Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions about being a non-traditional student. If you have a question not answered here, please contact the NTSP coordinator at 501.569.3308 or ntsp@ualr.edu.

FAQs Quick Reference

Help Topics
Admission Questions
Support Services
General Questions

What is a “non-traditional student”?

If only ONE of these characteristics applies to you, then you are considered a non-traditional student by UALR:
• You delayed enrollment after high school
• You attend school part time
• You work full time (25+ hours)
• You are financially independent
• You have dependents other than a spouse
• You are a single parent
• You have or still are serving in the military
• You are a first generation student

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I have some “old” college credits. Are they still “good”? Will they transfer in?

Transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges or universities with a grade point of 2.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale are accepted upon submission and evaluation of official transcripts. There is no limit on the amount of credits you may transfer to UALR, but students graduating with four-year degrees (baccalaureate) must earn 30 hours in residence at UALR. Students graduating with two-year associates degrees must earn the final 15 hours of credit in residence at UALR.  Check your credits HERE.

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I have some “bad” college credits. What can I do about them?

Academic clemency is available for students who have attended UALR previously and have not been at any college or university for a two year time period. It is granted only once for a previous term or terms. All course work within the granted term is excluded from the student’s GPA and is not considered meeting any prerequisites or degree requirements. Once a student re-enrolls at UALR, they may request academic clemency. It is recommended that you consult with your advisor to see if academic clemency is appropriate for you. If you are granted academic clemency, you are ineligible for graduation with honors.

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Do I need ACT or SAT test scores?

Non-Traditional students do not need to take the SAT or ACT, however placement tests (Compass test) may be required in lieu of the SAT/ACT. The ACT Compass is an untimed, computerized test that gives you your results instantly. However, if your ACT/SAT score is less than five years old, we will accept it. For more information on placement tests, click HERE.

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What documents will I need?

  • Official high school transcript or GED scores (Freshmen and Freshmen Transfers – transfer students with less than 12 transferable college credit hours) should request that an official high school transcript or GED scores be sent to the Office of Admissions. Only official transcripts will be accepted, and must be submitted in a sealed, stamped envelope or sent via electronic data interchange from the high school.
  • Official ACT or SAT scores (Freshmen and Freshman Transfers) may need to be submitted from the testing agency (UALR ACT Code 0132; UALR SAT code 6368) if the official high school transcript does not include scores and s/he did not indicate UALR as a score recipient at the time of testing. ACT, SAT, or COMPASS scores must be from tests taken within the last five years. Students have the option of taking the COMPASS test available through UALR Testing Services.
  • College transcripts (Transfers and Freshman Transfers) Only official transcripts will be accepted, and must be submitted in a sealed, stamped envelope or sent via electronic data interchange from the previous institution. Students may submit an “In Progress” transcript from the institution at which s/he is currently enrolled for admission purposes, but will still be required to submit a final, official transcript. Freshmen who completed high school concurrent credit at an institution other than UALR should submit an official college transcript.
  • Immunization records: Students born after January 1, 1957, must submit proof of two MMR immunizations.

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What do I do if I can’t find my shot record?

First, contact the health department in the county in which you were born to see if they have a record. Many times they do! If not, you have two options: 1)Get the immunizations again or 2)Apply for a Immunization Exemption from the health department.

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I’m a military veteran. What military education benefits are available for me?

Active duty military personnel have Tuition Assistance (TA) programs through their specific branch. If you are a veteran, reservist, or a dependent of someone who served in the U.S. military, you may apply online at gibill.va.gov to determine your eligibility. If eligible, a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is issued, which must be submitted to the UALR Veterans Affairs Office. You must be a fully admitted student taking courses required for a declared major in order to receive benefits. Check your benefits with the GI Bill Comparison Tool. Be sure to check in with the Veterans Student Success Office for information before you register for classes.

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Can non-traditional students qualify for financial aid and scholarships?

YES! Scholarships are funds used to pay for a higher education that do not have to be repaid to the provider. Scholarships may be awarded based on any number of criteria including academics, achievements, hobbies, talents, and affiliations with various groups or career aspirations. They are available from federal and state governments, large corporations, local businesses, professional organizations, universities and individuals and each has its own requirements applicants must adhere to be eligible for the award. There are many scholarships that are just for non-traditional students and single parents. Begin the application process by completing the FAFSA online and the general UALR scholarship application. Don’t forget to check with your college for scholarships too. Visit Admissions & Financial Aid in SSC 219 for the latest information or check their website. Note: Most scholarship deadlines are in the spring and require, in addition to an application, letters of reference and/or an essay. Plan well in advance if you are going to apply. The Non-Traditional Student Programs holds two scholarship workshops every October and January. Be sure to check the website or the monthly Non-Traditional Student Newsletter that is sent to your UALR email around the 15th of each month (expect for June and July) for dates and times.

