Think you’re too old for college? Women over fifty are changing the face of continuing education. The emergence of convenient degree programs for adults in community colleges and universities, distance education, online universities and virtual classrooms have exploded the world of continuing ed for women fifty and beyond and made opportunity more possible than ever before. The ability to earn a legitimate degree from a reputable university is now attainable for all ages of student.
This is not your parents continuing education that probably consisted of night school. College for baby boomers ranges from your local brick-and-mortar community college or university to online university programs where you will probably never meet another student face to face. You may choose to look at some unique programs or more traditional degrees, but most are highly flexible…the choice is yours and the options are endless!
A World of Opportunity for Adult Students
Mature women often have the confidence in their professional backgrounds and a strong ability to learn new information. Yet it often seems that there’s that perpetual fifteen-year-old stuck in the back of your brain needling you…will you fit in? Not to worry! Adult students are no longer the silent minority in colleges across the country.
Today, both traditional universities and online degree programs host students of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, with convenient, affordable programs for working adults. If your family has changed, you’re familiar with empty nest and opportunity, the possibilities are indeed endless! It’s a wonderful experience to exchange ideas with a 25-year old marketing professional from Seattle and a 35-year old stay-at-home mother of three from Florida.
World’s Oldest College Graduate
So…are you too old for college? If you’re entering or navigating midlife and have the desire to be a lifelong learner, think of Nola Ochs. In Spring 2007, Ms. Ochs graduated from the Fort Hays State University in Kansas at the age of 95, becoming the world’s oldest college graduate, and was named Kansas Woman Leader Of The Year. She went on to become the oldest recipient of a Master’s Degree at age 98 on May 15, 2010. As of her 100th birthday in November 2011 she was an M.A. student at FHSU and a graduate teaching assistant. So, if you’re wondering if starting college after age 50 is too late, the answer is a resounding “No!” For so many women today, turning fifty is just the beginning
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in October 2010 and has been revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.