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If I’m 70-Years-Old, Can I Still Attend College?

Once we reach retirement age, it’s easy to assume our learning days are over. After all, isn’t the purpose of retirement to kick back, relax, and enjoy our golden years? However, many retirees are finding that going back to school can be a rewarding experience that can enhance their overall quality of life. In fact, according to a recent CivicScience survey, eleven percent of all U.S. adults are considering returning to school. However, many older adults might have questions. How old is too old? Can a 70-year-old go to college? Here’s what you need to know.


Do Colleges Accept Seniors?

First things first, even seniors have every right to go back to college if they so choose. Age is never a barrier to education! Many colleges and universities now offer a range of courses and programs designed for older learners. In fact, some institutions even offer scholarships and grants specifically for seniors. Of course, the admissions process may differ slightly for seniors. Make sure you check the requirements first before you enroll in any classes!

What Are the Benefits of Senior Education?

One of the main benefits of going back to college as a senior is the opportunity to learn new things. Many retirees find that their days become monotonous without a sense of purpose or new experiences. Going back to college may offer a new sense of purpose and allow you to explore new subjects and topics. Plus, adult education classes can keep your brain healthy and reduce cognitive decline! College may also offer you social opportunities. Most college campuses are bustling with activity and energy. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to connect with other students and engage in extracurricular activities. This can be especially beneficial if you live alone or if you don’t have the chance to socialize much in your day-to-day life.


What if I fall behind?

Remember when you were back in school and scared you’d fall behind your classmates? Well, you might face the same fear if you decide to take adult education classes. However, it’s important to remember that everyone learns at their own pace. Many colleges offer accommodations for seniors, such as extended time on exams. Also, keep in mind that college courses are designed for a wide range of learners with varying ages and backgrounds.

What if I can’t afford classes?

College tuition can be expensive, so make sure to explore scholarship and grant opportunities. Additionally, attending college may require a time commitment that could potentially interfere with other aspects of your life. Plan accordingly so that attending college aligns with your overall goals and lifestyle. Of course, many colleges actually offer TUITION-FREE courses. You may have to pay for your books and materials, but you won’t have to pay a dime for the classes themselves. One of the many benefits of being an adult learner!

Looking for more?

elderly man and younger woman sitting on couch reading together

Going back to college as a senior can be a valuable and enriching experience. Remember—age can’t stop you from pursuing higher education! Interested in learning more about the benefits of lifelong learning? Then click HERE to visit our Senior Education page for more great resources.


Originally published September 06, 2023

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