University of Wisconsin caters to boomers returning to school
More and more colleges are offering baby boomers ways to head back to school, but few are going quite as far as the University of Wisconsin. This school is letting anybody over the age of 60 audit classes at any of its 26 campuses for free, AARP reports.
At the school's flagship campus in Madison, the program has become increasingly popular since it started in 2000. Today, about 370 older students enroll in classes each semester, which is about three times as many as a decade ago.
The program has numerous benefits to Madison as well as the residents who live there. The city has a large proportion of retirees and experts say local condominiums highlight their proximity to the school. Additionally, the advantages of going back to school cannot be overlooked.
"We think this program is a great way for folks who are 60-plus to take the next step in the lifelong learning process," communications director for AARP Wisconsin Jim Flaherty told the website. "The brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised."
Of course, Wisconsin isn't the only school that offers baby boomers with such opportunities. Homeowners at Del Webb Celebrate have easy access to the ElderStudy program at the University of Mary Washington in Fredicksburg, Virginia.
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In years past, it may have seemed unusual to see scores of older adults heading back to the classroom, but that is no longer the case. Many retirees make lifelong learning a priority once they leave the workforce, and few people are more emblematic of this growing trend than 92-year-old Ruth Elliott.
After retiring, adults have many decisions to make. Do they want to embark on an encore career? Travel? Perhaps they want to volunteer. But one of the most popular options for boomers is heading back to the classroom.
The baby boomer generation has been shaping travel trends for decades, and now as millions of its members are heading toward retirement, it is doing the same thing once again.
Heading back to the classroom has become a popular retirement activity for older adults.