In today’s academically inclined society where people in increasing numbers are recognizing the importance of higher education, we are sure to find students of all ages. No matter what kind of college a student chooses to attend, it is not unusual anymore to see very young students as well as the very well-advanced in years. In the atmosphere of career-oriented training, college, and university study, age no longer matters.
Many very young school students begin taking SAT and other standardized tests in order to assess their skills and strengths and to prepare themselves for taking pre-college exams when the time comes, near the end of high school. In doing so, many are recognized for their excellent academic achievements and are encouraged to begin taking some college classes at a nearby campus. When extraordinarily gifted high school students exhaust the normal course of studies before their expected high school graduation date, they are sometimes encouraged to begin their college education early, so their presence on college campuses is not as surprising or unusual as it once used to be.
Older, more mature students are now gaining insight into the world around them by taking college classes. Students in their 30s and 40s are getting additional education in order to change jobs or advance in their current careers. Many work full-time, raise families, and attend classes at night. It is plain to see that higher education is no longer just for the 18 to 22 crowd.
Senior citizens are attending colleges to begin a new and exciting career, to advance or continue previous learning, or to fulfill a lifetime goal. Students in their 50s, 60s, and older are now sitting among students of much younger ages, and are doing well in their studies because they are dedicated to learning and they are focused on their studies. They understand their time to achieve their educational goals is becoming limited, so they are committed to using their years constructively. These students are well-respected by instructors and among their classmates because they have gained valuable experience over the years, and their advice and perspective is often sought by younger students. Instructors sometimes tap the life experience and knowledge of these students to help in the teaching of class material.
With advancements in online education, there is even less emphasis on age. Students of all ages, from 22 to 75 or older, are welcome to advance their learning in the online classroom. Again, the experiences of aging but sharp-minded individuals are valuable in online classes. The examples set by senior citizens in terms of determination and hard work are examples that may be hard to come by in modern society but are apparent in the online classroom. Most seniors are not setting out to begin new careers, but their persistence in obtaining higher degrees and more knowledge set them apart as extraordinary individuals with high expectations of themselves and high levels of self-esteem.
Age truly doesn’t matter in college anymore. With the global workforce shifting from job to job in search of security, a decent living wage with good benefits, or personal fulfillment, age is irrelevant to the process of obtaining a higher education. People of all ages can experience the rewarding feeling of having earned that prized degree.