Senior Citizens Can Go to College for Free or Cheap in All 50 States

We’re living longer than ever before, and doing so in better
health. So what can you do when you retire and want to keep your
mind sharp or need to gain additional skills to stay competitive at

For many, the answer is to go back to school. But tuition can be
prohibitively expensive.

At the same time, schools want their classrooms to be full of
engaged students, regardless of age. In the interest of continuing
education, many colleges and universities offer reduced or free
college tuition to senior citizens (typically, adults 60 and up,
although the rules vary).

In fact, we found at least one option in every state!

Free (or Cheap) College for Seniors in Every State 

While some institutions only allow senior students to audit
classes, many offer the chance to earn credits toward a degree at a
reduced — or completely waived — tuition rate.

Does your state have a continuing education you can use in your
golden years? Find out below!

1. Alabama

Alabama seniors can attend any two-year institution within the
state tuition-free.

Adults 60 and older
should contact the financial aid office at
any community college for admission and eligibility details.

2. Alaska

The University
of Alaska
waives tuition for senior-citizen residents who
receive full social security benefits. Seniors must wait until the
first day of classes to enroll to ensure that there’s space
remaining; they must also complete a tuition-waiver form.

Additional costs such as student activity, health center and lab
fees are not covered; the student must pay them directly.

3. Arizona

All 10 campuses of Maricopa
Community College
allow senior citizens to take classes for
credit at 50% of the full tuition cost.

Students 65 and older must register between the first and second
class sessions of the semester to ensure space is available.

4. Arkansas

waives tuition
for anyone 60 and over who wants to work toward
an undergraduate or graduate degree at state institutions.

Student fees may apply and senior citizens may only register for
classes with space available.

5. California free college courses for senior citizens


California State University
waives all tuition and dramatically
reduces campus fees for residents age 60 or older.

6. Colorado

Students age 55 and older may attend class on a space-available
basis at Colorado
State University
. There is no tuition fee, but visitors don’t
get credit for attending class.

At the
University of Colorado Denver
, persons aged 60 and above may
enroll on a no-credit basis to attend up to two classes per
semester as auditors when space is available.

Courses with a lab component are excluded, along with computer

7. Connecticut

Residents 62 and up may attend state
, including community colleges, for free on a
space-available basis.

Central Connecticut State University,
for example, tuition is
waived for any resident over the age of 62 who applies for full- or
part-time admission for a degree-granting program.

Senior students may also take non-credit courses on a
space-available basis and have tuition waived. All students must
still pay all other fees. 

8. Delaware

The University of Delaware, Delaware State University, and
Delaware Technical and Community College all
permit state residents
age 60 or older to audit or take classes
for credit for free.

At the University of
, students wishing to use the program must apply for
admission on a space-available basis. Some graduate degrees may be
eligible, as well.

Participants must pay all related student fees and buy their own

9. District of Columbia

Senior citizens 65 and up may audit undergraduate courses from

Georgetown University
’s School of Continuing Studies. These
students pay a fee of $50 per course.

10. Florida free college courses for senior citizens

The Florida college system
application, tuition and student fees for those age 60
and above, but colleges will award no credit and will grant
admission on a space-available basis.

Fun fact: Florida Atlantic
University’s Lifelong Learning Society
has the largest adult
continuing education program in the U.S. It even has its own
auditorium on campus to help serve FAU’s 27,000 new registrants
each year.

11. Georgia

Georgia residents age 62 and above may take classes on a
space-available basis for free at the state’s
public colleges

Seniors may choose to take classes for credit or continuing
education, but they must apply through the regular admissions
process at their school of choice.

12. Hawaii

Senior Citizen Visitor Program
at the University of Hawaii and
state community colleges allows senior residents to attend courses
free of charge. 

Schools will not award credit nor will they keep permanent
records of students’ class history.

13. Idaho

Programs in Idaho vary based on institution, but some schools
offer good deals. The
College of Southern Idaho
offers a Gold Card for students age
60 years and older, which allows them to take non-credit classes

Boise State University
, Idaho residents who are at least 65
years old can audit classes on a space-available basis for free
except for applicable special course fees.

14. Illinois

Upon admission, any senior citizen age 65 and up who meet income
requirements can attend regular credit courses at
Illinois public institutions
for free. Lab, student and other
fees still apply.

15. Indiana

Purdue University
Indiana University
each offer programs that allow retired
residents age 60 and to take up to nine credit hours per semester
and pay just 50% of in-state tuition fees.

