Nontraditional students should receive more support from the university

Just as the university provides a well-promoted support network for first-year and international students, it should make more visible efforts to provide the same encouragement to non-traditional students, identified by the university as students older than 24 and not excluding veterans and students with children.

According to a recent study done on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, most students who drop out of college do so because of the pressure from trying to balance work and academics. Working to put yourself through college is a condition that many students do not have to deal with and most would probably be unprepared for. Those who have to work through college while raising children also have a unique condition that most students would not have any experience with. The workload of classes combined with the stress of paying the bills or caring for children is a recipe for dropping out. Not having much in common with more traditional students can lead to a social disconnection that could become a factor as well.

The university should have some kind of program to ease the transition for these students, whether it comes in the form of a support group, a special section for them at orientation or something more along the lines of the services offered to first-year students.

Veterans have a support base in terms of fellow veterans and veterans affairs officers, and non-traditional students should have a medium to socialize with other people who have the same responsibilities.

Multimedia editor Chance Welch for the editorial board.