What is a non-traditional student?
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) defines a non-traditional student by the following characteristics:
- Delays enrollment (does not entering postsecondary education right after high school); attends part time;
- Works full time (35 hours a week or more);
- Is financially independent for purposes of determining eligibility for financial aid;
- Has dependents other than a spouse (usually children, but sometimes others);
- Is a single parent;
- Or does not have a high school diploma (has completed high school with a GED or other nontraditional diploma or has not finished high school).
We have compiled some helpful information for non-traditional students below. If you have additional questions or cannot find the information you need on this website, please contact the COMPASS office by emailing COMPASS@mtu.edu.
Academic Information for Non-Traditional Students
Many non-traditional students transferring to Michigan Tech may have credits earned from other academic institutions. For instance, if you take an introductory business course at a community college it may have an equivalent course here. If you have credits you need to transfer you can contact the Michigan Tech Transfer Services office.
There is also an online system where you can check if your specific course credit will transfer.
There are certain limitations with transferring credit. One example is that upper division classes may require prior written approval and other classes must be taken at Michigan Tech. The best course of action is to check online if your earned credit will transfer and then meet with someone from Transfer Services to ensure that all transferrable credits are processed correctly. Also, your academic advisor can assist you with transferring credit.
Distance Learning and Online Course Opportunities
Michigan Tech offers some courses online. This may be a helpful option when trying to balance school, family, and/or work. To see the different programs and classes offered online and their prerequisites visit the Online Learning Resource Page.
If you have any questions about online learning at Michigan Tech you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paying for college can be difficult and you may need assistance covering the costs. Your first step should be to contact the Financial Aid Office. There are many scholarship and other aid opportunities you can use.
Additional financial aid resources for non-traditional students:
Academic Preparation & Support
When looking into your academic future at Michigan Tech it is important to have a good idea of the classes you are going to be taking, the different resources available to you, and what you need to do to succeed among many other things. Students of all ages come into school with limited knowledge as to what exactly they need to do to graduate with a degree. The Undergraduate Catalogue provides course descriptions and academic policies and procedures. The Registrar’s Office is another great resource for important dates and course registration information.
One of the most important resources a student has at Michigan Tech is their academic advisor. They will help you develop an education plan and select the best course schedule to accomplish that plan. They will be there for any questions you have and will help you with everything from career planning and life goals to campus resources and helping with the everyday questions. Knowing the advising goals you have as a student and your advisor’s goals can be helpful when you meet with them.
Each department has their own advisor that knows that program inside and out. You can search for your department's advisor on Michigan Tech’s website, or check out the COMPASS website to find your advisor information.
Community Information for Non-Traditional Students
All first-year students are required to live in the residence halls for their first year at Michigan Tech. However, for many non-traditional students, residence hall living may not be a feasible housing option.
There are alternative options you can choose from for on-campus housing:
Hillside Place offers a unique living environment that blends the community of the residence halls with the privacy of apartment living.
Daniell Heights Apartments can accommodate both single students and families. All utilities including internet and cable are included rent and the Daniel Heights Residents Council (DHRC) organizes family-friendly events throughout the year for residents.
All students who would like to be released from their first-year residence hall requirement must follow the instructions on this website.
If you are looking for different accommodation styles, a living option within a particular budget range, and so-on, there are many places to live around the local area. The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) posts off-campus housing options on their website which includes contacts of landlords with ratings and photos.
Child Care & Family Services
There are several options for child care and education available in the community.
Little Huskies Child Development Center is an NAEYC accredited facility managed by Michigan Tech. This service is available to staff and faculty of Michigan Tech as well as full time and part time students.
BHK Child Development Board offers services ranging from preschool/head start to child care to after school programs, family support, and more.
Please refer to this Google map for information about local amenities, including grocery and department stores, medical clinics, fire/police stations, public transportation options, and other valuable information.
Counseling & Wellness Services
As a student at Michigan Tech you have access to free counseling services. Their office is located on the third floor of the Administration Building. Coming in as a non-traditional student can be a very stressful time trying to balance school with everything else perhaps including work or a family. Counseling and Wellness Services offers a number of services to help with your transition to college. Some of these services include academic counseling (test anxiety, time management, and learning disabilities, etc) and personal counseling (tanging from relationships, wellness, depression, adjusting to campus life, etc).
Student Health Insurance
To park your vehicle on campus, you will need to obtain a parking pass and you can purchase a parking pass for different locations. If you live in the residence halls for instance you can get a parking pass for the residential lots, where as if you are a commuter, there are the commuter lots.
On-Campus Resident’s Parking
Off-Campus Student Parking
If you live off campus and would like to drive to Tech, you will need to register your vehicle with the Registrar’s Office.
Involvement Information for Non-Traditional Students
There are many areas where you can get involved on campus. From intramural sports and student government or organizations, to Greek life and community service there is an opportunity for you here. Being a non-traditional student does not limit you; there are many ways to get involved and stay active in the campus community.
Want to know what is happening on campus? Visit Involvement Link to see upcoming events from community service to concerts to weekly organization meetings. You can also visit Student Activities for information on many other opportunities you have to get involved while you are a student at Michigan Tech.
Career Services Information for Non-Traditional Students
Many non-traditional students at Michigan Tech are coming to school already having work experience. It may be beneficial for you to see someone at Career Services to help you make the transition to college and do the best job you can at balancing school and work.
You may also be looking for work to help supplement the cost of tuition and housing. There are many opportunities to work on campus. Some of these opportunities include working in the dining hall, to student custodial work, to working as a tour guides, or as a learning center coach. If know of a job that interests you, visit the department directly to inquire about it.
There is also the opportunity to get involved with Student Life. Many of these positions give you the chance to work with students or to help plan many of the events come to campus every year.