And yes, you CAN ask for these things. Your school may already have them, or they might be already thinking of providing these things. Your questions can only help. Plus, you can pick the best school for you, if you know what can be offered at each one. Here are some things schools are offering now:
#1. Special online pages to help Nontraditional students register, to find out how a nontraditional student is defined, and/or helping nontrads to learn what classes to take. Many colleges now have special pages and sections on their website especially to make it easier for nontraditional students to enroll. For example, Rutgers University's Nontraditional Student page (Elizabeth Kaiser David Degree program) explains that a special Dean will help nontrads, and talks about scholarship opportunities too. Make sure to search at your school's website to find what pages or programs are offered there.
#2. Special scholarships that are offered only to nontraditional, older, or commuter students. The U.S. News education pages have some links listed on their 2014 article here, including scholarships for Moms, an AAUW grant is available, also low-income scholarships.
You can find more scholarships at the Nontrad Scholarship pages One and Two also, including DAR scholarships and free scholarship search sites. My favorite sites here are Fastweb and the Dr. Torres Database, also known as the Fatomei site.
#3. Cutting edge nontraditional student benefits are starting to be available across the country. These benefits can include:
A. Special lockers for nontraditional students
B. Dedicated study areas or lounges, and Study Labs just for nontrads,
C. On-campus living apartments or special dorm rooms
D. Advisors who understand nontraditional student needs
E. Special classes at different times to help nontrads attend
F. Choices - both Online and in-person classes
G. Career Services
H. Nontraditional Student groups (such as O.W.L. groups or NTSO's just for students going back to school after a break.)
I. Special Awards (such as Pinnacle and Spire awards)
J. Membership in the National Nontraditional Student Society, ANTSHE
K. Veteran's Assistance
Some colleges offer Academic Amnesty now too, I found out. The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh does. They say, "Academic amnesty is an opportunity to remove grades from previous semesters from your grade-point average and start fresh." This sounds great.
How can you find resources and where to go to school? Check the State and Country Pages at the Nontraditional Student website. (scroll down for the map and links). If no special programs or schools are listed, send this information in when you find out about it.
Ask schools you are interested in attending if they offer special programs for nontraditional students too. The more nontrads ask for these special services, the more they will be added. Because people want and need them!
And here are some more of my Nontrad links:
The Nontrad site and blog
Join Nontrads on Facebook
Nontrads on Yahoo, and
Nontrads on Twitter
Nontraditional students are students who are going back to school after a break. They are going back to better their lives and the lives of their families, and go after their dreams. It is never too late to go back to school. Go, Nontrads!