The New “Typical” College Student

The National Center for Education Statistics says today’s 17 million undergraduate students look a lot different than they have in the past. Almost 74% of undergrads are now considered “nontraditional,” meaning that they are financially independent from their parents, have a child or other dependent, are a single caregiver, lack a traditional high school diploma, delayed postsecondary enrollment, attend school part-time, or are employed full-time according to NPR¹. In fact, over 50% of students have at least two of these characteristics.

So, what does that mean in real terms? It means that about 50% of students are financially independent from their parents, 25% are caring for a child, 20% are least 30 years old, 25% take a year off before starting school, 47% go to school part-time at some point, 38% attend a two-year community college, and 44% have parents who never completed a bachelor’s degree.

Understanding and adapting education to fit students is crucial for their success. Alexandria Walton Radford, who heads up postsecondary education research at RTI International, says offering services like financial aid, advising or tutoring after-hours (instead of the typical 9 to 5), child care for student-parents, or extra parking for commuters are all things that can help address student concerns.

At Hawkes, our goal is to make learning more accessible to these busy, nontraditional students. We offer around-the-clock support so that students can easily contact us, even with their demanding schedules.  The tools within our courseware—such as step-by-step tutorials, videos, and error-specific feedback—help students learn on their own terms. Students can log into their accounts on any desktop or tablet, and with a 99.96% uptime, our system can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Plus, we work hard to keep prices affordable and offer lifetime access to the courseware, meaning students can always log into their accounts, and software updates are free. Learn more about the Hawkes student experience here.

Do these demographics fit with what you see in your classroom? How are you adapting to the new “typical” college students to help them succeed? Leave us a comment below to let us know!


[1] Nadworny, Elissa. “Today’s College Students Aren’t Who You Think They Are.” National Public Radio, National Public Radio, 4 September 2018, Accessed 5 September 2018.

Meet Our Student Ambassadors for Fall 2018

Hawkes Learning teams up with students across the country to help those who are new to using Hawkes. Through this internship, ambassadors meet with their peers to provide one-on-one guidance to answer many Hawkes questions, such as how to register a license number, where to go to complete homework, how to create a practice test, and what tools are the most helpful to get a good grade. Below are a few of the bright and talented students we work with!

Student Ambassador 1 - Loredana

Loredana attends Bowie State University and is part of the class of 2021. She is a nursing major with a current GPA of 3.34. Her favorite class so far is College Algebra. Loredana likes to participate in many on-campus activities such as sporting events and DJ Battle. She plans to be a travel nurse.




Student Ambassador 2 - Lyza

Lyza is a nursing major at Potomac State University who will graduate in spring 2022. Her favorite class is Nutrition, and she currently holds a 3.0 GPA. Outside of school, Lyza enjoys hanging out with friends and working at a nursing home. This caring, loving, and hardworking individual wants to earn her BSN in nursing and become a flight nurse after graduation.

Student Ambassador 3 - Likhita

Likhita is an Economics and Management double major at Clemson University, planning to graduate in the Fall of 2020. Her favorite class is Accounting, and she holds a 4.0 GPA. When she is not in class, she loves to dance and attend Clemson football games. She also holds leadership positions in several organizations across campus, including Indian Cultural Exchange, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Management Student Advisory Board. After graduation, she wants to work in either finance or business analytics. Likhita would like to go to graduate school and get an MBA.

Student Ambassador 4 - Ryan

Ryan is a Business Information Technology and Accounting Double Major at the Virginia Tech who will graduate in the spring of 2021. His favorite class is Principles of Accounting and he has a 3.94 GPA. Outside of the classroom, Ryan enjoys running, playing intramural sports, and attending Hokie Football and Basketball Games. After graduation, Ryan hopes to begin a career as an FBI Forensic Accountant.



Student Ambassador 5 - Amanda

Amanda attends Morehead State University, where she is a chemistry major. Amanda has a 3.9 GPA. Outside of working as a Hawkes Ambassador, she plans to join the school’s chemistry club this semester. Her favorite class is Human Anatomy. After she graduates, she plans to get a graduate degree and become a pharmacist.

Student Ambassador 6 - Kaitlin

Kaitlin is a sophomore finance major at the University of Mississippi. Although she is very busy with her studies, demonstrated by her 3.7 GPA, Kaitlin is involved in many organizations throughout campus. Some of her favorites include Alpha Omicron Pi, Associated Student Body, Students Activities Association, and Reformed University Fellowship. This semester she is really enjoying her Business Calculus class. Upon graduating, Kaitlin plans to attend graduate school and become an external business consultant.

10 Habits to Help You Succeed in College – FREE PDF Included

The title of the document is Reading Environment Assessment. It asks you to one: list three places you usually study in order of frequency. Then, two: Circle the response that applies to each of these places (T for True and F for False). Statements are Other people seldom interrupt me when I study here; Little of what I can see here reminds me of things unrelated to my studying; and I don't hear a TV or radio when I study here.

Getting a college degree is no easy feat. Fortunately, you and your fellow students have access to a plethora of tips and tricks to make the most out of your class time and study time. One such source is provided by Opportunity International, which lists out habits to help you succeed in higher education.

