Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a non-traditional student?

A student who meets one of the criteria below or any combination of the three:

Age 23 or older,
and/or married,
and/or a parent of a dependent child.

What are my living options?

Non-traditional students have several living options while attending Berea College. Berea College will help each student afford the cost of living for these living options:

They may live in a Residence Hall and receive a meal plan.

They may apply to live Off Campus. This application can be found at the Student Life Office or on their website. If off-campus housing is approved, it is critical to communicate with the Financial Aid office to work out your housing and budgetary needs. A non-traditional student who chooses this option should expect to locate their own housing and roommates.

If the non-traditional student is married and/or a parent, they may apply to live in one of the 50 apartments in the Ecovillage with their spouse and/or children. 

What if I want to move off campus?

Apply in the Student Life Office on the 3rd Floor of the Woods Penn Building. Just ask for an Off-Campus Housing application form. The off-campus application can also be found here.

  • For married students who want to live off campus, you will need to provide a copy of your marriage license with your off-campus application.
  • Provide your off-campus or Ecovillage address to the Housing Department in Student Life, Financial Aid, and Lincoln Hall.
  • If your parentage and/or marital status changes, please inform Student Life, the Non-Traditional Student Program Associate, and the Ecovillage and SENS House Manager, so that we can assist you and have the most up to date information.
  • For those getting married or having children who wish to live in the Ecovillage, please contact Sharonda Steele at 859-985-3179 or

How much financial aid will I receive a semester to live off campus or in the Ecovillage?

Each student’s grant aid disbursement will vary dependent upon the Expected Family Contribution and the student’s classification. There is no fixed amount that a student will receive. However, the aid will likely be equivalent to that which it would cost to afford housing in a residence hall and receive a meal plan. For more information contact Student Financial Aid. 

  • Your financial aid for housing will be disbursed through direct deposit.
  • You will usually receive the disbursement about two weeks after the beginning of the semester.
  • For those living in the Ecovillage, your rent is billed to your student account and deducted from your student aid before your financial disbursement is issued to you.
  • Make sure you have enough money for a security deposit, first month’s rent, and utility deposits as well. Your financial aid disbursement will not cover these initial costs for you.
  • For those living in the Ecovillage, a deposit is not required for apartments. However, you’ll need deposits for utilities.

How do I get my utilities turned on and how much will it cost?

  • Go to Berea Municipal Utilities for your water and electricity. Please take your lease or rental agreement and a form of legal identification with you. For gas, go to Delta Gas.
  • If moving into the Ecovillage, you’ll receive a letter when you check-in to take with you to the utility company.
  • The deposit for water, electric, and sewer at the Berea Municipal Utilities are $240 and the deposit for Delta Gas is $90.00. See the Utilities Directory for more specific information.
  • For more information go to the Utilities Directory. 

How do I get SNAP benefits (food stamps)?

  • You will need to go to the Financial Aid office about a week after the beginning of the semester and let them know you will be applying for food stamps. They will give you all the appropriate forms.
  • For Ecovillage tenants, a letter is provided for you by the Ecovillage Coordinator to take with you to Community Based Services when you apply for SNAP. You’ll also want to provide them with your financial award letter.
  • You will apply at the Community Based Services, 204 Pauline Drive, Berea, Kentucky. This is where you’ll need to meet with your case manager. Call ahead of time at 855-306-8958, to confirm the documents you will need to bring.
  • SNAP benefits are renewable every six months at which time they will provide you with paperwork that needs to be signed and returned to them, either in person, by mail, or by fax.
  • For Ecovillage residents, we can fax your SNAP and KTAP paperwork for you in the office.

Where do I get a parking decal?

Which administrators on campus work with non-traditional students?

  • Non-Traditional Student Program Associate: Breanna Lawson | 859.302.1007 |
  • Non-Traditional Student Program Manager: To Be Announced |
  • Ecovillage and SENS House Manager: Sharonda Steele | 859.985.3179 |
  • International Student Advisor: Kye Anderson | 859.985.3114 |

What about international non-traditional students?

Non-Traditional International students who live on campus are a small group of people. Just like all non-traditional students, international non-traditional students are invited to utilize all of the resources available, such as:

  • The NTSC is a comforting home away from home. Non-traditional students can cook for themselves, make tea or coffee, build community, and study in a peaceful and productive environment.
  • The Center for International Education also offers a variety of resources for international students.
  • The Ecovillage offers a Thursday Lunch Program during the Fall and Spring semesters for all Non-traditional students, offering an alternative to the Dining Hall.

What about voting?

Students are eligible to vote in local and state elections. Students can register to vote through TurboVote.

The Voter Empowerment and Political Awareness Coalition, or VEPAC, is a non-partisan coalition of faculty, staff, and students from Student Life, CELTS, and the Student Government Association. VEPAC is committed to bringing students into the political process, providing education and breaking down barriers to electoral participation, and encourage student non-partisan policy solutions. For more information about VEPAC and voting visit the VEPAC Facebook page. 

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a statewide organization working for a new balance of power and a just society. They provide information regarding state and local issues, elections, and voting on their website.

Visit the Kentucky Voter Information Portal to check your voter registration status and to see your polling and precinct information.