Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success
The traditional 18-year-old high school graduate enrolling full time at a university no longer represents the majority of college students. Today’s non-traditional students are entering, or returning, to postsecondary education older, with families and jobs, and with varying degrees of enrollment intensity. In 2012, 51 percent of undergraduate students were independent, 40 percent were age 25 or older, 15 percent were single parents, and 37 percent were enrolled part-time. A new national study on the enrollment and persistence of non-first-time students (NFT) conducted by a group of higher education organizations , indicates that when NFT students combine periods of part-time and full-time enrollment, they are less likely to drop out and are more likely to complete an associate’s degree, compared to exclusively part-time students.