Free Online Courses Cater to Seniors

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Updated: February 23, 2020

Free Online Courses Cater to Seniors

Image Credit: Rama / Wikimedia Commons

You have seen the headlines on websites and retirement magazines. You know there are free, high-interest online classes available to you as a senior citizen. But are they free to every senior? If so, how do you find the classes? Can you earn a degree from taking these free courses?

Here are some answers to the questions you may have on how to find free online courses that cater to seniors.


Where can I find free online classes?

Start your search for free online classes for seniors by doing a Google search. Once you bring up, simply type in “free online classes for seniors” in the search bar and hit return.

From there, you will find pages of articles written on the subject. Click on a few that look promising.

You can also use a website called Open Culture. This website looks through the internet to try to find high-quality classes that are available online. They then provide a list of all the courses from a variety of sources. Open Culture is not the only website that does this. It is just one that we found that is easy to navigate.


Are the classes online really free?

Yes, you can find free classes taught by professors from Harvard, Yale, and Oxford online. The courses cover a vast number of subjects.

Many times, you are given the option of taking one of these courses for “credit” or taking the course for informational purposes only. This sometimes is called “auditing” a class.

If you don’t care about earning a degree, and you just want to take a class for fun, there are plenty of options out there for you. You shouldn’t have to input your credit card number or access your PayPal account to take such a class.


Can I get a college degree from taking online classes?

The short answer to this question is “yes.” You don’t need to go to a traditional classroom to earn a college degree anymore. The more complete answer is that if you want a college degree from an online school, you will probably have to pay for it.


What do I need to buy to take an online class?

First, you need a computer, iPad, or other tablet with internet access. You may want to invest in a pair of headphones that connect to your computer to make it easier to hear the lectures, especially if you will be listening to them in a noisy environment.

It doesn’t seem as if you are required to purchase textbooks for very many free online courses, but there may be exceptions to this rule. For example, if you are auditing a literature course, you will probably want to have read the texts, which may be available for free from your local library.

Finally, you may want to have a pen and paper nearby to jot down interesting points.


Will I be required to take exams?

No institution is going to insist that you take exams for free online classes. If the professor or institution asks you to take an exam, it may be only so they can examine their quality of teaching.

The time we have on earth is a gift. Use your time well by learning as much as you can.