Valdosta Daily Times

Business

September 22, 2013

Animal House grown-up style!

SAVANNAH — In January, I will be returning to college to obtain my master's degree. I always knew that getting an advanced degree was a goal of mine before I turned 30, so I got a job working at a university. This enables me to go back to school at no charge because the state will be picking up the check thanks to the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

Now, I realize my circumstances are not an option for everyone. Some of you are in a field that doesn't allow you to transition to a university job, and others don't have any sort of degree, which limits the amount of full-time positions you are qualified to hold. However, this doesn't mean that you can't find an affordable way to go back to school.

Georgia has ruled that 62 is not too old to party

Georgia is a great state to live in if you wish to attend college. Aside from the HOPE Scholarship, they also offer the 62+ Program for Georgians 62 and Older. Georgians 62 years of age and older are eligible to resume, continue, or even begin their college education without paying most of the normal fees or tuition.

The program is designed to allow applicants to register for college-level-courses for credit or audit, on a “space available” basis subject to the following requirement:

• You are able to meet all admission requirements for the college and the program of study you wish to enter.

• You must be 62 years of age or older at the time of registration and must present proof of age.

• You must be classified as a Georgia resident in accordance with the Georgia Board of Regents' outlined requirements for residential status.

MOOC

Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC) became extraordinarily popular during the collapse of our economy. They are online courses that are typically offered by top-tier universities. For example, Harvard offers open courses as a part of their Open Learning Initiative through edX. You can take courses online that are completely free and though they do not give you college credit, you get an Honor Code Certificate that shows you completed the course. I think it is a great solution for someone who is on the fence about college. Take some courses free of charge, see how it fits into your schedule and above all else, if you actually like it. Think of it as a college test drive. For more information, go to www.edx.org.

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