Exploring Free College Courses for Seniors in Central Texas

Retirement is a time to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but for those who want to stay intellectually active, investing some of that free time in learning new skills can be a great way to do so. Fortunately, there are many universities across the country that offer free college courses for seniors. In Central Texas, seniors have access to a variety of programs that provide tuition exemptions and other benefits. Education Code 89330 authorizes the popular CSU system to offer free tuition to older people.

Every campus must grant tuition exemptions to California residents age 60 and older, which include tuition fees, applications, health services, and instruction-related activities. Final year students can enroll in regular-session undergraduate courses in subjects such as art, humanities, agriculture, and computer science. In South Carolina, Article 5, Title 59, of the South Carolina Code of Laws allows state-supported universities to offer free tuition for seniors. Clemson is one such university that offers free college classes for seniors.

Students can choose to attend a class or earn college credit. Students must be residents to receive the benefit, and admission is subject to program approval. Georgia Tech also offers a program for people over 62 that offers an exemption for both state graduate enrollment and applicable student fees. Ohio has similar regulations regarding enrollment, residency, and space availability as outlined in Section 3345.27 of the Ohio Revised Code.

The Ohio State 60 Program targets residents of the state who have lived in Ohio for at least one year. Anyone aged 60 and over can apply for free online college, undergraduate, or graduate courses for seniors. Penn State's GO-60 program allows residents age 60 and older to take undergraduate courses (but not earn a degree). Participants must work less than 20 hours a week or be retired and meet the course requirements. Credited classes are available at all Penn State campuses at no tuition cost depending on the space available. Rutgers offers the Auditing Program for the Elderly with free college courses for seniors, as available.

State residents age 62 and older can attend classes at no tuition cost, although they must pay for textbooks. Rutgers free college classes for seniors are available on campuses in New Brunswick, Camden and Newark. The Assembly's Bill A6380 would allow free courses with credit for students aged 65 and over if passed. Many SUNY campuses already exempt seniors from tuition and offer non-credit courses, seminars and workshops for retirees. Connecticut state law allows residents age 62 and older to qualify for a tuition exemption at any public institution of higher education. UConn's auditing program for seniors offers seniors the option of auditing undergraduate courses.

However, space must be available in fall or spring, and the instructor must give permission. Delaware law authorizes residents age 60 and older to attend college without paying tuition under Chapter 34, subchapter X. Seniors are responsible for paying for books, supplies, and laboratory and store fees. UD's free study program for people over 60 years of age uses a format of availability of places and does not cover continuing education classes. Chapter 1009 of the Florida statute authorizes state universities to exempt tuition and related fees for residents age 60 and older. UF's program for people over 60 years old offers free tuition and covers fees for seniors who audit a course.

The exemption depends on space availability and the university may limit courses. The Illinois Senior Courses Act allows public universities to enroll seniors in courses with regularly scheduled credits without charging tuition. Residents age 65 and older are eligible in the U of I, as long as space is available. Chapter 2, Section B, 1 of the Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual guarantees free tuition for Kansas residents over 60 years of age. Under this law, students can audit eligible courses at a state university, including KU, at no cost. An exemption for seniors is available for undergraduate and graduate students who are not seeking a degree on the main campus of the University of California at Lawrence and at the Medical Center. Students must submit this form each semester in which they enroll. Section VIII.230 of the policies and procedures of the University of Maryland System guarantees the right of older people to free university courses.

Any retiree age 60 or older whose main income comes from retirement benefits may be eligible for a tuition exemption at a member institution, including UMD which offers the Golden ID Program. In Massachusetts, the categorical tuition waiver provides financial support to people who can't afford higher education without help. Seniors must pay an administrative fee and the costs of materials, personal goods and services unless they are auditing a course. The UMN Senior Education Program offers reduced costs for auditing classes and obtaining university credits. In Oregon, the enrollment classification for seniors applies to residents age 65 and older and allows them to attend classes at no cost. The benefit is based on available space and individual departments must grant approval. Seniors can take classes focusing on topics such as creative writing, goldsmithery and jewelry making, language studies, digital art, disability studies. Chapter 54 of the Texas Education Code authorizes state universities to offer free tuition to Texas residents over the age of 65. Like most tuition exemptions, the award doesn't cover fees, books or continuing education classes.

UT Austin offers free tuition for seniors up to six credits. The UVA Elderly Exemption Program offers courses with credit without charging tuition or fees to Virginia residents aged 65 or older who are not seeking a degree or certificate from UVA.


Seniors have access to many opportunities when it comes to taking college classes in Central Texas without having to pay full price or any price at all! With so many options available it's easy to find something that fits your interests while also taking advantage of these great programs that allow you to stay intellectually active during retirement.