Non-traditional students at Emporia State are considered those that are married, over the age of 24 or have children. They can also be classified as those that have been out of school for two or more years and are – or have been – in the military, according to ESU’s website.
Olivia Carlson, freshman elementary education major, falls into that category. She is pursuing her degree while raising children. She said was able to return to school because of ESU’s flexible schedule.
“It’s a lot of work – a lot of hours go into schoolwork and my kids,” Carlson said. “It would have been easier to go to college right out of high school, but I’m glad I’m doing it and bettering myself.”
The Single Parents with Children Scholarship at ESU is one way ESU offers support for those with children. The scholarship offers $2,000 for eligible single, widowed or divorced students, who are raising children and attending school simultaneously.
Bryan Jones, freshman business major, said he can receive unemployment benefits for two years while he is in school.
“Trade Act Assistant has actually paid for most of my schooling, and it has been a big help,” Jones said. “I have two kids and ESU has been really helpful with my schedule.”
Jones is among those who have returned to college as a non-traditional student to get another degree and hopefully, another job.
Lauryn Mounts, junior sociology major and a traditional student, said she sees a lot of non-traditional students in her classes. She said it is possible that certain majors attract more non-traditional students.
“I feel like my major in Sociology picks up older people because they have more experience,” Mounts said. “I see more non-traditional women than men in my classes, but that could have to do with my major.”
For more information about non-traditional students, go to emporia.edu/nontrad.