"nontraditional" students are in the minority.
In a landmark study for the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), Choy (2002) reported
73% of the 1999–2000 undergraduate student population displayed one or more “nontraditional” characteristics—such as delaying enrollment after high school, working at least part-time, and/or being a single parent.
Choy provided valuable information to help U.S. legislators and educational institutions make informed decisions about how to serve the needs of college students.
Over a decade later, no researchers have updated Choy’s report using NCES data to reflect the frequency of nontraditional characteristics in today’s college student population.
Nontraditional college students continue to represent the vast majority of undergraduates at today’s educational institutions, although a shift in percentages may be occurring.
Understanding the shifting characteristics of college students is critical to curriculum, program, and policy design.
Failure to track trends and provide accurate information may result in educational stakeholders misunderstanding the needs of 21st-century undergraduates and/or misappropriating
The full report is available here: