Discounted, Free College Tuition for Senior Citizens

by Jonathan Stark on August 7, 2010

in Financial Aid,News

Few senior citizens are aware that they are often entitled to discounted tuition at many education institutions.  Both senior citizens and retirees can take advantage of programs that enable them to expand their horizons through higher education at a steep discount, sometimes even for free.

Community College  Programs

Seniors citizens in many areas can take advantage of programs offered by local 2-year community colleges.  Many of these schools allow seniors to audit classes for free.  While auditing classes doesn’t result in credit for the class, auditing does provide seniors an opportunity to learn a new subject and explore areas they haven’t had a chance to before.

Some community colleges even waive tuition in for-credit classes.  However, to qualify for this waived tuition the candidate often must be at least 60, 62, or 65 years old (depending on the region).  Similarly, schools often restrict these waived tuition courses to seniors who have made less than $15,000 the year prior to taking the course.

State College and University Programs

The following is a list of states that offer waived tuition for seniors at some of their public colleges and universities:

Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Virginia, and Washington D.C.

While textbook costs and processing fees are sometimes not included in these programs, waived tuition is a great opportunity for senior citizens to continue their education without having to worry about the rising costs of college tuition.

For those interested in exploring these programs, the following is a small sample of some of the programs available throughout the country:

Boston University – Evergreen Program – People over the age of 58 may audit undergrad courses for the reduced rate of $100, as well as attend faculty-run seminars.

Penn State University – Go- 60 Program – Free tuition provided for all Pennsylvania residents, former alumni, or former employees who are 60+ years of age, retired, and working less than half-time.

Northern Michigan University – Senior Citizen Scholarships – Free tuition offered to all residents of Michigan who are 62 years or older.

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