Free or Cheap College for Seniors in All 50 States

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LIFELONG LEARNING

Many people dream of furthering their education even later in life. Tuition waivers for senior citizens are offered in 21 states, and every state has at least one institution where senior residents can attend classes for free or cheap.

Related: Best Perks for Seniors in All 50 States

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ALABAMA

Seniors 60 and older can get a tuition waiver at any two-year public college in the state. Most are community or technical colleges.
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ALASKA

Free tuition at the University of Alaska is available to residents who are eligible for full Social Security benefits and fill out a waiver request. The waiver covers full tuition (but not fees) for courses with space available.

Related: 46 Discounts for College Students

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ARIZONA

While there is no state-mandated tuition waiver in Arizona, a few schools provide opportunities for seniors. All Maricopa Community Colleges offer a 50 percent discount for county residents 65 and older who want to take courses for credit. Senior students are accepted only if spots are available after the first class is held. Cochise College offers half off tuition to residents 60 and older.
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ARKANSAS

At all University of Arkansas campuses, Razorbacks 60 or older pay no tuition to enroll in for-credit classes, although some fees may apply. Senior students can pursue graduate and law degrees in addition to undergraduate work. Some schools, such as Rich Mountain Community College, have special programs designed for students 60 and older.
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CALIFORNIA

At the 23 campuses of California State University, state residents 60 and older can enroll in any course as a regular student for $2. San Francisco State University offers an ElderCollege program for students 55 and older that lets students sit in on regular university classes for $55 per semester.
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COLORADO

Colorado State University lets seniors 55 and older attend classes for free as a visitor (with the instructor's permission), although not for credit. The University of Northern Colorado admits seniors 65 and older to audit courses with no fee, while the Metro Meritus program at Metropolitan State University of Denver allows seniors over 60 to audit select classes for free.
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CONNECTICUT

Tuition is waived for residents 62 and older at the state's public colleges and universities, including the University of Connecticut (all campuses). The waiver applies to degree-granting programs as well as audited classes.
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DELAWARE

The University of Delaware gives residents 60 and older free tuition for classes toward the completion of a degree, either undergraduate or graduate.
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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Adults 65 and older can audit undergraduate courses at Georgetown University for $50 per course through the School of Continuing Studies.
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FLORIDA

Florida state colleges give tuition waivers to state residents 60 and older. No academic credit is granted for attendance.
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GEORGIA

The 29 schools in Georgia's university system offer free tuition to residents 62 and older for credit-earning courses. At Georgia Tech, this waiver can be applied to graduate school work but not medical, dental, or law school classes. Normal admission requirements must be met.
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HAWAII

The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers free course auditing through the Senior Citizen Visitors Program. Participants may take up to two classes per semester free of charge but must pay tuition to earn credit.
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IDAHO

The College of Southern Idaho offers free, non-credit classes to those 60 and older. Senior scholars in the University of Idaho system pay $5 per credit hour and a $20 enrollment fee for undergraduate courses; no credit is awarded. The same perks apply at Boise State, North Idaho College, and Lewis-Clark State College.
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ILLINOIS

Illinois allows any eligible senior citizen 65 and older registered in the University of Illinois system to take for-credit classes tuition-free. Residents 62 and older can audit classes for a small fee. Some schools, such as Chicago State University, offer a tuition waiver to senior residents with income no greater than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
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INDIANA

Retired Indiana residents 60 and older may enroll in any class in the Indiana University system and get 50 percent tuition remission. Classes are for credit, and the limit is nine credits per semester.
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IOWA

Although it isn't required by state law, some schools in Iowa have senior programs. At Des Moines Community College, residents 62 and older may enroll in for-credit courses with waived tuition. Simpson College allows seniors 65 and older to audit classes tuition-free.
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KANSAS

Seniors 60 and older can get tuition waived at public institutions. At the Lawrence and Edwards campuses of the University of Kansas, the waiver applies to non-degree-seeking students for up to six hours of classes per semester in either the undergraduate or graduate divisions. Other institutions where this waiver applies are Wichita State University, Washburn University, Emporia State, and Fort Hays State.
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KENTUCKY

