Many people start college or return to school at age 25 or later. Students that go to college later than the traditional high school graduate are known as nontraditional students. Some adults begin an undergraduate program, while others go back to school to earn an advanced degree.
A Columbia University associate professor indicated in a June 2012 article that he was 28 at the time he started his doctoral program. He noted the median age of his classmates was around 25 or 26, but many students were older than him. Students return to school after a job layoff, to gain a promotion, or to start a new career.