10 Colleges and Universities with High Number of Non-Traditional Students


It’s challenging for any new student to get acclimated to college. But for non-traditional students, where the majority of the student body has come straight out of high school, it can be even harder. For that reason, it could be nice for non-traditional students to have friends to relate to who are also going back to school from other walks of life besides high school.

So, thanks to US News, we’ve got a list of the 10 colleges and universities with the most students over the age of 25.

1. Sonoma State University
Percentage of students 25 and over-88%
Cool fact-The Princeton Review named SSU one of 12 of the nation’s most “green” campuses.

2. Thomas Edison State College
Percentage of students 25 and over-
Cool fact-Thomas Edison State College is a considerably newer school as it was approved by the New Jersey Board of Education in December 1971, and established on July 1, 1972.

3.University of the Southwest
Percentage of students 25 and over-87%
Cool fact-
The University of the Southwest hosts the Jack Maddox Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings guests from all areas of life to give informative and inspirational lectures.  Past speakers include Jim Lovell, Robert Gates and P.J. O’Rourke.

4. American International College
Percentage of students 25 and over-84%
Cool fact-
American International College was originally established on July 18, 1885 as the French Protestant College by Rev. Calvin E. Amaron, who sought to create an institution of higher learning that would provide the local French Protestant minority–who I happen to remember from European history are called Huguenots–with access to higher education. Over the years it evolved into a multicultural learning institution.

5. Golden Gate University
Percentage of students 25 and over-84%
Cool fact-
Golden Gate University evolved out of the literary reading groups of the San Francisco Central YMCA. The YMCA Evening College was formally established in 1896 and became a full-fledged operation in 1901 with the creation of the parallel YMCA Evening Law College.

Mid-Continent University
Percentage of students 25 and over-84%
Cool fact-
The university participates in several sports in the Division I Mid-East Region of the National Christian College Athletic Association, including in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and coed cheerleading.

7. National-Louis University
Percentage of students 25 and over-83%
Cool fact-
NLU has campuses in near Chicago, Illinois, as well as Wisconsin, Florida, and, any guesses? Nowy Sacz, Poland!

8. University of Maryland-University College
Percentage of students 25 and over-83%
Cool fact-UMUC offers face-to-face courses and support in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

9. Peirce College
Percentage of students 25 and over-
Cool fact-Peirce has specialized educational programs for those who wish to seek an accelerated education during the evening and weekend, earn their degree online, or earn their degree while at work.

10. Granite State College
Percentage of students 25 and over-80%
Cool fact-The average age at Granite State is 36!

Are you a non-traditional student or thinking about going back to school? Tell us what you think. Leave a comment!

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  1. Mary says:

    I am a non-traditional student at Western Illinois University, and there are A LOT of us here! I would imagine that is the case in most state colleges/universities if you really look at it…

  2. Amy says:

    I am a non-traditional student. I just finished my AA degree and will be attending Washington State University in the fall to complete my Bachelors and then plan to continue on for my Masters. I think there are more and more non-traditional students in school these days. Partly because of the economy and also because, like myself, we may have made mistakes in our youth or traveled a different path and have decided that now is the time to finish our education. I know a lot of students from the 2 year college who were non-traditional students and they too will be transferring to other schools to finish their education. In some ways, I think getting your education when you are older is better, simply because you may be more apt to concentrate on your education simply because we know how much it costs and what life is like without a proper education.

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