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Ohio

Lifelong Learning With No Tuition

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

Dortmund offers an information and training session each quarter for prospective students who are unfamiliar with the Office of Continuing Education's online registration process. The next session is Dec. 13 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Dortmund said she also responds to questions by phone, email or in person.

"I have had students say, 'My grandkids went to college and my kids, but I had to work two jobs,' " she said. They enjoy the chance to take college classes without the burden of tuition or grades.

Dortmund advises prospective students to pursue whatever is academically interesting to them.

"Do you want to write your memoirs? Take courses in writing," she said. "Do you love to travel? Take a foreign language course, then practice speaking while you travel."

At Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, people 60-plus can apply as non-degree-seeking students, said registrar Ryan Hunt, who assists with enrollment.

"Start the registration process as early as possible," he advised. Starting early allows Hunt to help a lifelong-learning student find a course that is a good fit.

Bidinger advised touring the college after enrolling to get acclimated. It took him a term or two to learn his way around the Ohio State campus, but even that was an adventure.

During his time as a lifelong learning student, he has discovered that knowing course numbers helps with planning and that taking note of good professors yields ever more interesting experiences. The students even have their own club, the Program 60 Association, which offers day trips, lectures and peer interaction.

You may also like: Wisconsin's program for 60-plus learners.

Gayle Brown is a writer living in Alexandria, Ky.

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