Benefits to auditing a college course

Adult education offers many different ways to learn. One such opportunity is through auditing a class. Many colleges offer the ability for adults to take a class for the pleasure or need of learning and this is referred to as auditing. When students audit a class they do not receive credit for the class or a formal grade. You might be wondering why someone would go through the trouble of registering and taking a class they have no desire to appear on their transcript.

There are many reasons some choose to do this. Many adult students already have a degree, but in a changing world may need additional training or knowledge to get up to speed. Another reason is an individual may have to take other higher learning, but need to refresh on some basics first and don’t need the grade, just the information. There are many advantages to auditing a class. Here are a few of the common reasons why adults may choose to audit a college class:

Learn without pressure

Students who audit classes can learn without pressure. Since they aren’t pursuing the class as a part of a curriculum program, most of the time auditing students are not required to take tests, write papers or participate in projects unless they choose to do so on their own accord. This takes a lot of the pressure off busy adults who are only in the class for the exposure of knowledge and not using it towards earning a degree.

Auditing students aren’t graded, so if the subject is a tough one, there are no worries about having a negative impact on a transcript. If the reason is to learn information for work or for foundational knowledge for another advanced degree program, the grades won’t matter anyway, so why absorb that pressure?


This is a good benefit because if the class goes for 15 weeks, but you are only interested in particular segments you can opt to only attend the weeks that cover the topics you are desiring to learn. This is especially important to busy adults who are balancing careers and families with learning or gaining skills. This can sometimes be disruptive to a class, so it is a courtesy for the student to check with the professor first if they plan on missing many sessions, especially if teams or group activities and projects are planned.

Proof of attendance

Even if a grade isn’t desired, auditing a class does appear on a transcript, which is a benefit to some people. Adults looking to receive acknowledgement, for instance a resume or employer, will receive documentation they sat in the class. 


Books often augment a class, but it is not uncommon for professors not to use books in classes that rely upon lectures and presentations. If no books are really required in class and the information desired can be achieved through taking notes and viewing presentations, this is less costly.

While there are many advantages to auditing a class it is important to remember, you won’t get graded for your efforts nor will you receive any kind of college credit. The experience is purely for learning purposes and to be exposed to topics you either need to know or find interesting.