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A look at college deals for retirees, seniors

By The Associated Press
August 6, 2010

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Discounted, or even free, tuition is available for senior citizen and retirees.

Here's a look at some places where retirement-age students can find deals and tuition waivers, based on available class space:

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Many two-year or community colleges allow senior citizens to audit classes for free, or waive tuition for classes taken for credit. The senior typically must be a state or county resident, and be at least 60, 62 or 65 years old, depending on the school and state. Some schools apply income limits, such as no more than $15,000 during the previous year.

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

States that offer statewide tuition waivers for at least some of their public colleges include Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C., according to FinAid.org. Textbook costs and sometimes fees are not covered.

A sampling of individual scholarships or tuition programs available for seniors at universities and colleges:

-- Northern Michigan University offers free tuition to all Michigan residents age 62 or older through its Senior Citizen Scholarships. On-campus classes only.

-- Penn State University's Go-60 Program provides free tuition for all Pennsylvania residents, Penn State alumni or former employees who are at least 60 years old and retired or working less than half-time. Must meet all course prerequisites.

-- The University of Delaware offers free tuition for undergraduate and graduate courses to Delaware residents age 60 and up through its Over-60 Tuition Free Degree Program.

-- Boston University's 30-year-old Evergreen Program enables individuals 58 and over to audit undergraduate classes for $100 per course and to attend special seminars led by university faculty.

-- Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland currently has a program that enables seniors age 65 and older and alumni of any age to audit courses in the College of Arts and Sciences for 10 percent of the listed cost. A new program that will be fully in place for the spring 2011 semester will allow seniors to audit classes in any of the university's eight schools and colleges for $40 per credit hour.

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-- Sources: FinAid.org, individual colleges

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