Members of the current generation of older adults often had to put their dream for a college degree on hold for a variety reasons. It might have been because they left home to serve their country in the military or they were forced to join the workforce at a young age to help their family through tough economic times.
The Great Depression, along with World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, forced men and women to deal with the difficult realities of the day.
There just wasn’t time or money to pursue a college degree. That left some feeling embarrassed or ashamed at their lack of a formal education in an often competitive workplace. Now that they have retired, many are interested in exploring senior citizen-friendly college classes.
So how can you get started?
It’s not as difficult as you might think.
Senior Citizen College Classes
The good news is that there are more options available to seniors today than ever before. From universities offering free classes to adults over the age of 65 to online colleges for senior citizens, pursuing a college degree at an advanced age can be a reality.
Take Doreetha Daniels who graduated this summer from the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California at the age of 99. Or Willadene Zedan who graduated from Marian University at age 85 and landed a job!
Here are a few resources you can use to explore your options:
- The American Association of Community Colleges Plus 50 Initiative awards grants to community colleges which develop innovative programs to help adults over the age of 50 earn a degree or transition in to a new career.
- Senior Resource has compiled a state-by-state list of educational opportunities for older adults interested in continuing their education. From the University of Alaska to North Iowa Community College, this comprehensive site will likely be able to connect you with a senior-friendly learning program in your own backyard.
- Have you always dreamed of attending Georgetown University or maybe taking classes at UCLA? You might be surprised to learn both of these schools have programs for senior scholars that are free or offered at a nominal fee. Call the college you wanted to attend in your younger days to find out just what they might have to offer.
- Older adults might find online college classes to be an ideal solution. Senior Planet has an e-Learning center on their website that can help you find an online program that meets your needs. From an MIT lecture on evolution to a Yale University professor discussing economics, the online options are plentiful.
- If finances are holding you back, The Savvy Senior shares good information that may help guide you through the often confusing world of financial aid.
We hope this information helps you connect with a few resources that can help you get back in the classroom working on that deferred dream of earning a college degree!