Non-Traditional Students

What is a non-traditional student?

A non-tradtional student is anyone who satisfies one or more of the following conditions:

  • 25 years or older
  • Assumes multiple life roles such as a parent, spouse/partner, full time employee, caregiver and student
  • Returns to school after taking a break
  • An active, reserve or veteran of the military

Any student, regardless of age, whose primary life roles and responsibilities exist independent of the University and take precedence over the role of student in times of crisis or stress is considered to be an adult student.

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We offer...

  • Adult Peer Mentors for new adult and veteran students for their first year at YSU
  • A friendly staff of professionals and students
  • Convenient office hours at the Center for Student Progress (Monday 8 am-7 pm, Tuesday - Friday 8 am-5 pm)
  • Assistance with scheduling and registration
  • Academic coaching for current and entering adult students
  • Surveying and assessing adult learner needs and concerns

Admission with Non-Traditional Credit

You may be admitted to Youngstown State University with credits from non-traditional educational sources.

Prior Learning Assessment Credit

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an option that enables students to demonstrate what they have learned outside the classroom and translate that learning into college credit. Prior Learning Assessment validates learning acquired through corporate training programs, extensive volunteer activity, military service, workplace experience, civic engagement, individual readings and studies, training sponsored by professional organizations, and training sponsored by governmental agencies. Credit is awarded for college-level learning (knowledge, skills, and competencies) that students have obtained as a result of their prior learning experiences. Students must demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge in a subject area in order to earn college credit. Prior learning can be verified by:  performance on standardized tests or department challenge exams; creation and evaluation of a portfolio; or demonstration of military service learning.

For more information regarding PLA credit and guidelines, please see the Prior Learning Assessment.


Efforts are made to give all necessary guidance and assistance to military veterans and others
eligible for VA educational benefits.