Today, senior citizens are returning to college to earn or finish degrees, to advance careers, and to learn new things. Their (re)entry into higher education benefits the classroom in two complementary ways. First, older students can enhance class discussions through their life experiences. Second, diverse classmates can offer older students new perspectives on the world.
In 2009, 40% of college students were over the age of 25; that number is expected to rise to 43% by 2020, according to NBC News. These numbers make sense. Since humans now live longer, retired seniors have considerable free time on their hands. Going back to school not only passes this time in a worthwhile way, but it also helps improve memory and staves off dementia and other late-life issues.
Our guide — which provides information about free college courses for seniors, where to find financial aid, and the basics of online classes — will help seniors figure out if going back to school is the right decision for them.