Join the Latest Senior Citizen Craze: Go Back to College!
Greater numbers of older adults are finding themselves back in the classroom, and community colleges are among the most popular choice for returning to higher education. Seniors are enrolling in school for a number of reasons, some of which are to learn a new career, update job skills, attain a goal or pursue a hobby. According to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), of the 1,200 community colleges nationwide, nearly 90 percent offer courses for older students.
Typically seniors are more than making the grade because they are well-prepared for class and are not hesitant to speak up and contribute. Yet the learning challenges of baby boomers include lack of computer and Internet skills and know-how for applying for financial aid. An AACC survey found that 63 percent of community colleges offer computer training for older students, and the national organization provides a checklist for seniors to review when considering enrollment in a community college. The list includes the following:
- Discover local college campuses. The AACC offers a free Community College Finder, or search for community colleges online or at your local library.
- Reviews details of colleges online. Research potential colleges and their course offerings and admission requirements via their websites.
- Be sure to visit campuses. Talk to staff members and students, visit student services, and check out the library. Consider parking and walking distances.
- Review time commitments. Can you balance classes and homework with work, family and other obligations? If you are a caregiver, consider relying on help from home healthcare professionals like Right at Home.
- Calculate the affordability of school. Find out anticipated costs of tuition, books, supplies and transportation.
Today’s college-bound senior citizens are setting the pace for future generations to never stop learning. Will you be one of them?
How can you help your senior loved one overcome roadblocks for returning to college?