Senior citizens 65 and older can enroll in any public institution of higher learning tuition-free. The University of Kentucky's Donovan Fellowship for Academic Scholars applies this waiver to both audited and for-credit classes, as long as students meet admissions requirements and space is available.
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LOUISIANA

Seniors 55 and older get free tuition at any public college or university and a 50 percent discount on books. Louisiana Tech offers a couple of examples showing that one undergraduate or graduate course per quarter would cost only about $45 to 60 in fees, compared with $871 to $1003 without the waiver.
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MAINE

Maine has a mandated tuition waiver for seniors. The University of Maine campus offers free classes to any resident over 65. Students can register with the goal of completing an undergraduate degree or for personal enrichment.
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MARYLAND

The University of Maryland system has a tuition waiver policy for students 60 and older. The Golden ID program waives tuition for retired residents 60 and older and reduces student fees.
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MASSACHUSETTS

Residents 60 and older can get tuition reduced or credited at University of Massachusetts campuses. At University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, tuition is waived. However, fees apply in all cases and can be expensive.
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MICHIGAN

There is no mandated tuition waiver for Michigan seniors, but some schools offer one. Western Michigan University's Senior Citizens Opportunity Program in Education grants residents 62 and older tuition-free enrollment in one class per semester (not for credit). Michigan Tech waives tuition and related fees for up to two courses per semester for students 60 and older.
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MINNESOTA

The Senior Citizen Education Program of Minnesota waives tuition for residents 62 and older at all state-supported schools. Audited classes are free, and classes for credit are $10 per credit.
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MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi State University offers a tuition waiver for retirees 60 and older for two on-campus courses per semester. Senior students are limited to six semester hours per semester with a maximum of 18 hours for the year at the Starkville or Meridian campuses or the Center for Distance Education. The University of Mississippi has a Lifelong Learning program for seniors 65 and older that covers one course per semester for free.
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MISSOURI

All state-supported institutions waive tuition for students 65 and older, but different schools have different rules. Missouri State University-West Plains allows state residents 62 and older to take up to 24 credits of coursework for free but not for credit. At the University of Missouri-St Louis, they may audit a course for a $25 registration fee.
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MONTANA

The Montana University system offers free tuition to residents 65 and older.
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NEBRASKA

At Chadron State College, residents 65 and older can audit one class per semester without paying tuition. Seniors 62 and older can register for credited classes at Mid-Plains Community College for 35 percent off the regular tuition. Metropolitan Community College in Omaha gives residents and non-residents 62 and older a discount of about half off for-credit classes. A tuition waiver for seniors 55 and older applies at Nebraska Indian Community College.
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NEVADA

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is home to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, where members can take as many classes as they like, in topics ranging from cellphone photography to Indian history, for a $150 annual fee. Additionally, seniors 62 and older can attend in the summer at 50 percent off normal tuition fees.
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NEW HAMPSHIRE

Residents 65 and older can get tuition waived for up to two credit-bearing courses per year at the University of New Hampshire. Rivier University has a senior education program in which residents 55 and older can take up to 10 courses for $130 per semester.
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NEW JERSEY

Tuition waivers are mandated for residents 65 and older at any state institution. Rutgers has an auditing program that is free for seniors 62 and older in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick during the fall and spring semesters. At the private Seton Hall University, seniors 65 and older may take selected classes during the summer for a reduced rate of $50 for audited classes and $100 for credit-bearing classes.
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NEW MEXICO

Residents 65 and older may audit classes at any state institution for $5 per credit hour. At most schools there is a cap on how many credit hours eligible students can take per semester. The limit varies by school but is usually six hours.
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NEW YORK

A state program is set to offer free tuition to families with income up to $125,000, and senior students have other options in the meantime, including discounted course auditing at many SUNY schools. Fordham University's College at 60 program offers non-credit seminars and free lecture series for adults over 60, with an option to matriculate into a degree program at 50 percent tuition. Cornell University has a summer program that lets seniors 60 and older attend class without earning credit for 10 percent of the usual fee.
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NORTH CAROLINA

