Inspirational Student Stories

The number of undergraduate students at Rutgers-New Brunswick is nearly 50,000 and nontraditional students represent roughly nine percent.  It can be overwhelming to be part of the largest and most comprehensive higher education institution in New Jersey, but nontraditional students made up of adults, veterans, and students with children are not alone.  OTNTS (formerly University College-New Brunswick) has been dedicated to serving nontraditional students since 1934. We are committed to helping students achieve their academic goals and advocate for non-traditional students inside the larger Rutgers University community by recommending policies and programs to meet specific needs of nontraditional students. Get inspired by reading about our students.

Meet Non-Traditional Students

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"I have been fortunate to speak to academic advisors and had great Professors who not only did their job of educating us, but really engaged and challenged us." -Mindy Doherty

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Carol Hladun, age 70, is now seven credits away from graduating with her B.A. and achieving the educational goal of her lifetime.


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“Being an adult student comes with many different challenges, but investing in ourselves and realizing our potential is worth the commitment." —Jennifer Helminski

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Anjanette Vaidya, definitely had a nontraditional path to Rutgers - from teen mom to advocate for student parents.

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Carol Cofone took a series of baby steps to get to Rutgers, but was not expecting the big step forward when she was awarded the UC, NB Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship. 

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Omowunmi Adedeji, 25, from Newark to New Brunswick and now a scholarship winner on her way to medical school.

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Antonio Kuilan realized his dream of pursuing evolutionary anthropology/archeology and geology after being accepted to the Rutgers' School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) in 2012.


Sgt. Maj. Anthony Spadaro, 49, who continues his active duty service after twenty-seven years, has made his “virtual” way back after three decades.

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Regina Reilly, Paul Robeson Scholar, presented her research on emergency volunteers to the Aresty Symposium.

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“I am very proud to have served my country, and I am determined to serve those who are serving me, the future student Veterans of Rutgers University.” —Jose A. Ramirez

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Carmona Cadet, Haitian immigrant and single mother, is the recipient of an Osher scholarship for highly employable students.

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Amml Hussein, has channeled her love of justice and the law into academic success and service on the University College Council.

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Hitash Patel, operates his own business while serving on the Philosophy Honors Society and participating in student government.

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Tana G. Loy, veteran and wife of an Army officer, is also a co-founder of student group RU-SERVS.

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William Scott McLane, five years sober, is six classes away from graduating with a 3.4 GPA.

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Donte Boyer, the first NJ PLACE graduate to enter Rutgers' SMLR BS in Labor and Employment Relations degree program.

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Paula Gibson works and studies full-time at Rutgers Off-Campus' Brookdale location.

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Rose Woehr, was inspired to return to school after watching her daughter receive her masters degree.

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Bridget B. Greenleaf, a widowed Rutgers employee who raised her family and is now able to focus on her degree.

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Roberta Ricks-Gardiner, a part time student who maintains her status as a full-time mom, wife, and employee of the university.

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Elana Aron, an English major and a mother of 5 returns to Rutgers to complete her degree and shares her experiences with her kids.