ward of the court. But being ‘financially independent’ doesn’t mean you have the extra income for a college education, even though. You can also set up a payment plan so you can incorporate your education into your budget.

4. The Late Bloomer

Non Traditional Student Archetypes

This nontraditional student may be someone who was in the military right after high school, or someone who spent several years working in an industry before deciding that his or her calling was in a different field. It’s never too late to get your education, and an online program at Point makes it easy and comfortable to do so. You can even earn college credit for prior life and work experiences!

Some older nontraditional students are apprehensive about being ‘the old guy’ in a class filled with kids fresh out of high school. The online programs are specifically designed for adult students, so you’ll be surrounded by people who, like you, are highly motivated to reach their educational goals. With online classes, you can work from home, the library, or anywhere with an Internet connection. If you have any questions, problems, or concerns, the dedicated faculty at Point is here to help. As a nontraditional student, you may fall into some, all, or none of the above categories! Point University doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach, because we know that regardless of what stage of life you’re in, you deserve a quality education. We’re dedicated to helping you make that happen. Explore our 20+ online programs and request more information to get started.