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Lifelong Learning

College becomes a trend among boomers

In 2007, a survey from U.S. News & World Report revealed that the number of college students aged 40 to 64 increased by 20 percent to almost 2 million in the past decade alone. As more boomers begin to retire, experts predict that this trend will continue to increase. 

"Students generally want to ensure that they will get... a better paying job, higher-level position or new career path," Lisa Paris, assistant vice president of marketing and communications with Peirce College, told FoxNews.com. "Some older students, however, return to school for personal fulfillment reasons."

Whether they're looking to train for an encore career or just dabble in a new subject, boomer students are here to stay. Now that online learning programs have become prevalent, going back to the classroom is even easier than before.

Paris recommends that mature students who are unsure of how to get back in the learning groove initially audit classes, so that they can get reacquainted with the pace and academic rigor required.

"If they have been out of an academic environment for a long time, find out how the college prepares students to transition back to studying and college-level courses," she explained to the website.

She added that boomers who are planning to hit the books again should decide how much they can actually spend on school. Degrees can be costly, especially if someone is already planning for retirement and paying other living expenses..

Many retirement communities have relationships with lifelong learning institutions. For example, Del Webb Celebrate homeowners have access to the Mary Washington ElderStudy program at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Whether you want to explore the historical town during a field trip with fellow students, learn about philosophy or dabble in architecture, the robust class curriculum has a little something for everyone. 

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