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Art and College at 60

Updated on December 14, 2011

First Steps to College

Deciding to go to college at 60 can be a scary experience. I went to my local college and got a catalog of the courses of study they had to offer. Having already knew I wanted to study art and also the business end of being a self-employed artist, my next goal was to find funding. I applied for financial aid at the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) website. Go there if you are interested in financing a college education. It is the free government site. Before you go there think about what you want to accomplish with your education, eg. course of study, a degree, a certificate, etc. The college catalog with help with this. The FAFSA site will walk you throught all the details including the information you will need for the application for financial aid.

Once you have completed the application you'll be directed to the college you have chosen where you will be able to check on the status of your financial aid application. In my case I was awarded a grant and chose not to apply for a student loan. You might want to give this a lot of thought. You don't have to pay back grants, but you do have to pay back a student loan. If you think you may need a student loan, apply for it at the same time. You will get all the instructions you will need at the FAFSA site and your college site. At this point, with your applications completed, it's a waiting game. Within a week or so you will receive confirmation either by snail mail or email, your choice.

When your financial aid is awarded, be ready to sign up for a 'new student orientation' class at your college. Visit the campus when you can. Quarterly or Semester catalogs come out about a month before the quarter or semester begins. This is when the orientation classes are usually offered. The class is usually free. After that, your registration/enrollment process begins.

If you're a 'senior citizen', ugh, wish they had a lovlier phrase for that, like me you may think it will be hard to go to school with all the young people. But it is amazing just how diverse the age groups are at college. Let that be the least of your thoughts! Fly free! If you haven't already, it's time to make your dreams come true!

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