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How do you go to college as a senior citizen?

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Quick Answer

Senior citizens have several options to pursue a college degree or continue their education including auditing courses and taking advantage of tuition waivers and scholarships for seniors. Many colleges and universities offer courses and financial aid specifically geared towards senior citizens.

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More than 60 percent of accredited degree granting institutions offer tuition waivers for senior citizens. Requirements for tuition waivers vary by institution but most require senior citizens have a high school diploma, and often they require proof of financial need.

Senior citizens may also choose to audit a course, participating in the lectures, but not being required to take exams. These courses do not count toward a degree, but do offer senior citizens the opportunity to continue their education and meet new people.

Community colleges also offer affordable classes for seniors. About 84 percent of community colleges offer classes specifically for seniors, and the tuition costs are far less than those of four-year universities.

Seniors can also sign up to take online courses offered by global universities such as MIT, Stanford and Yale. These universities allow anyone to sign up and audit select courses for free. These free online courses also help senior citizens avoid the hidden costs of attending college such as parking fees, books and administrative fees levied by the institutions.

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