Get schooled on classes in the D.C. area
Yearning to take classes again? There are numerous free or low-cost options for continuing education in the Washington Metropolitan area. From archaeology to politics, here are a few to look into.
George Mason University Audit Program
George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., enables those 60 and older who have lived in Virginia for at least one year to audit classes tuition-free. Students may enroll in up to three courses of their choice per semester.
Sitting in on the course is free, though you are responsible for additional course fees, such as those for labs. To take the course for credit, students would need to provide proof of their income, which cannot exceed $23,850 per year, to qualify for free tuition.
George Washington University Audit Program
George Washington University in Washington, D.C. also has an audit program, which is available to GWU alumni of all ages and to those 60 and older who live in neighborhoods surrounding the school’s Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses (ZIP codes 20037 and 20006).
Professors have to approve of the student’s audit before registration, so email or ask them on the first day of class.
Alumni under 60 pay $125 to register ($65 for alumni and local residents 60 and older). For more information, visit https://alumni.gwu.edu/course-audit, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (202) 994-1972.
Georgetown University Senior – Citizen Auditor Program
Students 65 and older may audit classes at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Students can sit in on undergraduate level courses (course numbers 400 and lower), which are available as long as there is space. Students take lecture-style coursework and do not submit materials for grading.
Registration costs $50 per class, and students should attend the first day of class to get approval to audit, then send the application and $50 to the school. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/GeorgetownAuditProgram or call (202) 687-8700.
Lifelong Learning Institute – Montgomery College
Montgomery College is a community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville and Takoma Park, Md.
Their Lifelong Learning Institute offers classes in archaeology, art and history, career and employment, current events, literature and writing, film, personal achievement, home and garden and more.
Adults 60 and older qualify for free tuition, though they are responsible for any extra fees. If under 60, students pay per class, with tuition beginning around $20. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/MCLifelongLearning or call (240) 567-5188.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute – American University
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is a nonprofit corporation at American University in Washington, D.C., which provides continuing education classes and activities for its members. Their motto is that “curiosity never dies” and that learning is a lifelong process that never ends.
Operating like a small liberal arts college, OLLI offers courses in literature, poetry, art, music, economics, politics, astrophysics and health and wellness classes. There are also many 90-minute study groups available, where you can attend or lead topics of interest. There are no grades or tests — just group learning.
Membership fees of $300 per semester (or $550 for the fall and spring semesters) allows participation in up to three groups at once. For more information, visit www.olli-dc.org/home, or call (202) 895-4860.
University of Maryland Golden ID Program
University of Maryland’s Golden Identification Card allows access to students 60 years of age and older who are retired, legal residents of Maryland to a wide variety of courses on campus. Students register on a space-available basis for a maximum of three classes. The card also includes use of the libraries and other non-academic services.
Students are responsible for application fees, and tuition is waived, though there is a part-time undergraduate student fee of $62.50 per semester. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/UMDGoldenID or call (301) 314-8385.
University of District of Columbia, free senior tuition
The University of the District of Columbia offers free tuition for D.C. residents age 65 and older. Students may take two classes per semester for free, as long as space is available. Students 65 and over who are seeking a degree also qualify for 50 percent off tuition.
For more information, visit http://bit.ly/UDCSeniorTuition or call (202) 274-6697.