I waited until I was 30 to go to college. Best decision ever. (The Washington Post)

June 23, 2016

Technically, being a nontraditional student isn’t all that nontraditional. The National Center for Education Statistics has delineated seven characteristics of nontraditional students, including delayed enrollment, full-time employment and supporting a dependent; NCES posits that 75 percent of all students have at least one of these characteristics. In 2011, 40 percent of American college students were considered nontraditional. Yet most four-year universities remain geared toward “traditional” students — the image of young, boozy, fresh-out-of-high-school kids unpacking Ikea furniture from their parents’ cars is still the one that dominates. According to Robert Hansen, chief executive of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, faculty tend to focus more on full-time, first-time students, despite statistical data suggesting that more students are actually nontraditional.

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