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Three Ways for Seniors to Continue Education for Free

By Megan C @ LivingSenior - August 16, 2012

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Seniors who want to continue their education for free have several options available to them. The following article will discuss three of the top ways for seniors to continue their education for free in a college setting, through online learning or through certification programs and correspondence courses. There may be other options available through career planning centers, senior centers and nonprofit organizations in specific cities or regions of the country.

Senior Scholarships

Scholarships for senior citizens, baby boomers and individuals aged 55 or over are available through a variety of avenues. The most popular is to nonprofit organizations or through organizations to offer work-at-home positions to seniors. The scholarships may cover a complete certification or career diploma program while others cover a full collegiate program an associate, bachelors or graduate school level.

Community College

Roughly 84% of the community colleges throughout the United States offer courses specifically for students 50 and older. These courses are also offered for lower tuition rates, payment plan rates or full scholarship rates depending on the seniors needs and background. These lower tuition rates are not considered as a scholarship or grant but as a special program offered through specific community college is. Admission staff and tuition assistance programs can are available through local community college organizations.


Auditing a course for college credit is an option that many seniors may have. Colleges, universities and career centers may offer the option for a senior or other student with background in a particular topic to audit the course. This means that the student would take an equivalent of a final exam in order to receive credit for the full class. And auditing fee can be as little $100 but generally no more than $300. This can offer significant savings to a senior. For those looking to audit a class for free some community colleges and major universities will offer the auditing option as a free testing option if the student is enrolled in a full-time degree program.

There are several other options available to seniors who want to attend college for free. Admissions offices, tuitions offices and local senior centers will have more information on the possible grants and loans or scholarships available to seniors in continuing education programs.