• Matriculated vs Non-Matriculated

    A Definition

    Matriculated Student: a student who has applied and been accepted to Worcester State University as a degree-seeking student.

    Non-Matriculated Student: a student who registers for and takes classes at Worcester State University but has not been admitted into a degree program.

    What's the Difference Between Matriculated and Non-Matriculated Status?

    If you're thinking of going back to school or taking college courses for the first time, this question might be on your mind. Whether you want to have matriculated or non-matriculated status will mainly depend on your goals and aspirations.

    What reasons do you have for going to college? The difference between matriculated and non-matriculated status is big enough that you need to know why you want to go to college before you start taking classes.

    If you just want to take a couple classes for fun or need to learn a specific skill by taking a course or two, being a non-matriculated student would probably work out well. On the other hand, being a matriculated student is better for people that want to work towards a degree.

    If you're fairly sure that you want to earn a degree, becoming a matriculated student is your best bet. Keep in mind that many people enroll as a matriculated student and don't know what they want to major in, so don't worry about whether or not you've decided on a specific course of study.

    In short, matriculated status is for people who want to earn a degree and non-matriculated status is for people who only want to take a few courses. Depending on what your goals are, either matriculated or non-matriculated status could be better for you.

    Education is important, so put some careful thought into your decision. Before you decide what kind of student you want to be, you should thoroughly research the difference between matriculated and non-matriculated status.

    The Difference at Worcester State


  • Reasons for Attending WSU
    Matriculated StudentNon-Matriculated Student
    • To earn an undergraduate or graduate degree
    • To transfer credit back to the college where you are seeking a degree
    • To take college classes for pleasure or personal enrichment
    • To upgrade job skills
    • To try out college before deciding if you want to get a degree
    • To improve your GPA to qualify for admission to WSU
    Financial Aid
    Matriculated StudentNon-Matriculated Student

    As a matriculated student, you have the opportunity to apply for several different categories of financial aid to help with your educational expenses. Our Financial Aid Office staff works to ensure that all qualified students are awarded up to their maximum eligibility from various funding sources.

    Your financial aid package may be a combination of different forms of assistance, including federal and state grants, loans, and federal work-study employment opportunities. Merit and other scholarships are also available. Financial Aid Counseling is available through our Financial Aid Office.

    In order to qualify for most traditional financial aid options, like grants, student loans and scholarships, you must be matriculated into a degree program. Non-matriculated students may qualify for some personal education loans but generally pay out of pocket for their education. Payment plans are available to all students through the Bursar's Office on 508-929-8051 or

    Academic Advising
    Matriculated StudentNon-Matriculated Student

    As a Matriculated student you are advised through the Academic Success Center for your first semester at WSU. After that, you are assigned an advisor who is a member of the full-time faculty in the department in which your degree program is located. You are admitted to a "catalog year" and must complete the requirements for their degree as outlined in that catalog.

    Elena Arranz Alonso is the Non-Matriculated Student Advisor and provides advising to non-matriculated students through the Divison of Graduate and Continuing Education (DGCE). Elena can be reached at 508-929-8512 or

    Course Availability
    Matriculated StudentNon-Matriculated Student

    Matriculated students in good standing may take up to 19 credit hours each semester. If you wish to enroll in more than 19 credit hours each term, an academic advisor would need to review your history and planned course load before approving an increase in the maximum load permitted each term. You may take courses during the day, in the evening, or online. Your schedule is open and flexible.

    As a Non-matriculated student you are generally limited to taking courses part-time through Continuing Education's evening/online schedule. If you want to take a class during the day, you need to wait until Special Student Registration Day, which generally occurs the Wednesday before classes start for the term through the Registrar's Office. If there is a seat available in a "day" class, you can register. You are limited to 11 credit hours each term in the "day" schedule. Courses taken as a non-matriculated student may apply towards a degree at WSU at a later date, but this is not guaranteed.

    Registration Process
    Matriculated StudentNon-Matriculated Student

    First time matriculated students register through the Academic Success Center. After the first term, you participate in the pre-registration process which allows you to build your schedule for the upcoming term in advance and register without payment. Bills are calculated and sent at a later date once any financial aid is applied. Matriculated students have the ability to register for classes several weeks earlier than non-matriculated students.

    As a Non-matriculated student you register for continuing education classes through the Divison of Graduate and Continuing Education which is located on the 4th floor of the Shaughnessy Administration Building. You must wait for specific DGCE registration periods and must pay at the time of registration. There is no "pre-registration" for non-matriculated students.

    Matriculated StudentNon-Matriculated Student

    As a full-time matriculated student you pay a flat rate for your tuition and fees by the term. As a part-time matriculated student you pay by the per credit rate. Learn more about Tuition & Fees.

    Non-matriculated students pay for their classes through continuing education and pay the per credit rate. Learn more about Tuition & Fees.