16. Iowa free college courses for senior citizens

Private institution
Simpson College
in Indianola allows people 65 and older to take
one non-credit class for free per semester. Course are open on a
space-available basis and do not include lab courses.

17. Kansas

Kansas residents
60 and older
can audit courses at state institutions on a
space-available basis without paying tuition.

The registration process varies: The University of
Wichita State University
, for example, both require senior
auditors to apply for admission.

18. Kentucky

Tuition and fees are waived for students age 65
and older
taking classes on a space-available basis. Residents
must be admitted to a state-supported school to take advantage of
this discount.

19. Louisiana

Students age 55 and up attending Louisiana state
receive free tuition and 50% off books and materials at
the campus student bookstore.

20. Maine

Senior citizens 65 and up may attend undergraduate classes as
degree-seeking or audit students in the
University of Maine System
for free, subject to space

21. Maryland

Any student in the University
of Maryland System who’s
retired and over the age of 60 may
have tuition waived, even for degree-granting programs.

22. Massachusetts

Residents age 60 or older can take at least three credits per
semester at any state-supported school in Massachusetts and
free tuition

23. Michigan

Opportunities for seniors in Michigan vary by institution.

Michigan Tech
, for example, students 60 and older can have
tuition waived for up to two courses per semester. Seniors must
apply through the admissions office.

Michigan University
invites seniors 62 and older to register
for one class per semester tuition-free.

At Wayne State
in Detroit, seniors 60 and up receive a 75% discount
on tuition, but must pay registration and related fees.

24. Minnesota free college courses for senior citizens

Minnesota waives
for senior citizens 62 and older, but fees may vary by
school. At the
University of Minnesota
, seniors pay a $10 fee per credit, but
can audit for free.

25. Mississippi

There’s no statewide benefit in Mississippi, but some schools
have programs for seniors. 

State University
provides a waiver to residents age 60 or older
for classes offered on the Starkville or Meridian campuses or by
the Center for Distance Education. Seniors are limited to six
semester hours per semester and a maximum of 18 credit hours per
calendar year, where space is available.

of Mississippi
’s Office of Professional Development and
Lifelong Learning allows seniors 65 and older to take one class per
semester at any UM campus.

26. Missouri

Missouri residents age 65 and older are exempt from paying
tuition at state-supported
for classes attended on non-credit basis. Schools
may limit the number of students who receive the tuition benefit
based on space availability.

27. Montana

The Montana
University System
offers a tuition waiver for in-state
residents 65 years of age or older. Campus and registration fees
are not waived.

28. Nebraska

Several Nebraska colleges offer waivers to senior citizens.
allows adults 65 and up to audit one course per
semester for free. 

At Mid-Plains
Community College
, seniors 62 and older who are in-state or
residents of border states Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota and
Wyoming pay $33 per credit hour. 

29. Nevada

University of Nevada, Las Vegas
allows seniors 62 and up to
take autumn and spring courses free of charge. They pay 50% tuition
for summer classes. Lab and other course fees are not covered.

30. New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire
offers residents 65 and older free
tuition for two credit-bearing classes per academic year on a
space-available basis, so long as they’re not enrolled in a
degree program.

31. New Jersey

allows retired New Jersey residents 62 and older to
audit courses for free in the spring and fall semesters at its
Camden, New Brunswick and Newark campuses, space permitting.

32. New Mexico free college courses for senior citizens

New Mexico offers reduced
of just $5 per credit hour to state residents 65 and

For-credit classes are eligible as well as auditing; senior
citizens can take no more than six credit hours per semester. The
program is offered on a space-available basis and students are
responsible for paying any additional course fees.

33. New York

Many schools offer free or reduced tuition for senior citizens.

Queens College
allows residents 60 and up to audit any course
on a space-available basis after completing a Senior Citizen
Auditor Application and paying $80 per semester.

SUNY Purchase
, New York state residents 60 and older can enroll
tuition-free in a maximum of two credit-bearing, on-campus courses
in which space is available. They pay a $50 audit fee, $20 ID
processing fee and any course fees.

34. North Carolina

Tuition and registration fees are waived for residents age 65
years or older attending North
Carolina community colleges
. Audit options may be available at
other schools.

At the University of
North Carolina Wilmington
, for example, senior citizens may
audit classes for free after getting the instructor’s permission
and submitting an application. Lab, studio, performance, distance
education, independent study, internship and special topic courses
are excluded. 

35. North Dakota

Programs vary by institution in North Dakota. At
Bismarck State
, for example, senior citizens 65 and older can
audit one course tuition-free per semester on a space-available
basis. They’re still responsible for other course fees.

