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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Age not a measure of success

Typically, students start college right after high school, but some decide to take a different path.

Almost 10 percent of all UA undergraduate students are older than 25, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Planning Support. This same age group constituted 0.4 percent of all new freshmen this semester, a number that has stayed relatively the same over the past three years.

Kurt Feil, a 27-year-old junior studying history and anthropology, said he believes he is lucky to be a non-traditional student. Feil attended Scottsdale Community College for two years after graduating from Horizon High School in 2002. After those two years, he said, he did not know what direction he wanted his life to take, so he enlisted in the Navy and served for five years.

Feil said he thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Navy because he had the opportunity to experience things most people do not. He said he’s set foot in nearly every continent, met some of the most amazing people and believes he now has a leg up on his peers because of his experiences. He also said he believes that he has a more focused perspective and direction for what he wants to do in life now than when he first started college.

Feil said that, though this path was good for him, he believes everyone will find their own path to success. He said although he is significantly older than his peers, he does not feel too out of place and has not run into any significant problems being a non-traditional student.

Karen Perkins, 39, is an undeclared non-traditional student at the UA. She already has a degree in French, but is taking Spanish because it is her stronger language. She said the only problem she faces is that she is also a mother and has two children.

“It would be good if there were some sort of child care,” Perkins said. “I picked morning classes and then found a pre-school for them to go into, but it would be good if the university offered something.”

She said it is hard for her to take even her one class because she has to balance her responsibilities as a mother with her schoolwork, often at the same time.

“I’ve also noticed that exams are in the evening, so they have not considered that some people might have children,” she said.

Perkins also said she believes that for students like herself with children, it would be nice if there were some sort of exception that allows for her to take care of her children if she needs to. Besides that, Perkins said the only other thing she sees at the school is that compared to her, “everyone seems so young and pretty.”

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