The Landscape of 'Post-Traditional' Learners

December 7, 2017

Many changes are needed -- in federal financial aid policies, how institutions and others recognize nonformal learning, among other things -- if the roughly 60 percent of undergraduates who are "post-traditional learners" are to get a meaningful postsecondary credential, the American Council on Education says in a new report.

The study, a follow-up to a 2013 ACE paper, defines post-traditional students as those who are over the age of 25, working full-time, financially independent or connected with the military. The paper calculates, among other things, that if all adult students who have some college experience but no degree earned an associate degree, more than one million Americans would climb out of poverty.

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