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Senior Education: The Return of the Baby Boomers to the Classroom

     Babyboomers, the group of older adults born between 1946 and 1964 are returning to school in record numbers. The reasons for babyboomers returning to the classroom are many. Some go back to school during retirement to fulfill dreams that were put on hold due to marriage, child-rearing, and work. Others flock back to the classroom because they need to gain new skills that will help them remain gainfully employed in a competitive, and global work force. There are also those who participate in educational activities for the purpose of socializing with persons of similar interests. Others want to become better at hobbies. These babyboomers might be enrolled in courses like watercolor painting, photography, music or culinary arts.

      A babyboomer who is interested in returning to school can find a learning environment suitable to his or her personal interests and learning needs. Community colleges offer degree and certificate programs; short courses for those needing to upgrade job skills, and personal interest courses like cake decorating, basketweaving, and pottery making. Four year colleges and universities offer many formal learning opportunities that include bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees, along with specialized certificate programs.

     Adults in the babyboomer demographic who decide to return to school may find many financial resources to help them cover expenses like tuition, fees and books. The best place to start is to contact the school's financial aid office. This is the place to find out if there are grants, loans, scholarships and other resources that make it easier to return to part-time or full-time. In some states babyboomers age 60 and above are permitted to take courses free at state universities.

      Babyboomers can expect to face some challenges, when entering college after being away from the classroom for several years. Some boomers may not be as technologically savvy as their younger counterparts, so they may be intimated or a little hestitant to take certain courses. However, most schools have special seminars or short courses to help older acquaint older students with new learning technologies.

     When considering returning to college to train for new careers, there are some fields of study that can lead to lucrative, and secure employment for babyboomers. Healthcare jobs like nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy have always offered well-paying employment opportunities.

     The baby boomer who aspires to return to school to obtain a degree, or job skills training should contact the school's continuing education division. The aspiring student will learn what is available and can take placement tests if needed to determine at what career or subject matter area would be the best fit.

     When she's not organizing parties, Louise Baker writes about online colleges at Zen College Life. She recently looked at where to get the best criminal justice degree.

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New York

I have not successfully found a specific statute or law reguarding senior citizens recieving tuition waivers or discounts.  Many colleges offer discounted tuition, tuition waivers for auditing courses, and various educational opportunities for senior citizens.  Check the list below and click on links that have additional information regarding educational opportunities.

City of University of New York
Senior Colleges and Graduate Schools

Baruch College -
Contact Info: 646.312.1000
Discount tuition fee information for senior citizens.

Brooklyn College -
Contact Info: 718.951.5000
Discount tuition fee information for senior citizens.

The City College of New York -
Contact Info: 212.650.7000
Discounted tuition information for senior citizens.

College of Staten Island -
Contact Info: 718.982.2000
Tuition waiver information for senior citizens.

CUNY Graduate Center - http://www.gc…


According to the Constitution for the State of Georgia Article VIII. Section VII. Paragraph IV.   Waiver of tuition .

“The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia shall be authorized to establish programs allowing attendance at units of the University System of Georgia without payment of tuition or other fees, but the General Assembly may provide by law for the establishment of any such program for the benefit of elderly citizens of the state . “

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College -
Info: 800.733.3653
Senior Citizen Tuition Forms

Albany State University -
Info: 229.430.4600
Senior Discount Information

Armstrong Atlantic State College -
Info: 912.344.3243
Senior Discount Information

Atlanta Metropolitan College, Atlanta -
Info: 404.756.4000

Augusta College, Augusta
Info: 706.733.7043
*Georgia residents 62 ye…


"WHEREAS, Certain tuition waivers are prescribed by statute, other tuition and fee waivers are authorized by the Board, and... 3. Senior Citizen (62 or older -part-time) -A full waiver of the Extension fee (summer and winter sessions) is authorized for any Connecticut resident sixty-two years or older providing that at the end of the regular registration period there is space available in the course(s) in which they intend to enroll,

4. Senior Citizen (62 or older -full-time) -A waiver of the University Fee is authorized for any Connecticut resident sixty-two years or older who is enrolled in a degree-granting program pursuant to the provisions of Section 10a-99 ofthe CGS,"

1. citation:   Excerpt from the Connecticut State University System - RESOLUTION concerning TUITION AND FEE WAIVER AUTHORIZATIONS October 8, 2009.
    According to Connecticut state statue senior citizens can take college classes and earn a degree tuition fr…