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What Colleges Have Free Tuition for Senior Citizens in LA?

Learn which colleges offer free tuition for senior citizens in Los Angeles, CA. Seniorly offers a list of free classes for seniors looking to expand their minds.

By Seniorly Editor · Updated Jan 26, 2023

There's a growing trend in the United States involving senior citizens and continuing education. Los Angeles seniors are among the hundreds of thousands from their generation taking advantage of extra time in retirement to get out of their senior living communities to socialize and sharpen their skills in college classrooms. According to MarketWatch, there were 512,000 students 50 and older enrolled in undergraduate institutions in the fall of 2015.

For Los Angeles senior citizens, there are a number of benefits of returning to college. Beyond socialization and keeping the mind sharp, many older adults are returning to Los Angeles colleges and universities to earn the degree that eluded them earlier in life. The best part is, senior citizens don't necessarily have to pay to go back to college.

California has numerous colleges that offer free tuition to senior citizens, including several in the Los Angeles area. According to Seniorly's Los Angeles Partner Agents, residents of Los Angeles senior living communities can attend two- and four-year community college programs or even attend one of the many California State University campuses across Los Angeles County. Here are universities and colleges that offer free classes for seniors in LA.

California State University System

The California State University system has a Senior Citizen Education Program that offers free tuition to Los Angeles senior citizens looking to return to college. This applies to California residents ages 60 and older and not only provides free tuition, but also eliminates application fees and lowers all other student fees for senior citizens to $1. Local senior citizens can participate in college programs at the following Cal State University locations in Los Angeles:

Through the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute partnership with CSU Long Beach, seniors aged 50 and older can attend non-credit classes at CSU Long Beach. These free classes for LA citizens are designed to help hem maintain a sharp mental edge as they age.

University of California System

Similarly, OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute has partnered with the University of California system to offer free, non-credit classes for seniors aged 50 and older. These tuition-free courses are available in the Los Angeles area through the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) at its extension near the main campus.

Los Angeles Community Colleges

Los Angeles, CA senior citizens can also attend community colleges across Los Angeles County without worrying about tuition. In 2017, California passed a law designed to make community college free in the state. The program allocated $46 million to 114 community colleges in the state to help cover some student costs.

In the case of community colleges, older adults should do some extra research before choosing a school. Los Angeles community colleges have the flexibility to spend the allocated money to meet student needs. In most cases, colleges use government funding to provide free tuition and to help cover other costs. To find out if a community college near you has free classes for seniors, reach out to those institutions. Examples include:

Why go back to school?

Seniorly's guide to Los Angeles, California senior living facilities shows that many residential care facilities near you provide plenty of onsite amenities and programs for entertainment, learning, and socialization. But if you still want to branch out and remain connected to the greater Los Angeles community, going back to school is a great outlet. Whether you choose non-credit classes simply to keep your mind honed or want to complete a degree, there are plenty of Los Angeles universities and colleges offering discounts or free tuition to senior citizens.

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