Why Retirees Are Going Back to College

You're retired with time to do what you love. For many, this means it's the perfect opportunity to learn.

Older student lookin gat a book in a library
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In his recent application to be a student speaker at Western Governors University’s commencement, David Lavers worked hard to showcase himself, and he used age as a selling point: “At 71, I am typically older than my cohorts and most of my instructors.” 

Lavers is part of a small-but-mighty group of retirees and near-retirees who believe that higher education — like youth — is wasted on the young. Each member of this cohort comes with a unique story and reason for starting or going back to school, be it finishing that long-delayed degree, learning a new skill or enhancing a fixed income with part-time work,

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Dawn Wotapka
Contributing Writer

Dawn Wotapka has worked, interned and written for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal, The News & Observer, Los Angeles Times and The Dallas Morning News and SmartMoney magazine. She previously covered commercial real estate for the Long Island Business News, where she won multiple awards for breaking news during what turned out to be the commercial bubble. She serves on the Board of Governors of SABEW, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, where she has worked on the group's development, training and college visitation committees.