Nontraditional College Students Aim to Avoid Coming Workforce Crisis

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Working adults are seeking college degrees in record numbers, and these "nontraditional" students are changing the way higher education does business, according to a report published by world's premier directory of education. Fully 58 percent of those students taking courses today are financially independent adults over the age of 22; they appear to be seeking education as a reaction to Federal estimates stating that as many as 63 percent of the 18.9 million new jobs to be created in the next decade will require at least a B.A.

The face of higher education is changing, with a mere 16 percent of college students fitting the classic profile of a financially dependent 18-22 year old studying full-time on campus. Analysis from's article, "Adult Learners and New Traditions in Higher Education," suggests that both online and campus schools are finding it to be good educational business to welcome nontraditional students ( Many educational institutions have begun catering to nontraditional student's needs by providing flexible course schedules, financial aid, online degree programs, and aggressive job placement.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, "nontraditional" students are college students who attend part-time, work at least 35 hours a week, or are past age 22. Some nontraditional students lack a high school diploma. Many have dependants of their own. It's little wonder, then, that six in ten nontraditional students attend college part time or that more than 1 million of them are enrolled in fully online degree programs.

"Earning a college degree will always be a challenge, regardless of circumstances, but nontraditional students are confronted with obstacles not faced by an 18-year-old freshman," said Managing Producer Steven Jones.

"Such students need timely, reliable information concerning what college degree programs are offered, where the schools are located, what services they can depend upon, and whether a campus-based or online degree program is the right solution for them," Jones continues. "They're demanding--and getting--everything from campus-based child care to courses on weekends, in the evening, and via distance education." ( is the world's premier directory of education, featuring informative resources, more than 2,500 online courses, over 1,600 online degree programs, 200 online universities, and 2,300 campus-based career college programs. receives thousands of visitors each day and has been featured on

Feature article, "Adult Learners and New Traditions in Higher Education,"


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M. Shea
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