The state repealed its community college tuition waiver for seniors in 2013, but senior citizens still have options. Some University of North Carolina campuses let seniors audit classes for free after paying a $75 registration fee.
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NORTH DAKOTA

North Dakota's State Board of Higher Education provides for a senior citizen tuition waiver at each institution's discretion. Bismarck State College offers students 65 and older a tuition waiver for one audited course per semester. Seniors 65 and older may audit classes tuition-free at Lake Region State College, as well, and Williston State College waives tuition for the same age group.
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OHIO

All schools within the Ohio University system offer residents over 60 the ability to audit classes with waived tuition. Some schools have a Lifelong Learning program where seniors can take cheap, four- to eight-week classes for a $36 membership fee.
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OKLAHOMA

Tuition is waived for residents 65 and older who want to audit classes at all Oklahoma state colleges and universities.
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OREGON

Oregon residents 62 and older can take free or discounted classes at Portland Community College. Oregon State offers free course auditing for those 65 and older, and Portland State University waives tuition for seniors who audit classes.
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PENNSYLVANIA

Tuition waivers vary by school. Penn State offers a limited number of classes for credit or audit for free to students 60 and older. Clarion University waives tuition for state residents 62 and older auditing classes, and the University of Pennsylvania allows those 65 and over to audit classes for free.
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RHODE ISLAND

The pubic institutions of Rhode Island waive tuition for residents 60 and over, who must submit tax forms to show eligibility. If senior students want to take classes for credit, they must submit a financial aid form, as well. At Rhode Island School of Design, senior citizens 65 and older get a tuition discount.
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SOUTH CAROLINA

By state mandate, residents 60 and older can take classes for credit or audit at any public institution of higher learning without paying tuition if they are not employed full-time. Some schools, such as Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, and University of South Carolina Aiken, have programs specifically geared to seniors.
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SOUTH DAKOTA

A 75 percent discount applies at all public institutions for residents 65 and older. This discount can be applied to either undergraduate or graduate course work.
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TENNESSEE

Residents 65 and older may take classes for credit for $7 per credit hour at the University of Tennessee. Senior students can audit classes for free when they turn 60.
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TEXAS

Seniors 55 and older can get reduced tuition at all Texas public institutions. Students 65 and older can get free tuition for up to six credits per semester.
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UTAH

The University of Utah allows residents 62 and older to audit many classes for $25 per semester. There is a $10 registration charge at Salt Lake Community College, Southern Utah University, and other schools.
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VERMONT

Vermont recently eliminated free tuition for senior citizens, but there are still discounts. Beginning in fall 2017, students 60 and older can take classes for credit at half price. At private Marlboro College, seniors 65 and older can arrange with the Dean of Faculty and the instructor to audit one class per semester at no charge.
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VIRGINIA

Virginia residents 60 and older may audit classes at public institutions for free. Senior students may take classes for credit if their income is less than $15,000 a year.
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WASHINGTON

At public colleges and universities, residents 60 and older can take up to two courses per semester for $5 per class. This discount applies to classes taken for credit as well as auditing. Not all classes are subject to the waiver, and people taking intensive summer language courses are obligated to pay a third of the tuition cost.
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WEST VIRGINIA

Residents 65 and older are entitled to reduced tuition at public institutions. At the University of Charleston, seniors over 60 can take two classes per semester, either for credit or not, at a special senior rate, and West Virginia University offers non-credit classes for seniors.
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WISCONSIN

Students 60 and older may audit classes at any Wisconsin public institution for free. The list of classes that can be audited is limited and does not include performing arts, physical education, or math.
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WYOMING

Residents 65 and older may enroll in classes at the University of Wyoming at no charge. At Northwest College, a two-year public school, students 60 and older can take six credits per semester with waived tuition. Classes must be taken for credit.