What is a Nontraditional Student?

Nearly 74% of American undergraduate college students are considered ‘nontraditional’, but what exactly does that mean?

According to The National Center for Education Statistics, nontraditional students are classified as those who are 25+ years-old and meet at least one of these criteria:

  1. didn’t attend college immediately after high school
  2. attend college part-time
  3. are financially independent for financial aid purposes
  4. has children or dependents other than spouse
  5. is a single parent
  6. has a GED rather than a high school diploma

As you can see, nontraditional students vary greatly from traditional students who enter college right after high school. They have unique motivations, timelines and expectations for enrollment and it’s important to understand how this cohort should be approached as it shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all strategy. For example, there are most likely different ways to pique the interest of single parents compared to part-time students. Single parents may be more interested in online programs while part-time students could want frequent night class options.

In order to target potential nontradtitional students effectively, marketers should pinpoint their unique motivations and challenges for enrollment and entice them with personalized offerings that will appeal to them.

AMG Higher Education Marketing works with institutions across the Southeast. We are experts in social and digital marketing and data analysis and can effectively reach prospective students. Want to know more? Let’s talk.

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If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you adapt to the evolving education marketing landscape and ramp up your efforts, please contact us today.

Parent & Student Survey Whitepaper


The Annual PARENT & Student Survey

Advance Education conducted a nationwide survey to learn what students and their parents are looking for from institutions – and the right marketing channels to reach them.

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