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Senior Online Learners

The clichés abound about the "golden years" and what they are, or were, supposed to mean. However, today, baby boomers are a huge chunk of society, and they're not standing still. They say that 60 is the new 50 and 50 is the new 40, when it comes to age. Looking around, you know that well may be true. Today's so-called Senior Citizens are fit, active, healthy, and looking for ways to keep their minds supple and their education ever growing.

Going Back To School...

The thought of returning to college or university when one is in their older years can sound both exciting and intimidating at the same time. The idea of enriching their lives in retirement or going after the dreams they put off while they were raising their family, are attractive factors for seniors. The good news is that regardless what kind of college or university program they decide upon, seniors will not find themselves alone on the campus.

According to recent reports, seniors are making up a noticeable part of the classes on university campuses. On average, one to three people over "college age" are actively involved in university or college programs and they are not considered to be strange or out of place. Older students can be very popular on campuses, bringing a dimension to the class that would otherwise be lost.

Online College May Be The Answer For Many Seniors

However, making a physical appearance on a college campus may not fit a senior's schedule or lifestyle. That is where online colleges, universities, and community colleges play a big part in keeping the minds of seniors supple and involved. While each online institution is different, as a rule they will have an interactive class with an instructor for the class and a central website where students can sign in according to their own personal schedule. Information is shared by email-type messages and assignments are posted on a website. A textbook is usually assigned to the student as well.

The Benefits Of Online Learning

Even though the online classes do not have the face-to-face contact that you find in a campus setting, online courses offer much to the senior participant. Flexibility, the ability to work from home and the fact that one can work at their own pace make online learning a great option. For those who are budget minded, online school tends to be less expensive in terms of tuition than most colleges and universities. In addition, there are great savings in terms of commute time and costs.

A benefit to online learning is the fact that non-traditional learners have some excellent benefits. There is aid through the FAFSA, however, it is usually first come, first served, so it is important to apply before the first academic year begins. Scholarships may also be awarded to non-traditional learners. Checking out the website for the Department of Education in the area is a good way to find out what is available and if a person qualifies.

Life Experience Can Translate Into Course Credits

A common phrase among seniors says they have gone to the school of life experience. There is a silver lining here because some online schools offer life experience credits, which allows seniors to translate some of their professional experience to credits toward a college degree.

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