Here’s a taste of’s 10 Habits of Successful Students, which includes my favorite three habits they’ve listed:

  1. Sleep. You don’t want to overdo this one and miss class, of course! However, you can’t pull all-nighters to finish projects and study for tests all the time. (Trust me. I’ve tried and learned the hard way.) Get your rest so you can think more clearly, retain information more easily, and be a more pleasant person to be around.
  2. Ask questions. You should use this tip inside and outside of the classroom. If you’re confused by what your instructor is saying, do your best to speak up during class! If you’re extra shy and don’t want to talk in front of all your peers, don’t miss the opportunity to ask your instructor during their office hours or right after their lecture. Make sure you ask friends for help with studying too.
  3. Maintain a study space. Sometimes, your dorm room or home isn’t the best place to get your work done. Take the time to locate a spot that’s quiet, easy to get to, and conducive to studying.

Need help with that last tip? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Reading Environment Assessment here. It asks you to evaluate three different potential study spots by answering a few true-or-false questions. It will help you identify your best environment to get your work done. Plus, it’s free and quick to complete!

Check out more habits of successful students here. Let us know what your best habits are in the comments below!

“10 Habits of Success Students.” Opportunity International., n.d. Web. 19 July 2016.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

What’s that?

Today—May 19th, 2016—is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! Started in 2012, this day is dedicated to communicating and learning more about digital accessibility. Bringing awareness to accessibility is a critical first step in making the web an inclusive space for all.

How is Hawkes involved in the conversation of accessibility?

Hawkes Learning is committed to improving our student web platform for all students by working toward our goal of achieving Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA. We’re making our student web platform more…

  • Perceivable by ensuring that all text content contrasts enough with the background for easy reading as well as providing alternative text for images.
  • Operable through vastly improving the ability for students to use a keyboard to interact with the questions, including more exhaustive and intuitive keyboard shortcuts.
  • Understandable by ensuring that the ways students interact with the product are consistent through standardization.
  • Robust by using best practices for creating accessible materials to help ensure that all users in all contexts are able to focus on learning.

How do I learn more?

We want to keep you updated on our progress! Check out Hawkes Learning’s Accessibility page on our website for more information.

Want to learn more about GAAD? Visit this website today and join the conversation.

What interests you the most about making the web more accessible? Share in the comments below!

Student-Requested Temporary Access Is Here!

This summer, students have the ability to request Temporary Access at the start of the term! This option is ideal for students waiting on financial aid or placement testing to purchase course materials. They are able to start learning the material and completing lessons on day one of class.

For full semester courses, students continue to receive a grace period of 20 days. For shorter terms, students receive 10 days.

How do I enable this tool so my students can request Temporary Access?

You can set up the Temporary Access by selecting Manage Temporary Access Codes from the Tools tab.

Instructors can enable student requested temporary access by navigating to the tools tab in the Grade Book and selecting Manage temporary access codes.

You can then add the course start and end dates for each section, as well as check on how many students are utilizing Temporary Access.

**Please use the exact start date of your course when setting up Temporary Access. Doing so ensures students receive the full benefit of this grace period as they await financial aid or placement test results.**

Instructors can see each section, select course start and end dates, and see the number of temporary access codes requested by students.

Course administrators have the ability to manage all instructors’ course start and end dates, as well as lock those dates:

Instructors can make bulk changes to the course start and end dates for all sections.

These course start and end dates must be filled in before students will be able to request Temporary Access. Again, please input the exact course start date.

How do students request Temporary Access?

If they’ve never used Hawkes materials for other classes before, students will go to and select the “Create an Account” button toward the bottom:

The Create an Account button is at the bottom of the student's screen where it asks if a student is a new user.

Students then have the options of inputting the Access Code or License Number they’ve recently purchased, purchasing a permanent access code, and requesting Temporary Access.

A pop-up message shows different options to choose from: I have an Access Code or License Number; I want to Purchase Access; and Request Temporary Access.

They’ll then create an account and enroll in a section:

Students must enroll in a course in order to request temporary access. They select the product, instructor, and section, then click the enroll button.

After they select the Enroll button, a verification email will be sent to their email address, and they’ll click the link they receive to finish the enrollment process. Once they sign in, they will have access to the course!

If students have used another Hawkes product before and have login information on already, they can still request Temporary Access for a new product. They’ll need to sign in and select the Add Course button in the My Courses section:

Students will select the Add Course button in the top right next to their My Courses section of the dashboard.
Students will then select the Request Temporary Access button underneath the Courses tab, which will lead them to the enrollment step noted above.

Students then select the Request Temporary Access button underneath Settings and Add Course.

Once students purchase their materials, they will sign in and select the Activate button. Their Temporary Access will become lifetime access.

Students have an activate button underneath the Add Course section and next to the number of days they still have temporary access.

If you’d like to manage students’ Temporary Access manually and hand out codes to individual students as you do currently, that option is still available.

If you have any questions about this new Temporary Access option, please contact your Training and Support Specialist at 1-800-426-9538 or at

Please note that this feature is available through the web platform only. Materials accessed via the web platform include the following: Basic Mathematics, Developmental Mathematics, Foundations of Mathematics, Prealgebra, Prealgebra & Introductory Algebra, Preparation for College Mathematics, Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Introductory & Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, College Algebra Plus Integrated Review, Beginning Statistics, Beginning Statistics Plus Integrated Review, Discovering Statistics, Discovering Business Statistics, Viewing Life Mathematically, Viewing Life Mathematically Plus Integrated Review, Foundations of English, and English Composition.