Going back to school after retirement is becoming a very popular path. With all of the options available, it’s easier than ever for retirees to go back and finish a degree or take several classes as a refresher. While many retirees would love to go back to college, many of them think that it’s out-of-reach, however, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Retirees are going back to college for many different reasons. Some have always wanted to earn a degree while others want to go back just for fun, others want to start a brand-new career, and others just have a natural love of learning. Whatever reason you want to go back, it could be more obtainable than you thought. If you have questions about some of the Medicare myths you have heard, we have answers for you!
Some colleges offer free tuition to students over a certain age that meet other requirements. For example, any Massachusetts resident can go to several community colleges without having to pay for tuition. Keep in mind, that these colleges still require some additional fees for paperwork, and you will still have to pay for textbooks. Having tuition fees waived is one of the best ways to continue your education without having to dip into your retirement fund.
Massachusetts is not the only state or school to be offering these tuition waivers. California also offers a similar program that allows you to attend any of the state university with no tuition costs. Similarly, Florida Atlantic University offers a program called Lifelong Learning Society, which allows seniors to take classes on anything from foreign policy to philosophy.
Auditing classes as a retiree offers several advantages. Most times you won’t have to pay for the course, but you can still enjoy the lectures. The other advantage is that normally all of the homework and papers required in the class are optional for anyone that is auditing the course. You won’t receive any college credit towards a degree if you audit a class, but if your end goal is knowledge and not a degree, then auditing classes is the way to go. Most college offers the option to audit a course for free as long as the class isn’t full of traditional paying students.
Maybe it isn’t money that’s stopping you from going back; maybe you don’t live close enough to a university, or your mobility isn’t what it used to be. Well, then online classes could be the perfect fit for you. The best part of online courses is the flexibility they offer, and your options are almost endless.
There are two ways that you can approach online classes. You can either join a university’s online program in which you’ll receive a degree at the end. Or, you can take free online classes that typically don’t offer college credits. Either way is an excellent option for further your education.
One of the major advantages of these online classes is the ability to take them without having to leave your living room. In most cases, you can listen to the lectures and complete the work whenever works best for you. Some colleges even offer classes that you can complete at your own pace as long as you finish them by the end of the semester, making them ideal for retirees with crazy schedules (especially if you’re keeping your grandkids now).
If you don’t live near a college that offers free classes, but you still want to earn a degree, don’t despair. There are still ways you can accomplish your goal. There is plenty of financial aid to help cover the costs of going back to school. You can start by filling out a free Federal Student Aid application to see what type of assistance is available to you.
Aside from loans and tax breaks, there are dozens of scholarships that can boost your financial abilities to go back to school. Some scholarships are even specifically targeted towards helping older students get their degree. If you don’t know where to start, websites like Fastweb can compile all of the scholarships available based on your information.
Going Back To School
Now that you’ve finally reached your retirement stage, you can do whatever you would like to do, and maybe that is going back to school. Going back to get your degree is not as crazy as some people might think. Don’t let finances stop you from checking off college from your bucket list.
MedicareWallet.com is an unbiased, online resource for individuals turning 65 or already on Medicare. Our utmost goal is to provide information in a way that is user-focused, informative and ethical. With a combined 40 years of experience in the Medicare market, we can answer any questions about Medicare and Medigap insurance. Feel free to reach out to us at 800.376.0824 or by email at [email protected].