Should I Complete the FAFSA as a Nontraditional Student?

If you’ve decided to go to college as a nontraditional student, then congratulations! Nontraditional* students are the fastest growing population in colleges and universities. There is a path for you to take and financial aid options are available to you. The definition of a nontraditional student varies and isn’t easy to nail down. The following criteria are often used to define nontraditional students:

  • Didn’t attend college immediately after graduating from high school
  • Attends college part-time
  • Works full-time (35 hour or more per week)
  • Has children or dependents other than a spouse
  • Is a single parent
  • Has a GED, not a high school diploma

* Not all nontraditional students are considered independent students. Review the 2022-23 Dependency Questionnaire to determine your dependency status. If you answer “Yes” to any one of these questions you’ll be considered an independent student and won’t need to include parent information.

Once you have made the decision to go to college as a nontraditional student, it’s time to think about financial aid. Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career technology centers. Grants, work-study, loans and scholarships help make college or career techs affordable. Don’t assume that you won’t qualify for financial aid, apply and find out!