Non-traditional transfer students on the rise

Brianna Quarterman

At 64-years-old, Kathy Williams is set to graduate this coming December with a degree in International Studies after having to put her college career on hold at age 18.

Williams is one of Georgia Southern’s many non-traditional transfer students.

“When I was 18, my mother fell ill and I had to put my college career on hold. Almost 30 years later, I realized I needed to get back in school,” Williams said. “So now, at age 64, I am almost finished completing the requirements to receive my degree in International Studies.”

For Williams, transferring to GSU proved to be the best thing she could have ever done.

“Coming to Georgia Southern as a non-traditional student has been such a smooth transition. I have a two-hour commute to the campus and so far my professors have been really great working with my schedule,” Williams says, “Once I graduate, I plan to retire and maybe volunteer for the Peace Corps.”

For many students, they are unable to pursue their degree because of personal or health issues, causing them to take a semester off, or in some cases, put school on the back burner with the intentions of one day going back for their degree.

According to the Georgia Southern Office of Admissions, a student is considered a non-traditional if they have been out of high school at least five years or high school class graduated at least five years ago they have a high school diploma from an accredited or approved high school as specified in the Board of Regents policy section 402.0101 or have satisfactorily completed the GED, have earned 30+ transferable semester credit hours, or they have a 2.0 or higher on all attempted college work.

Lauren Campbell, admissions secretary, has seen the number of transfers increase over the years,

“I believe one factor that attracts students to our university is the convenience of Georgia Southern. Several interested students choose our school because the location is so close,” Campbell said.

Many of the programs at GSU have received much more recognition throughout the southern region, not only because of the accolades and awards the school has been given, but because of the high rank of the majors offered.

Campbell said, “Here at Georgia Southern, we are committed to helping every student along their path to further their education, as well as provide them with the tools to succeed.”