Free or Cheap College Courses for Older Adults in All 50 States

Posted on 02/10/20 by Stacy Rapacon

Group of adults sit around a table during a class at a college

Getty Images

En español | There are plenty of reasons to go back to school, even if it's been years or even decades since you last set foot in a classroom. You can pick up new job skills, learn a new language or simply dive into a subject — art, music, psychology, basket weaving — that has always fascinated you. Perhaps the best reason of all? It's free (or less costly) for older residents of every state and Washington, D.C., to take college courses.

A few common caveats: Older would-be students, in some states starting as young as 50, can typically join a college class only when space permits. That means you have to wait until at least the first day to know if you secured a spot. Whether you can get credit for the course or only audit the class varies by state and school. Also, in many states just tuition is covered. So older students might still need to pony up for books and fees. But even that's a relatively small price to pay to keep your mind sharp and your skill set current.

Check out the free or low-cost opportunities for lifelong learners in your state.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Your City
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW