Nontraditional Students

Nontraditional Students

If you are a nontraditional student, your educational experiences, academic background, and financial aid may differ from other students at Michigan Tech. The Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success has information and resources available to help you succeed.

If you have questions or need information not provided on this page, email

What is a nontraditional student?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) defines a nontraditional student by the following characteristics:

  • Delays enrollment (does not enter 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).

Academic Information for Nontraditional Students

Transferring Credits

As a nontraditional student transferring to Michigan Tech, you may likely have credits earned from other academic institutions. If you have credits you need to transfer, contact the Michigan Tech Transfer Services Office or use the online system to see if your course credit(s) will transfer.

There are certain transfer credit limitations. Some classes must be taken at Michigan Tech, while other upper division classes may require prior written transfer approval. The best course of action is to check online to see whether your earned credit will transfer and then meet with staff 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 work. To see the 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, contact

Financial Aid

If you need assistance in covering the costs associated with your education, your first step should be to contact the Financial Aid Office. There are a variety of scholarships and aid opportunities available.

Additional financial aid resources for nontraditional students:

Academic Preparation and Support

Start your academic career at Michigan Tech off on the right foot—learn about your required course work and discover how to be a successful student. The following resources are a great place to start:

  • The Undergraduate Catalog provides course descriptions and detailed information about academic policies and procedures.
  • The Registrar’s Office is a great source of information, including important dates and course registration information.
  • The Wahtera Center for Student Success specializes in student success. We offer a variety of services and programs, including individual assistance, midterm outreach, and the ExSEL program.

Advising Information

Your academic advisor is one of your most valuable resources at Michigan Tech. Your advisor will help you develop an academic plan and select the best course schedule to accomplish that plan. He or she will be there to answer any questions you have and will help you with everything from career planning and life goals to campus resources and everyday questions.

Each department has its own advisor knowledgeable about the programs, course work, and resources available. You can search for your department's academic advisor through the Registrar’s Office.

Community Information for Nontraditional Students

On-Campus Housing

All first-year students are required to live in the residence halls for their first year at Michigan Tech. However, for many nontraditional students, residence hall living may not be a feasible housing option.

If you would like to be released from your first-year residence hall requirement, you must follow the instructions on the First-Year Student Residence Hall Waiver page.

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 in rent. The Daniel Heights Residents Council (DHRC) organizes family-friendly events throughout the year for residents.

Off-Campus Housing

If you are looking for different accommodation styles or a living option within a particular budget range, you’ll find a variety of choices in and around the Houghton area. The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) posts off-campus housing options on their website, including both house and apartment availabilities, landlord contacts, ratings, and photos.

Childcare and Family Services

There are many options for childcare and youth education in the local community.

  • Little Huskies Child Development Center is an NAEYC-accredited facility managed by Michigan Tech. This service is available to Michigan Tech staff and faculty, as well as full-time and part-time students.
  • BHK Child Development Board offers services including preschool/Head Start, childcare, after-school programs, family support, and more.

Additional childcare options can be found via Houghton County Child Care Centers or 4C of the UP.

On-Campus Dining and Meal Plans

If you choose to live off campus but would like the option of dining on campus, there are two meal plan options available to you.

  • If you’d like to eat in the residence halls, the Top Dog Express meal plan offers all-you-care-to-eat, buffet-style dining in Michigan Tech’s residential dining areas.
  • If you prefer to eat at retail dining establishments—such as the Campus Café or Memorial Union—the Big Dog Express meal plan allows for purchases at retail outlets throughout campus, including select vending machines.

See the Dining Centers Overview map for a complete listing of where to eat on campus.


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 Services

As a student at Michigan Tech, you have access to free counseling services. Our Counseling Services office, located on the third floor of the Administration Building, offers a full range of academic counseling (test anxiety, time management, and learning disabilities) and personal counseling (relationships, wellness, depression, adjusting to campus life, and more). Stop in or call 906-487-2538 for an appointment.

Student Health Insurance

For any student who does not already have insurance, Michigan Tech facilitates a student health insurance plan. You can purchase this through your Banweb or by contacting the Student Insurance Office at 906-487-1088 or in person at 202C in the Lakeshore Center building.

Parking Information

To park your vehicle on campus, you must obtain a parking pass.

On-Campus Resident Parking
Students living in the residence halls: register your vehicle online or contact the Public Safety and Police Services office.

Daniell Heights or Hillside Place residents: register your vehicle online or contact the Daniell Heights office.

Off-Campus Student Parking
If you live off campus and would like to drive to Tech: register your vehicle with the Registrar’s Office.

Involvement Information for Nontraditional Students

Being a nontraditional student shouldn’t limit your campus involvement! There are many ways to get involved and stay active in the campus community—from intramural sports and student organizations to Greek life and community service.

Want to know what’s happening on campus? Visit Involvement Link to learn about upcoming events, from concerts to weekly organization meetings. You can also visit Student Activities for information about how to get involved and stay active as a student at Michigan Tech.

Career Services for Nontraditional Students

Transitioning to college as a nontraditional working student can present some unique challenges. Staff in Michigan Tech’s Career Services office can help you with strategies for balancing school and work. Additionally, they also offer a variety of helpful services:

  • Interview skills workshops
  • Résumé and professional letter assistance
  • One-on-one career counseling
  • Career Fairs
  • Co-op, internship, and career opportunities and guidance

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 906-487-2313 or email