Why Are More Non-Traditional Students Returning to School?

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Since the number of older students enrolling in colleges and universities has accelerated in recent years, we’re shifting away from the title of “non-traditional.” These students are now commonly referred to as adult students or older students.

Community Colleges and Universities are responding to this change and most of them offer programs that are suitable for older students. Given the current struggle of the economy, and the high unemployment rate, it is time for these students to return to school so that they can be successful. Their achievement, as well as the achievement of traditional students, is important to the nation’s economic success.

community college

Most students are returning to school to advance their career, for financial stability, to complete a degree that they started years ago or to pursue a new field of interest. For some, it may that they’ve realized the value of an education or are not giving up on that childhood dream, even if they encountered hardships that interrupted their academic path.

Man holding a book to his chest in a library

Lelani Monalall is one of those students who isn’t giving up on her dream. She agreed that finding a better job and having upward social mobility are good reasons to go back to school, but there’s also another more important reason why she is returning to school.

“Along the years I’ve learned, it’s not just about making more money anymore. It’s more than an income. It’s about that question I was asked as a child. What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Lelani wants to make that dream a reality now and realizes that it isn’t too late. She wants to wake up and enjoy what she does for a living. Making her childhood dream of becoming a teacher requires the right credentials and she has committed herself to achieving just that.

teaching english

Ten years ago she dropped out of college due to financial difficulties; she was on her own and had to work full time. Now at the age of thirty, she is back in school and is studying to become a teacher.


By Rona Ramjas

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