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Lifelong Learning With No Tuition

Ohio residents 60+ can audit classes in all public colleges and universities

"They add so much to the class," Beyerchen said. "They can sometimes validate what I say. I can draw on their life experiences during my lectures. And the younger students are awed. They say, 'Here's someone who lived through that period in history.' "

At the University of Cincinnati (UC), prospective students enroll in the Senior Audit Program through the Transfer and Lifelong Learning Center. Admissions officer Eric Weaver recommends that students interested in auditing a course first complete a form available on the Senior Audit Program website and fax, mail or take it to his office. They should then select several courses to audit in case their first choices are filled. Registration is online.

At the University of Toledo, Program 60 students, who must first be admitted to the university, can register for almost any undergraduate class. They seem to favor classes in music, art, history, ceramics and business but can enroll in almost any class that interests them, said Dennis Lettman, dean of the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning.

Registration for spring classes opens Jan. 6 in Rocket Hall, room 1550. There are help sessions hourly from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. in that room. Help is also available by phone and on the department Web page.

Ohio State was the first institution in Ohio to offer tuition-free courses to older adults and has been doing so since 1974. According to program coordinator Diane W. Dortmund, its Program 60 is the gateway to classes from 180 departments, including honors and graduate-level courses.

Program 60 participants enjoy being around the young students, and professors often make a special effort to welcome older students who want to audit classes, she said.

Next: A club just for Program 60 students. >>

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