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As a non-traditional student, what support system is available for me?

You are entitled to the same benefits as other students, but you have access to the Non-Traditional Student Program (NTSP) that offers support to non-traditional students throughout their education. The NTSP helps students navigate the university and provides information about resources, services and opportunities that UALR offers. The NTSP staff has “been there, done that” and is available to assist you from registration through graduation.

Services include:

  • Help with the admission and registration process
  • Information about campus resources, services and events
  • Ongoing system of support and encouragement
  • Referrals to the appropriate staff or faculty
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Monthly NTSP Newsletter


  • Scholarship Workshops-November and January
  • Family Dinner & Movie Night-October and March
  • Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society for Non-Traditional Students
  • National Non-Traditional Student Week Celebrations
  • First Generation

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No one in my family attended college. Are there programs for first generation or low-income college students?

Yes, in addition to the NTSP we have the Academic Success Center. The Academic Success Center provides the support, tutoring, and encouragement that students need to thrive in their college careers. From learning to manage stress to discovering effective study skills, they connect students with the resources and know-how to graduate on time and in good standing. The Academic Success Center offers specialized programs that provide enriching services designed to foster holistic success of students:
• Collegiate Success Program – Academic Probation (CSP-AP)
• Program for Enhanced Learning – (PEL)
• TRiO Ronald McNair Scholars
• TRiO Student Support Services
• Supplemental Instruction (SI)

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What kind of help can I get from UALR to brush up on my academic skills?

We have classes that you can take, labs with free tutors and workshops for academic skill building. The Academic Success Center offers tutoring in many skill areas, including reading and study strategies, writing, mathematics, and English as a Second Language as well as help with brushing up on rusty basic skills. You can contact them at 501.569.3280. Check with your advisor for information on pre-core classes.

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How can I update or improve my computer skills for classes?

The Central Arkansas Library System offers basic computer classes for the beginner. We have a student lab for our online class platform Blackboard, to get help with navigating that system. We also have a lab to learn how to navigate the UALR system.

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If I have a disability that requires accommodation, what services does UALR have to assist me?

The Disability Resource Center collaborates with faculty, staff, and students to make UALR accessible to everyone. Their expertise is at the intersection of disability and design, and they work with the campus community to ensure that physical, curricular and web environments are designed to be barrier-free to the extent possible.

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Where can I learn about career options?

At the Office of Cooperative Education Internship and Placement(CEIPCO) Career Fair that is held twice a year, from attending events on campus, and talking to classmates and faculty/staff on campus about different professions. Make an appointment with a faculty member in the field you are interested in and talk to them about the education you need and the potential employment opportunities. CEIPCO has a very useful website with many interesting links to online inventories and college majors and related careers.

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How do I obtain a student ID?

After you are enrolled in one credit hour minimum, you can obtain your Student ID in the Donaghey Student Center Fitness Center check-in counter.

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How do I obtain a parking permit?

Students must register their vehicle with the Department of Public Safety (DPS). To register your vehicle, you will need to know your T-number, make, model, color, and license plate number of your car. The student fee for one parking permit is included. Additional permits are available for a one-time fee of $20. A free temporary permit is available for a second vehicle on a short-term basis (up to two weeks). Once a parking permit is obtained and placed on a registered vehicle, you may park in any of the “open parking” lots. This includes lots 12, 13W, 13E, 14, 15, and the parking lot on the east side of University Plaza.  Parking is also available in the metered lots or UALR’s parking deck. The fee for parking in the meter lots is $1 per hour with a two-hour time limit, and the fee for the parking deck is $1 per exit. Check out the parking on the campus parking map.

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Can non-traditional students participate in campus activities?

Non-Traditional Students are welcome to participate in all campus activities and in any of our 100+ registered student organizations. We hold special events for our non-traditional students in the spring and fall semesters, such as Family Movie Night in March and October, Non-Traditional Student Workshops (two in October and January) and Trojanfest (a family friendly carnival). Subscribe to the Campus Life Event Google Calendar so you never miss an event!

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Is housing available for non-traditional students?

Non-Traditional Students are exempt from the housing requirement if they fit one of the criteria below, but they are permitted to live in the residence halls:
• Students residing within a 25 mile radius of the UALR main campus, and who are residing with a parent or legal guardian during   the school year;
• Students 21 years of age or older;
• Married students;
• Parents or legal guardians living with a dependent;
• Veterans of active military duty;
• Participants in programs not on main campus (Benton Center, on-line programs, etc.);
• Transfer students who have attended college since graduating from high school (except summer).

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