Faculty Sponsor

Benita Roth


Research on nontraditional students is lacking, and studies that do exist tend to view nontraditional students as a single group. In response to this issue, I conducted a study focusing on Binghamton University and SUNY Broome students who were in their twenties, married, non-married but living with a partner, and/or raising children. Snowball sampling was used to recruit participants for an interview. The interview questions were open-ended and focused on the students’ educational experiences, as well as their views on how their academic career affected their familial roles and vice versa. A total of five students were interviewed. All of the participants encountered some form of role conflict, were stressed, and felt like outsiders on campus. Some faced financial burdens, had little physical and sometimes emotional support in the home, and did not know what services were available to them on campus. The married and non-married cohabiting students felt that school often interfered with their ability to be a good partner. The parenting students often encountered conflicting school and childcare schedules. All of the participants claimed time management is key, with family obligations coming first. Binghamton University and its faculty were seen as less accommodating than SUNY Broome and its faculty. These students will continue to be marginalized if their needs are not addressed.