A number of senior citizens in the United States are choosing to return to college in their golden years. They’re not only seeking education, but many seek a healthier lifestyle. A number of colleges are offering courses that cater to the over 50 crowd, some are even free! In this article, we’ll look at ways many baby boomers are creating alternate retirement lifestyles, attending colleges classes and settling down on college campuses.
Why Are Seniors Going Back to School?
I recently read an article called, Retirees Return to College Just for the Fun of It. It points out that many seniors are returning to college for educational stimulation and social connections. The article also highlights an alternative lifestyle, known as lifelong learning, which enables seniors to pursue educational interest that they didn’t have when they were younger, due to work and family obligations. Education for seniors, was enforced by a retired mathematician named Stanley Schmidt, who said “Continuing education for seniors is crucial for their mental and physical health.”
6 Reasons Retirees Should Go Back to School
Education stimulates productivity and there are also benefits for seniors who choose to return to college. The Money U.S. News article6 Tips for Going Back to School in Retirement list some additional reasons that may encourage seniors to return to the classroom.
1. Audit Classes for Free Many adult learners can take classes for free as class auditors. The downside is that there is no college credit for this but homework is optional.
2. Senior Citizen Waiver These waivers will allow seniors to receive college credits without paying any tuition. In some state like, Massachusetts, residents over 59 can enroll for courses at state and community colleges without paying tuition!
3. Campus Amenities Depending on the college this may include libraries, guest lectures, athletic facilities and fitness classes.
4. Classes Specifically for Seniors This will enable seniors to work and associate with their peers. Currently, there are over 119 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes on US college campuses, including well-known schools like Duke University, Florida State, Arizona State and the University of Michigan, that offer non-credit courses designed specifically for people over 50. See the full list of colleges and universities at the end of the article.
5. Online Courses These courses enable students to study without leaving their homes and will likely increase in popularity. These courses are especially beneficial for people who have difficulty driving or just getting around.
6. On Campus Retirement Communities Experience campus life and the amenities while living in a residence specifically designed for seniors and far more comfortable than typical college residences
The Benefits of Campus Life
The PBS NewsHour series entitled, Taking Care, took an in-depth look at seniors who enjoy college retirement homes. Many found themselves involved in hobbies and activities that they never thought of partaking in the past.
One couple who was interviewed, the Goldwires, were emphatic about their retired college lifestyle saying “This is not a nursing home, this is independent living!”
The show also reported that the number of college retirement homes associated with universities will continue to grow, due to the fact that many baby boomers are retiring. In addition, the campus communities offer seniors the opportunity to associate with academics and PhDs. These facilities allow the seniors to enjoy an independent life but offer assisted living when necessary.
What Are Your Thoughts on Seniors Living The College Life?
Our take is that lifelong learning options should be taken as a serious alternative to traditional retirement lifestyles. They are productive alternatives which increase productivity and encourage healthy living.
What do you think?
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