Success in higher education is a concept that has been researched for years and is especially critical in relation to the shift to online higher education. Online learning is inevitably a part of the future landscape of higher education, but success rates in online courses are often lower than in traditional courses. To contribute to the existing literature, this research explores the nature of participation in asynchronous online discussions of nontraditional students in online courses. The research has an overarching constructivist framework in order to maintain the focus on the social nature of learning, in addition to framing it with the theory of capital and the principles of andragogy. The methodology used is quantitative, including ANOVA, linear regression, and chi squares, to analyze differences across course levels and post types. The categories used are based on an established framework for content analysis. Differences in types of presence were found across course level, predictive relationships were found among the types of presence, and differences in the more detailed categories of types of presence were found across course level and post type. Such findings point to the importance of discussion prompts and teaching behaviors within the curriculum in online courses that will best serve nontraditional students.