Higher Education after 60
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
I recently enrolled in a local community college as a full time student. Initially the reason I did it was to take advantage of some GI Bill benefits that were close to expiring. Therefore, the field of study was not that important to me, I chose a Digital Media program as it sounded interesting and much different than anything I had done before.
Same as it ever was...in a good way
Almost 40 years ago I received a Bachelor of Science. 20 years ago I received a Masters Degree. So I had done this before. The first step was simply enrolling at the college. I did this online. The only requirement was a high school diploma. Registration was free and after being accepted i had to take proficiency tests in English and Math. Not sure I did well on either, but that was not important. I next made an appointment with a counselor and registered for classes. Although I was enrolled in Digital Media, like any full time community college student, I had to take the core classes required at an institute of higher education. This included, yes, English 100 and a remedial Math class (I must have done worse than I thought). I filled out the core classes with History, Social Studies, Geography etc. Yes, I am talking real college stuff here. I am also taking the Digital Media classes of course, that include a lot of foundation in art, photography and film.
Feed your head
Some classes are online these days, but I spend a lot of time going to class. I am usually three times older than anyone else. Despite my initial reasons for going back to college, I have found it extremely enjoyable. I am learning new things. I am improving old skills. I am interacting with younger people. I will probably never work again, but have discovered new passions for writing, photography, art. Most importantly, however, is that I am challenging the brain.
Coffee at the quad
Anyone with a high school diploma can attend a community college in this country. There is no age limit. I have talked to some of my contemporaries that have said they may take a college language or art course. I say if you have the time and inclination, don't limit yourself. Also, most community colleges are very affordable, and provide a sound education. The instructors often also teach at the affiliated university here. In Hawaii you can be a full time community college student for around 1500.00 per semester. It is not for everyone I know, but worth adding to the list of potential uses of your time after 60.