Deciding to Attend K-State

Non-traditional students attend K-State for a variety of reasons; not everyone has a definite career goal. Some want to take a course or two; others decide they want a degree. If you are unsure about your career direction, consider enrolling as an "open-option student" while you explore your opportunities and think things over. You can use four campus services to assist you in identifying academic and career goals: Career and Employment ServicesCounseling Services, academic advisors, and the Academic and Career Information Center.

Your decision about what to study determines the college, (i.e. Human Ecology, Arts and Sciences, etc.) in which you will be enrolled. However, being enrolled in a specific college does not limit you to taking only the courses within that college. Even if you are unsure of your major field of study, do not let this keep you from beginning your college education. Many students enroll before they have made this decision, and many change majors once they have enrolled.

Visiting the campus

Visiting the campus is your chance to see if K-State is a good "fit" for you. You can set up a campus visit with the help of the staff in New Student Programs (785-532-6250). The staff in this office can organize as many or as few activities as you would like. You can:

  • Meet with an admissions representative to pick up your campus visit schedule and ask any general questions about housing, financial assistance, scholarships, and general college costs.
  • Meet with the Non-Traditional Student Services staff to learn about services that are provided.
  • Talk one-on-one with an advisor or faculty member about a specific major, learn what classes are required for that major, find out what graduates with that major are doing after graduation, and (if you have taken hours at another university or college) you can see which credits are eligible to be transferred to K-State.
  • Take a walking tour of the campus led by a student guide.

Most University offices are open from 8-12 and 1-5 p.m. weekdays. However, the Non-Traditional Student Services office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (including the noon hour) for your convenience. As with most campus offices, it is best to call for an appointment. If you cannot visit in person, call, write, or e-mail. Appointments after 5 p.m. with our staff are available upon request. Contact: Non-Traditional Student Services Director, 101 Holton Hall, K-State, Manhattan, KS 66506-1305, (785) 532-6434, or nontrad@k-state.edu .

Understanding academic competition

Most non-traditional students are successful. Perhaps it is the maturity, or the commitment, or the life experiences that they bring to their studies. Almost without exception, "returning" students improve their grades over their earlier college performance.

In some classes, a non-traditional student may be the only person 25 or older, including the instructor! In other classes, non-traditional students are more numerous. Your own attitude is important. If you consider yourself a student, in class to learn, you will be accepted. Occasionally an 18-year old is uneasy with older students. You can actually reassure the younger student of your academic commitment and/or find a study partner when you make a friendly gesture.

Using the catalog

The Kansas State University Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog are the resource books prospective students can purchase at the K-State Union Bookstore. The catalogs are a reference for academic programs, policies, and procedures. They also include degree requirements, course descriptions, and an academic calendar.