Awesome Online College Courses for Senior Citizens
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This article covers information like available scholarships, how the systems work, and MOOCs for senior citizens interested in getting an online degree.
Why Go to Online College after Retirement?
Retirement is a time to lean back and relax after all the years’ work. It is also a good time to go ahead and pursue interests and passions that weren’t pursued during the working years. Learning like this can bring seniors deep satisfaction and fulfillment. These areas of interest can be learned online and then monetized as the seniors make money and have fun utilizing what has been learned.
Stocking up on knowledge is also good for seniors. Retired seniors can enroll in an online college to gain this knowledge and learn new things just for the sake of it. Studies have shown that this kind of cognitive exercise is very good for aging people. Engaging in such activities that stimulate the brain like learning helps strengthen the brain. This implies that learning new things can help improve their memory as opposed to those who don’t task their brains and minds.
Online College: How Does It Work?
Online lectures, just like they sound, take place online. That is, learners don’t need to transport themselves to a school or campus to learn when all that is needed to take a course is a good device with an internet connection. With these two vital things, lectures can be taken from the comfort of the home.
Online programs work in such a way that courses are either pre-recorded or take place live. The pre-recorded courses give way for more flexibility and learning at a convenient time and pace, while live classes involve real-time interaction with the lecturer and other students, of course via the internet. One’s best choice would depend on their learning preferences.
Lecturers usually provide online resources like ebooks, PDFs, links to sites, and so on to help improve students’ learning experience. For people who prefer hard copies, most of these resources can be printed out to fit your learning style.
What to Look for in an Online College?
While trying to choose an online program, there are some things that should be looked into. Seniors should pay attention to the programs offered by each school and choose that which suits their needs.
Starting with the course itself, students should go for courses they are genuinely interested in. They should go through the course descriptions to be sure the course is what they think it is. This interest alone helps with the learning process.
To also get a clear picture of the degree’s components, prospective students can get in touch with graduates of the program and get more insight into what the course has to offer.
One other important factor that must be considered is whether or not the university or college is accredited.
Accreditation is an indication of the high standards a school lives up to. Earning accreditation means the institution has to meet required high standards and regularly get accredited by third-party accrediting agencies.
Online schools should hold accreditation from an agency like the Distance Learning Accrediting Commission, which is one of the top accrediting agencies for online programs.
Can Seniors Go to Online College for Free?
Seniors can attend college for free as long as they meet some requirements including being a certain age. Some institutions admit 55-year old seniors while others favor 60-year old over them. Some schools only allow free enrollment when students’ complete enrollment fees have been paid. Others make schooling free for seniors with the condition of non-degree credit.
For this reason, admission slots may get filled in too quickly, which results in seniors choosing to pay normal tuition fees. There are other ways to go about this payment like grants, scholarships, financial aid opportunities, and loans.
A body known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) funds students’ education, allowing prospective students to apply for student aid. This financial aid body has placed no age limits on its funds. Most federal grants do not need to be paid back, and loans taken from the organization can be paid back six months after graduation.
Scholarships for Senior Citizens
The best kind of financial aid for students is scholarships because there is no repayment. With scholarship opportunities narrowed down for older students, the likelihood of earning one increases drastically. Some scholarships for older students are as follows.
The Adult Students in Scholastic Transition Grant
Adult women going back to school are offered grants by the Executive Women International organization. It is a scholarship for adult women going through physical, social, or economic challenges. The scholarship amount ranges from $2,000 to $10,000.
Alpha Sigma Lambda
The ASL offers 14 $3,500 scholarships to adult students every year. This scholarship is meant for seniors trying to earn an undergraduate degree.
Jeannette Rankin Scholarship
The amount on this scholarship varies but it is an aid created for female students older than 35. This scholarship is meant for older women who can’t afford it but are interested in getting a vocational, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree.
Acquiring new knowledge is now easier than ever. Through free online courses, learners globally can now push their education further. An example of online education institutions that affords one such opportunity is OpensCourseWare. There are also other forms of online learning like MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).
Prestigious schools use this medium to teach all interested people free of charge. These courses are designed to reach as many learners as possible, and the courses are taught by industry experts. Examples of websites that host MOOCs are Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, Shaw Academy, etc.
Students do not get degrees from the free versions of most of these courses. Other sites offering certificates or degrees require payment.