The Best Business Schools for Nontraditional Students


Opening your own business can seem like a pipe dream, but it might not be as far off as you think. If education is holding you back, you’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people return to school after years away, and you can find many of them enrolled in business programs. Read on to discover the best business schools for nontraditional students. 

What Is a Nontraditional Student? 

While you can see many iconic institutions pursue online fundraising for schools and promote the image of just-out-of-high-school undergrads, nontraditional students make up a large part of college campuses and online classroom communities. You can count yourself as a nontraditional student if you’re returning to school anytime after high school graduation. Of course, this means that you and your classmates may come from very diverse backgrounds. 

When Is the Right Time To Go Back to School? 

Once you have a family, a job, and a life full of responsibilities, it can feel like there’s never going to be enough time to go back to school. Fortunately, many of the best colleges where you can study business are great at working with nontraditional students.

You can find schools that offer rolling start dates, generous transfer credit policies, and self-paced programs of study. Many nontraditional students continue to work while studying. If you’re determined to open up new career opportunities by achieving a business degree, then you can find a school with flexible policies to help you do it. 

Should You Go Online or In-Person? 

One of the top questions you’ll probably have when you think about going back to school is whether you should study in person or online. The truth is there’s no easy answer to map out your future. There are a number of factors you should consider when making this decision, including location, cost, and program flexibility. 

If you live in a city with a wide variety of colleges, then you may enjoy attending classes in person. You could even qualify for in-state tuition, which would make the costs a little more manageable. 

Online classes are a great option if you don’t live near a school with a good business program. Taking classes online is also helpful if you need to balance childcare and work obligations. 

Another option is the hybrid model. Some schools offer a mix of in-person and online classes to achieve your degree. This may suit you if you want to interact with your classmates but still need some of the flexibility offered by online study. 

Top-Ranked Business Schools

If you’re looking for the top programs for nontraditional students, here are six of the best business schools: 

  1. Lewis-Clark State College 
  2. Portland State University
  3. University of Houston 
  4. Southern New Hampshire University
  5. Liberty University
  6. Averett University

Lewis-Clark State is an affordable small college in Idaho where you will have a unique experience while you study. It is well-known for having a tight-knit community and welcoming nontraditional students with open arms. 

Portland State and the University of Houston are both highly ranked because of their diversity and course offerings. At both institutions, you’ll find it easy to arrange a study schedule that works for you. 

Southern New Hampshire University is a top choice if you’re set on studying online and from the comfort of your home. Liberty and Averett are both well-known for their online programs as well, which means you have quite a few choices to explore for your online business education. 

Wherever you choose to study, you should congratulate yourself for making the decision to continue your education and follow your dreams. It takes courage and resilience to go back to school, but in the end, it will be worthwhile when you are running a thriving business. 

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