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Nontraditional students

Note from the editor

Once a small minority in higher education, nontraditional students are now a market many colleges and universities want a piece of. And with the supply of prospective high school matriculants poised to shrink, their interest should only grow. 

Nontraditional students are older than the 18-to-24-year-olds colleges have traditionally targeted. And many have jobs to go to, family to look after and, certainly, additional life experience to pull from. As a result, they're asking for a different kind of college experience than their classmates who have arrived fresh from high school, and institutions are pushing themselves to give it to them.

Read on to learn how colleges and universities are recruiting more students from this age group, implementing new educational models to help learning fit their schedules, and adding services like child care support and guided pathways to help them complete their programs efficiently. 

How your college is serving nontraditional students? Let us know.

Hallie Busta Senior Editor, Higher Ed

How colleges are bringing back stopped-out students

Sagging enrollment and a greater focus on outcomes are pushing colleges to reenroll students instead of replacing them with new recruits.

Capella U shares lessons from 5 years of competency-based education

The model, which lets learners complete curriculum at their own pace, is gaining momentum nationally as a way to reach nontraditional students.

Amazon, the Marines and community college partner on data training

Northern Virginia Community College is offering Marines college credit for courses completed as part of their military training in the hopes they'll return to finish the degree.

Report: 2.6M student-parents may be leaving child care aid on the table

A report from the Government Accountability Office said colleges should make sure students know they could quality for a dependent care allowance.

As higher ed eyes adult learners, community colleges add supports

Two-year institutions are looking beyond academics to create guided pathways to help this coveted group of students graduate or transfer.