Financial Support for Non-Traditional Students

While higher education costs are skyrocketing and government support for postsecondary institutions is dwindling, individuals are constantly being reminded of the importance of earning a credential for their viability in the labor market. What this means is that more and more adults are either returning to college or university, or enrolling for the first time, but have very little in the way of financial support available for their learning. This Mini Feature discusses the importance of this funding for adults, explores the avenues that are available for these learners and share some innovative ideas about changes that could reduce costs for non-traditional students.


Exploring the Need for Financial Support

AUDIO | Determining the Appropriateness of Public Funding for Non-Degree Students

More public funding for non-degree programming is critical, but it is equally important for students to ensure they are finishing their programs and can translate their education into a job.

Searching for Financial Pathways to a Degree

Financial support is critical to helping adults prioritize earning their degree once they have work and family commitments to balance.

AUDIO | Are Middle-Income Students Falling Through the Cracks?

While financial aid is available to individuals who live below the poverty line, it tends to exclude students in two-income families who are living paycheck to paycheck.


International Approaches to Adult Financial Support

Studying for a First Degree as an Adult in Australia

Guaranteed interest-free loans tailored to graduate needs makes higher education financing a little easier for Australian adults.

Is Tuition to Blame for Rising Student Debt in the United States?

Adults in the United States have been significantly challenged by the rapid increases in tuition fees, but the value of higher education is still widely accepted.

Lack of Public Support Forces Romanian Students to Look to their Families

Given the lack of financial and social support available for adult students in Romania, many often rely on their family units to help them toward a degree.

How Do Adults in Finland Pay for Higher Education?

Given the lack of financial and social support available for adult students in Romania, many often rely on their family units to help them toward a degree.


Adult Students’ Experiences with Higher Education Financing

Three Tips for Non-Traditional Students Seeking Financial Assistance

Non-traditional students should do their research and work with an advisor to ensure they understand the financial assistance options available to them.

Identifying and Overcoming Financial Hurdles

Adult students with limited access to financial resources may find support in unexpected places, such as in scholarships from private companies.

Exploring Degree Financing for Non-Traditional Students

Non-traditional students do not have enough access to financing options for their higher education, forcing them to make decisions that may negatively impact their financial well-being.


Mosaic Degrees and Reducing Costs for Adult Students

AUDIO | Finding the Right Degree Pathway

Traditional degree programs do not necessarily provide students with a more cohesive learning pathway than a mosaic approach would.

Outcome, Not Process, Matters in the On-Campus vs. Online Education Debate

The route a student takes to a particular learning outcome is not nearly as important as ensuring the student has completed the necessary learning.

Creative Degree Pathways Save Non-Traditional Students More than Money

Adult and continuing education units need to exercise creativity in helping non-traditional students receive the most credits for their learning.

Just-In-Time Learning Increases Students’ Earning Potential

Prospective students should have access to data regarding just-in-time learning opportunities so they can make informed choices when enrolling in higher education.

ePortfolios, Prior Learning and Emergent Learning

ePortfolios can provide learners with an opportunity to unite all of their learning into a single package that could create a pathway toward a credential.


Innovative Approaches to Reducing Costs for Adults

How to Make College Affordable

Colleges and universities can introduce a number of measures to reduce costs for their non-traditional students.

AUDIO | Repurposing Workforce Development Funds for Adults

Shifting the focus from preparing individuals for any work — which, in many cases, means low-paying jobs — to training them for specific fields can have long-term benefits for both the individual and the economy.

Four Forces Positively Impacting Cost of Higher Education for Adults

Higher education institutions can significantly reduce costs for students, both domestically and internationally, by exploring online learning opportunities.

Increasing Affordability by Reducing Divide Between Merit and Need-Based Aid

Offering significant tuition discounts through scholarships and other loans may not reduce cost to students as much as simply reducing the tuition price itself.

Over the course of this Mini Feature, we will publish articles and interviews from contributors across the higher education world discussing their opinions on issues including:

  • Why is financial support important to non-traditional students?
  • What kind of support mechanisms are available to students internationally?
  • How can costs be reduced for adult learners?

Read, comment and learn about what the this all means for higher education!