College and Senior Citizen Student

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Kevin T. Ellis
English 155/Ms. Quinn
26 March 2013
Essay
Should Colleges Accept Senior Citizen Student
Imagine sitting next to someone’s father or grandmother in a classroom, at first it may feel awkward having a senior age classmate. Later you find they are just well on their subjects both in the classroom and online, and might be someone to consider as a study buddy on a class project. Keep in mind to those older Americans returning to school, the world of the classrooms, can seem both foreign and intimidating. For some senior citizens, taken online courses also eliminate the fear of feeling out of place, where being in a class full of decades-younger students may make them feel, shamed at not having completed their education. Being an online student, they do not have to share their ages or educational background. The flexibility of online courses is also beneficial for seniors with ambulation problems, allows them to still work on class assignments from home. When thinking of education and senior citizens that are returning to school with hopes in getting the degree they missed in the past has their families feeling very proud just to think that they're actually taking advantage of the opportunity that the government has given them to go back to school. Younger students are true believers of the fact that no one is ever too old to learn. The older generations, with the disruption of the wars and the increasing financial insecurities, had to take a back seat to the more primal needs of securing food, shelter, and medical care. These and many others, are reasons why it important that all colleges should allow senior citizens to further their education, it promotes inner growth and it gives them the chance to reconnect with their past and future educational goals, with the added bonus of improving mental and physical health by creating cognitive and corporeal exercise. Mr. Barry Williams (63) Real Estate Management, Sacramento City College Student when asked during an interview whether should colleges allow senior citizens to further their education he stated “They should, and they do. For senior citizens such as myself there are many advantages to returning to school, some of which are totally taking to the learning experience itself. For one thing, my wife and grandchildren feel I’m about the coolest thing on the planet since “peanut and jelly”. For me, the learning make “your brain- cells stand at attention like little soldiers”, because they are taking in so much new information and being stimulated instead of just lying there, and it’s been over forty years since high school for me. Man, history takes on a whole new meaning when the events discussed in class are those which you yourself have lived through especially the wars, and plant layoffs, and getting the chance to share that in class is very helpful. Think about that! Your past historical experiences are added education within a younger group, and on a practical level, give you something else to talk about besides aches, pains, Social Security, Medical, and reading the obituaries”(Williams).

Regardless of age, all students are concerned about tuition, the cost, and how are they going to pay; this can add pressure and stress to the senior citizen student who already financially stressful life. Lucky, provisions for the reduction or even a waiver in most of the states are provided for the senior citizen so they can enroll in classes at institutions that offer higher education. Each school has its own program that it has developed to help aid the senior citizens to pay for school. Even with the opportunities offered, some senior citizens still didn’t take advantage of them. “A number of different reasons for the failure of the elderly to participate in educational opportunities have been proposed”. (Kingston.) The California State system has a program that it has enabled for senior citizen, the cost being significantly lower than the tuition of any...
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