“‘Nontraditional student’ is a common and modern term in academia, referring to anyone with an unusual or atypical path to a college degree. As more people take time after high school to work and save money, or career change and return to school for another degree, or start a family, or any number of other situations, it’s becoming more common for a university’s student population to consist of students that aren’t just 18-22 years old, living in dorms, and seeking the “traditional” college experience. I’ve always found this term inherently flawed because it indicates that there is such a thing as a ‘traditional’ student. “

Read essay on the Association for Women in Science website.