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Free (or Cheap) College for Retirees in All 50 States

Retirees, you're already a bona-fide graduate of the school of hard knocks - your decades of full-time employment. There's still plenty to learn, however, whether your goal is pursuing a second act in your career or lifelong learning to keep your brain sharp.

Across the country, retirees can take advantage of free (or close to it) college courses for older residents at various public and private institutions. Some programs allow folks as young as 55 to participate.

Most free-tuition programs make older students wait until registration for classes has closed and the add-drop period has ended. In other words, paying students generally get first priority, and you'll only be able to enroll "on a space-available basis." In most cases, you have to go through the normal admissions process and be accepted at the college or university before you can enroll in individual classes. And while tuition may be waived, you may encounter fees to apply or register or to use labs or other resources tied to a particular class. You'll also have to pay for books and other course materials.

Many free-for-retirees programs only allow you to audit classes, meaning you won't get college credit.

Take a look.

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All Alabama residents age 60 and older can take advantage of free tuition at two-year post-secondary institutions in the state, according to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.

Senior students first must meet the school's admission requirements. Contact the financial aid office of any of the 24 community and technical colleges in the Alabama Community College System, including Calhoun Community College in Decatur (the largest school in the system), Alabama Technical Institute and Marion Military Institute.

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