“Retirement is a time to enjoy the things you never could before.”
More and more retirees are looking at going back to class through university courses, night classes, remote learning, or study groups.
There are plenty of reasons to do this: learning new skills, retraining, making better use of your free time, etc. Education is a great way to keep your brain active during retirement, too.
Are you retired? Ready to go back to school?
In this article, we'll look at how you can get financial help for classes, the types of classes that senior citizens can enrol on, and which type of classes are best after retirement.
A lot of retirees knew they’d want to go back to school the second they retired. Not because of financial reasons, but because it’s something rewarding that they’d be able to do with their newly-found free time.
There are a lot of options for retirees in terms of cost and there are even grants or loans available. Do your research as there may be financial aid available to you.
With most courses, you can ask what financial help is available to you and the head of admissions or someone at the school or university will be able to point you in the right direction.
The financial aid available regularly changes so even if there wasn’t anything available a few years ago, there might be something now.
If you can’t get any financial aid, you might want to look at cheaper courses or even courses that are available for free. Though you mightn’t get a qualification out of these courses, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a good use of your time and a rewarding experience.
There are plenty of free courses available specifically for retirees out there.
There are plenty of distance learning opportunities for retirees.
Thanks to the internet, these have never been so popular.
You can find courses offered by colleges and universities that you can do from the comfort of your own home or the local library so think long and hard about why you want to keep learning and you might realise that a distance learning course is right for you.
There are plenty of sites including The Open University where you can find more information on remote learning, too.
You don’t need to do a degree course, either, and there are plenty of remote learning options.
The Open University
The Open University is the remote learning option for those who also want to take a university course, which is good if you’d struggle to attend classes at a given time.
You can study at your own pace. You’ll also have access to plenty of different learning resources, but, of course, you need to be driven as there won’t be anyone there to make sure you do the work. With the open university, seniors can study whilst also getting help with their course.
If you’re set on learning in person, then there are still a few things you’ll want to consider. You’ll need to think about where you’ll learn. Not every class needs to be at an academic establishment like a college or a university and you can always attend classes at a community centre, for example.
There are plenty of local community centres and libraries that offer courses designed for senior citizens where they can learn how to use computers and modern technology or even skills they can use in the real world.
Universities are, by design, one of the most obvious places to learn. You can attend classes and enrol on courses at a local university and you don’t necessarily need to be doing a whole degree, for example. There are also options where you can just attend classes to learn without having to take the exams.
Of course, if you attend the class, you may as well take the exam just to see how you’re doing, especially if the exams and the qualifications are included in the cost of the course.
You can also enrol on courses just as any other student would.
At a university, you can study:
- Bachelor’s Degrees
- Master’s Degrees
- Foundation Degrees
For many university courses, there are prerequisites such as A Levels or equivalent. A course guide will explain the entry requirements before you apply. However, there is sometimes some flexibility.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Choose the course.
- Plan your application.
- Make sure that you’re aware of the qualifications required.
- Put together your application.
- Wait for your the results of your application.
The cost of a university degree is £9,250 per year. That said, you don’t need to study for a degree.
As you’ve seen, there are many options and it mightn’t be worthwhile spending as much on a degree that you’re studying just for fun as there may be other courses that are just as interesting but cost far less.
Carefully consider what you want out of a course.
Validate Your Skills
You might want a qualification that represents and confirms your skills.
Even if you never got a qualification for what you did for a living, you might want something to show off the skills you acquired.
You won’t need to start from scratch, either. In many cases, you won’t need to study as much and you’ll just need to learn what’s on the exams. You might even learn a thing or two that you didn’t learn during your career.
This is a great option for those who learnt on the job and never had the opportunity for classroom-based learning.
Now you have a few options for returning to the classroom or learning remotely. You can now focus on your studies. You can still learn a lot once you’ve retired.
Of course, if you don't fancy attending classes at university or doing an online course, there are plenty of private tutors who'd be happy to offer to tutor older students. After all, the tutorials are designed with the student in mind, making them suitable for anyone.
If you're looking to learn a new skill, brush up on old ones, or just try something different, consider getting help from a private tutor on Superprof. There are tutors offering lessons in academic subjects, arts and crafts, foreign languages, sports and coaching, and even guidance and life coaching.
There are three main ways that private tutorials are usually taught: face-to-face, online, or in groups. Each type of tutoring comes with its pros and cons so think carefully about what you want from the tutoring before you decide on the type of tuition to get.
Face-to-face tutorials are excellent for those looking to learn something quickly as every minute of every session is spent focusing on you as you'll be the only student. Similarly, the lessons can be planned with you in mind and tailored to your level, ambition, and experience. These types of tutorials are also good for those with limited mobility as a lot of tutors travel to their students.
If you can't find a tutor for a certain subject in your local area, you can always look to online tutorials. As long as you have a decent internet connection and a webcam (which often comes built in to modern laptops, tablets, or smartphones), you can get private tutorials from tutors anywhere in the world. Since they don't have to travel and have fewer outgoings, online tutorials tend to be slightly cheaper than face-to-face tutoring.
Group tutorials are an excellent choice for those on a budget as you get to share the cost of the tutor with the other students in attendance. Similarly, if you're looking to take classes to maintain a social life into retirement, group tutorials are probably your best option. Almost every type of class works well in a group, too.
Before you start contacting private tutors, we recommend making a list of requirements so that you know what you're looking for in a tutor. After all, there are literally thousands of tutors on Superprof website and you won't want to waste your time contacting tutors who aren't what you're looking for.
Once you've got a better idea of what you're looking for, start getting in touch with tutors and remember that many of them offer the first lesson for free. You can use these free sessions to try out several different private tutors before deciding upon the one that's right for you, your budget, and what and how you'd like to learn.