A non-traditional student is a student who:

  • Delays enrollment (does not enter postsecondary education in the same calendar year that he or she finished high school) OR
  • Attends part-time for at least part of the academic year OR
  • Works full-time while enrolled OR
  • Is considered financially independent for purposes of determining eligibility for financial aid OR
  • Has dependents other than a spouse OR
  • Is a single parent OR
  • Does not have a high school diploma (completed high school with a high school completion certificate)

[Source: NCES] Nowadays, the overwhelming majority of students enrolled in tertiary education over the entire world fall into at least one of these categories, making the ‘non-traditional’ student the new ‘traditional’ student. Consequently students are considered “minimally non-traditional” if they have only one non-traditional characteristic, “moderately non-traditional” if they have two or three, and “highly non-traditional” if they have four or more. [Source: NCES] Non-traditional students worldwide have different needs than the traditional student. Instead of carrying out their tertiary education in a dormitory, completely immersed in the ‘college life’ experience, non-traditional students have one or even two feet in the ‘real’ world. Non-traditional students often lead very busy lives, juggling responsibilities ranging from full-time employment, multiple jobs, to children and/or other family members who rely on them. Non-traditional students are therefore one of the biggest groups in education that can benefit from the ability to listen to course content. While listening to course content is helpful for all students as a study aid for retention and comprehension, for the non-traditional student listening becomes imperative, a way to study whilst carrying out any other of the myriad of responsibilities. Non-traditional students can listen on-the-go, while exercising, cooking, driving or traveling on public transportation. The ability to listen to course content (either online or by downloading an mp3 of the content and saving it to a device) is imperative for the success of the non-traditional student, and a great aid for everyone living in today’s bustling society.