Senior citizens are able to attend college like any other student by completing an application package, but may also be able to access free or reduced-cost classes and special scholarships. Like other students, senior citizens can audit classes without having to take tests, and the audit may be free.
As of 2009, 60 percent of degree-granting colleges offer tuition waivers for senior citizens, and as of 2014, waived or discounted tuition was mandated by more than 20 states. Senior citizens interested in such a waiver should contact the college they are interested in learning from, where they are educated on the state and institutional guidelines for such waivers, as well as if such waivers are available. Restrictions on the waivers might be contingent on state residency, income, whether the class is credit-bearing, and whether the senior citizen has a high school diploma.
Senior citizens enrolling in college should also be aware that some states and institutions have special scholarships designated for senior citizens. These scholarships might include free tuition based on age, as well as based on whether the college is a community college. Even without such scholarships, community colleges are often ideal for senior citizens, as they offer more affordable education, and they typically offer classes catering to an older student population.