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Nontraditional Students FAQs

Non-traditional students, or adult learners, are typically students who are older than traditional freshmen. Some non-traditional students have taken a break in their formal learning experience and now are returning to the university. Some may be entering the university for the first time. For some of you, easing back into school mode may be difficult. In order to help you through this transition, we’ve compiled a list of FAQs.

Getting involved with the Nontraditional Student Organization can help, too.

What do I need to know before I arrive on campus?

When you apply, you need to submit transcripts from all previous institutions. These are required before your application for admission can be reviewed. After acceptance into the University, the college in which your major is housed will complete a transcript evaluation to determine how your credits will transfer. More information is available on the Transfer Student webpage. Please note, if you have transfer credits coming into Shippensburg University, be sure to submit your transcripts so you can schedule classes during orientation.

Shippensburg University has a wide array of services available to you as a student. Academic resources include the Learning Center, which offers free tutoring and workshops, the Lehman Library, and Office of Accessibility Resources. Shippensburg University cares about your well-being beyond your academic career at Ship. Other resources available to you include Multicultural Student Affairs, United Campus Ministry, Veterans Services, Wellness Services, the PAGE Center, and a variety of clubs and organizations.

Nontraditional students do not need to take the SAT or ACT, however placement tests may be required in lieu of the SAT/ACT.

No, you may take one or two classes if you desire. Many non-traditional students are also working professionals or caregivers, so Shippensburg University offers classes in the evenings and online. Many General Education Requirements can be completed in the evening and online.

Grants and loans are available to students depending on financial need. To determine your eligibility, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligibility is based on need, not on the basis of age. Information about financial aid can be found at: More information about financial aid specific to Shippensburg University, including scholarships and veteran's benefits, can be found on the University's financial aid website.

If you are a first year student, you will receive your class schedule at orientation. Transfer students can find information about registering for classes online.

Childcare can be found on campus and surrounding the University. Nearby centers include:

  • A Caring Place Day Care
    123 East King St, Shippensburg
    (717) 530-1817
  • Kid's Kount
    211 East Garfield St, Shippensburg
    (717) 530-1819
  • Kidz First
    9540 Molly Pitcher Hwy, Shippensburg
    (717) 532-2167
  • Rosenberry Learn and Play Childcare
    8770 Possum Hollow Rd, Shippensburg
    (717) 532-0079
  • My Place Too
    745 Orrstown Rd, Shippensburg
    (717) 532-3526

What do I need to know after I arrive on campus?

During our New Student Orientation Program, nontraditional students will have a chance to attend a breakout session that will highlight the resources that are available and meet other nontraditional students.

We strongly encourage all new students to participate in as many activities during Welcome Week as possible. All activities are designed to introduce students to the learning community, provide important details and information regarding various academic departments, university policies, advising information, etc. Moreover, they are also created to provide opportunities for you to develop social and professional networks that you will need to rely on as you navigate your Ship academic career and as you develop your resume for a competitive career search.

Nevertheless, some activities are geared toward different audiences and they may not be as pertinent to your needs and interests. Stay tuned for Welcome Week programs geared toward nontraditional students.

How do I obtain a student ID?

To obtain a student ID, you need to go to the CUB Information Desk located in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB). Current hours for the ID room can be found on the CUB webpage.

How do I obtain a parking permit?

If you have a Shippensburg University email address and an SU ID card, you can register for a parking permit through myShip. If you are missing one of these items, you can apply in person at the University's Police Department. More information regarding parking, including parking maps, can be found online.

How do I find where my classes are?

The campus map can assist you with locating buildings.

How do I get my books?

You can get your books at the bookstore located in the lower level of the CUB, online through the bookstore's website.

Nontraditional students are welcome to participate in all campus activities, clubs and organizations. The Nontraditional Student Organization serves the needs of nontraditional students specifically.

The NTSO has proven to be a strong support system for adult students. The organization encourages active participation through the board and corresponding committees. Meetings are conducted monthly. Input from current members help direct the focus of the educational and social programs offered each year.