Retiree education is alive and well in the United States with multiple education institutions from coast to coast offering discounted – or in some cases, free – continuation classes for people over a certain age.
Finding a Class
Here’s the bad news: finding waivers and allowances for educational programs meant for those over the age of 50 can be difficult. Not a lot of websites promote these programs on their home page, so you may have to dig a little. The best way to get started is simply to find a college near you and reach out to them. Ask if they accept waivers or offer a discounted program for you to take advantage of. Another excellent resource can be community centers, which can serve as a hub for many education services.
Some states have mandated scholarships and waivers set in place and make them a little easier to find than the colleges themselves. With a quick Internet search, you may be able to find more information regarding financial assistance for your state.
Once you’ve found a college that has the program best suited to you, you’ll need to apply. Depending on the type of arrangement you’re able to make with the university in question, your admissions process will vary, so be sure to consult with an advisor before taking any action.
If you are taking part in a program you may be able to enroll as a regular student at a low cost per semester. However, once you’re in, you may need to go through the same process as every other student, which could include seat limitations based on class size.
Alternatively, furthering your education may mean auditing a class. This is a great avenue for people who prefer to sit and listen instead of being an active student. There are fees associated with this process, but they are typically less than what the average student pays.
Don’t forget that many colleges offer online classes which may allow you to learn from home.. It’s important to do the research, communicate with the admissions team at every school you consider, and develop the plan that works best for you. If you’re nervous about taking classes online, don’t be!