Public college free for Georgians over 62

Public college free for Georgians over 62

Earlier in the week, we told you about Fort Valley State University Wildcat Matthew Brown. He's 70 years old and about to graduate.

His story got some of you talking on social media about state rules that say anybody who's 62 years or older can go to a state college for free.

Jobie Peeples went to Georgia College in Milledgeville to talk to a 67-year-old student who says she never wants her education to stop.

"I truly just want to enjoy life, and this is one way of doing that," says Connie Rickenbaker, who has been at Georgia College in Milledgeville for two semesters now.

Although she's a retired educator, Rickenbaker's here as a student.

"I took Painting 1 the first semester and Painting 4 this semester," says Rickenbaker.

Rickenbaker is taking college courses for free. 

It's part of a program through the University System of Georgia. If you're over the age of 62, you can enroll in any public Georgia university at no cost.

"Here at Georgia College, we encourage lifelong learning," says Tumaini Afful, ransfer Admissions Counselor.

Afful says Georgia College receives between 5 and 10 applications for senior citizens each year. She says she wants to see that increase.

"Having a non-traditional population really enhances our population overall. It's important," says Afful. "I think seniors bring life experience to younger students in the classroom."

Afful says the process is simple to enroll. Georgia College offers online or paper applications.

You can either choose to audit a class, meaning you can take the class but not for a grade, or you can pursue any degree, and the best part is that it's all free.

Afful says the only cost students may pay for is a lab or technology fee.

To qualify, only two things are required.

Afful says, "That's it. 62 years of age and a legal Georgia resident."

Rickenbaker says she's marked off several accomplishments in her life, so now with her education at Georgia College, she says this is something she'll continue indefinitely.

"You're doing this for you."

So no matter the reason, it's never too late to continue learning.

If you're over the age of 62, you can enroll at any public university in Georgia.

For more information about enrolling at Georgia College, visit their website.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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