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Are there any free online college courses for senior citizens?

My dad has never got the opportunity to attend college, and though he has a few self-taught skills, I think it would be great if he could improve his knowledge in a more specific discipline. Going back to class may prove a challenge, but I figure a free online school for adults may work. Are there free online college courses for senior citizens who do not have any prior college skills and can’t attend class? What are the top online courses recommended for adults? Do these courses guarantee a free online certification?

Whitney Matthews

in Online Courses

1 answer

1 answer

Ramon Kelly on April 11, 2018

Retirees and other senior citizens are more and more finding classes as an alternative to moving around or being bored at home. It is a scientific fact that such citizens may lose some of their abilities and some of these programs may keep them healthier and their abilities in check. With a bit of high-speed Internet, your dad would be able to get access to information and better those skills that he’s always desired to get. While it may not be possible to get the whole set of things that classrooms offer one, it will still be a great experience for your dad to learn while still having the comfort of being able to do everything else that he does.

Senior Planet offers you a glimpse at what teaching adults is all about. You can get different perspectives from vets, retirees and other senior citizens who have decided to pursue something online. Sunlife also offers quick tips for senior citizens who want to pursue other endeavors, need a change or want to develop themselves. Seniors can use the same online platforms that provide free tutorials such as EDX, Coursera, and others MOOCs. Even if these don’t suffice, there are options which provide tuition waivers or senior discounts. One example is the Illinois Springfield University’s Senior Learners Program which offers free online college courses for seniors.

If you want to get a scholarship to pursue some of these courses, you can check the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) which provides funding for students 50 years or older. Kent State University also offers a top online course for senior citizens. Lifelong learning is a great opportunity. Other free online schools for adults include:

  • The US SBA, or the Small Business Administration for aspiring or current business owners. The modules cover marketing, copyright, business plans, product pricing and other aspects of running a business.
  • offers a variety of adult courses in lifestyle, personal finance, technology and business among others.
  • The Oxford Home Study College, OHSC although based in the UK, offers training and free online certifications for distance learners in such disciplines as fashion design, construction management, project management and starting a business among others.

Don’t forget to go to YouTube to check out tutorials such as gardening, plumbing, and foreign languages. These will definitely be more fun and practical way for your dad to learn minus the certifications.

Brian Warnera year ago

We keep learning all through our lives, that’s why we shouldn’t be surprised if retired people want to continue their studies. And they’re lucky because they have what many of us don’t - time. They can take courses whenever they want. That’s great! I didn’t know that there were specific free online college courses for senior citizens because they can also take any of the regular courses offered to adult people. It’s nice to know that top online courses for seniors include such recent technologies as web development and design. Learning is definitely open to all ages and that’s wonderful.

Olive Wilson2 years ago

If you’re looking for a free online school for adults, some of the common platforms such as Coursera, EDX and the British Council have normal courses which I don't really think are specifically adult courses. They are courses which anyone can take and maybe get an online certification. Adult learning programs have different objectives. Some may take consideration of the difficulty of regular content to senior citizens. Others may consider the time adults and senior citizens may spend learning the same material as others with all their responsibilities in mind. Whatever the case, you should look for something for your dad that he’s passionate about. Does he want a certification, diploma or degree or is he okay with just learning something new? A suggestion would be to look for learning platforms with lots of video tutorials which will help him learn faster and better.

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