36. Ohio

Ohio residents
at least 60 years old may attend class at any state college for
free. Senior-citizen students do not receive credit and can only
register on a space-available basis.

37. Oklahoma

Oklahoma state colleges and universities
waive tuition and fees
for senior citizens 65+ who wish to
audit classes on a space-available basis.

38. Oregon

State University
allows senior citizens at least 65 years old
to audit classes for free.

University of Oregon
also waives fees for seniors 65 and older
auditing classes on a space-available basis.

39. Pennsylvania

Clarion University
offers a tuition waiver for residents 62 and
up to audit classes. At Bloomsburg
, you only need to be 60 to take tuition-free classes
on a space-available basis.

There can be additional benefits at the community college level:
County Community College
, for example, waives for-credit course
tuition for seniors 65 and up so long as they register after
students paying full tuition.

40. Rhode Island

The Rhode Island General Assembly has enacted legislation
granting a tuition waiver to certain income-qualified permanent RI
residents who are at least 60 years of age on a space available

Senior citizens over 60 may request a tuition waiver at the
College of Rhode Island
to attend classes with space

Interested persons must submit a Senior Citizen Means Test to
verify they are of limited income. A
is required for all degree-seeking senior students.

The $30 late registration fee will only be waived on the
designated “Waiver Registration Day” (Jan. 16) for those
students who pay the required applicable fees on that date.

41. South Carolina

Residents 60 and above can
attend classes at state schools on a credit or noncredit basis,
pending space available, for free. The school must grant admission
via its normal procedures.

Technology, lab and other fees are the responsibility of the

42. South Dakota

Residents 65 and older can attend public universities in

South Dakota
at 55% of the normal cost of tuition for
undergraduate or graduate in-person courses on a main university

Interested adults should apply through the regular admissions
system and the school will automatically grant the discount upon
admission. Student fees are not waived.

43. Tennessee

Tennessee residents 65
and older
may enroll in tuition-free courses for credit at
state schools and community colleges.

Student will still pay application and course fees.  

44. Texas

A senior citizen age 65 or older can take up to six tuition-free
credit hours the
University of Texas at Austin

At the
University of Texas at Dallas
and Lone Star
, undergrad students 65 and older must maintain a 2.0
cumulative GPA to receive a tuition waiver for up to six credit
hours per semester.

45. Utah

Residents age 62 and up may enroll tuition-free at a
state institution
, space permitting; a quarterly registration
fee is required.

At the University of
, for example, seniors can audit most classes on a
space-available basis and only have to pay a fee of $25 per

46. Vermont free college courses for senior citizens


Vermonters over the age of 65 can audit one class per semester
tuition-free on a space-available basis in the Vermont State College
. Students can take additional classes at a 50% discount
of the tuition rate

They’ll still have to pay administration and course fees for
all classes.

47. Virginia

Under the amended terms of the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act
of 1974
, Virginia residents over 60 years old who earn a
taxable income of less than $23,850 annually can audit up to three
courses per term for free on a space-available basis at any public

48. Washington

Institutions in Washington are required
to partially or fully waive tuition fees for residents age 60 or
older who are enrolled for credit on a space-available basis.
Nominal fees may apply to students auditing courses.

Some schools limit senior citizens to a certain number of
classes or credits; for example,
Washington State University
caps the waiver at six credits for
the fall and spring semesters. 

49. West Virginia

Although senior students at
West Virginia University
applying for credit must use the
regular admissions form, those wishing to be non-degree students
pay just $5 to apply.

50. Wisconsin

Adults 60 and up may audit classes at the University of
campus for free, where space is

51. Wyoming

Upon admission to the
University of Wyoming
, senior citizens 65 and up may attend
class on a space-available basis for free.

Another Continuing Education Option

More than 100 colleges
and universities
around the country offer another continuing
education program for senior citizens: enrichment courses through
the Osher
Lifelong Learning Institute

Prices vary depending upon the institution. Duke University, for example,
has a $45 annual membership fee, and then charges $25 to $150 per

OLLI classes don’t count toward a degree, but if you’re
looking for personal development opportunities among older adults,
these courses can provide opportunities that mix in the campus
experience, too.

Lisa Rowan is a former writer at The Penny Hoarder. Staff
writer/editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors and f
ormer SEO
Jacquelyn Pica contributed to this post.

This was originally published on

Source: FS – All-News2-Economy
Senior Citizens Can Go to College for Free or Cheap in All 50 States