Should I go to college?

I just figured out that I can pay off my mortgage in 15 years. By that time, I would be in my late 50s and about ready to retire. I think I would like to go to college.

In England (where I grew up) mature students are not uncommon and university admissions depts know how to deal with them. Is that true in the US (where I live now).

Would the admissions bureaucracy know how to deal with me?

Would I be the only person over 25 taking an undergraduate degree?

It depends on where you go. In my experience, the flagship university with 30,000 students tend to be almost all 18-25 year olds. However the smaller satellite campus with only a few thousand students have far more mature students who are going largely for personal fulfillment or to further their career. I probably saw more people over 40 in my 1 year at a small satellite campus than I did in 3.5 years at the flagship university, despite there being about 20x more students at the flagship.

That is my personal experience through my state college. I’m not sure if it is the same in other states and areas.

I got my MS at 49

I am in grad school now, and I see quite a few students in their late 30’s* and older. I see this becoming more and more common in both graduate and undergraduate studies. In fact, a few students in my major are in their 50’s.

Have you ever considered taking an evening course to see if it is something you’d like to pursue? If time is hard to come by right now, speak with the department and ask if you can sit in on a class for one day.

*includes me!

Although the majority of American undergrads are under 25, older students aren’t unheard of. You probably would not be the first or only older student at your chosen school.

Some colleges have special programs designed to make things a bit easier for non-traditional age students. These are often called something like the “Adult Degree Program” or “Adult Student Program”, and may offer evening classes, reduced tuition, or the opportunity to get academic credit for your work experience.

Ok. Now i need to figure out where to go and what to study!

If I had gone when I was 18 I would have done something i was good at like maths or physics but now I’d rather do something that I am very curious about - but would find more challenging - like cognitive science.

I’m off to go investigate admission requirements for codgers.

At my current state university it’s not that unusual to have someone over 30 or 40 in a class with me, and these are undergraduate classes. I also took some classes for credit at a community/technical college and there it was very common to see older students.

When I was an undergrad in Texas, one of my classmates was in her 60s. She waited until her family was all raised to go for her bachelor’s. A nice lady and a very active participant in our school’s social events. She finally graduated in her 70s; sent me a small news article featuring her and one other senior citizen graduating with their bachcelor’s.

If you live in an urban area, than there is a community college within 10 miles of your house. They would be pathetically happy to teach you whatever you want to learn, and they would be willing to do it for almost no money.

If they can’t meet your intellectual needs, they will point you in the direction of a State or private college that offers a more rigorous course of study.