Free Online Courses For Seniors 2021

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University Of Kansas Lawrence Ks

10 BEST ONLINE LEARNING SITES 2021| Free Online Courses & Paid Online Courses!

Chapter 2, Section B.1 in the Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual ensures free tuition for Kansas residents age 60 and older. Under this law, learners can audit eligible courses at a state university, including KU, at no cost.

A senior citizen waiver is available for nondegree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students at KU’s main campus in Lawrence and the Medical Center. Students must submit this form every semester they enroll.

Child Protection: Childrens Rights In Theory And Practice

Harvard University

Child Protection: Childrens Rights in Theory and Practice is a free online course offered by Harvard University via edX. Its ideal for the paralegal working in family law. This beginner-level online class discusses:

  • the impact of violence and abuse on children
  • the ways in which global child protection issues can be analyzed
  • the standards of protection for children in contact with the law

The course is 100% online, offers flexible deadlines, and takes about 1-3 hours per week for 28 weeks.

Clemson University Clemson Sc

Article 5, Title 59 under the South Carolina Code of Laws allows state-supported universities to offer free tuition for seniors.

A large public university, Clemson provides free college classes for seniors. Learners can choose to audit a class or earn college credit. Students must be residents to receive the benefit, and admission is subject to program approval.

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Web Development: How To Build A Blog

Udacity offers the free course “Web Development: How to Build a Blog” for users who have some basic knowledge of computer science and would consider themselves intermediate. In six modules, the course teaches students how to create a blog from the ground up. Even though the prerequisites suggest some web development experience, even users who didn’t have extensive experience say this course was informative and well-executed. During retirement, a blog could keep family and friends informed of new experiences and travels or serve as an educational or informative domain on a topic of interest. This course is on demand, so it can be completed at any time.

Those Who Supports The Learning Of Online Programs And Courses

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Seniors and adult learners will enjoy learning about the many types of online courses that are available to them. And, as you can see, there are a huge variety of options in a wide range of topics to choose from. Each one of these courses listed above, are available online and most are free of charge however, there may be a small fee if the older adult chooses to receive a certificate of completion, which some courses do offer. The types of courses available online range from Business and e-Commerce education, social and ethical studies, the humanities, and climate change responses. There are also courses that express how to get involved in scientific research and how to help care for our own aging parents. Most of these courses are at an introductory level of education, making them easy to comprehend and follow along with the instructors lesson plans or definitions of specific course content. Deciding to learn or study from an online course does come with some responsibility and commitment. Most courses do provide a required amount of time each week to practice or study while in the course. The free online college courses for senior citizens will deliver a flexible learning experience, be sponsored, or provided by top Universities and institutions nationwide and may offer certificates of achievement for completing the course.

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It Supports Cognitive Function

The brain behaves like a muscle, which means in order to keep it strong and healthy, you need to keep it engaged and challenged on a regular basis. Learning something new or sharpening old skills through an online course are great ways to preserve and even strengthen cognitive function.

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Introduction To Environmental Law And Policy

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC at Chapel Hill offers this free course on environmental law and policy via the website Coursera. Included in the syllabus are topics such as property and the environment, common-law approaches to environmental issues, and risk analysis and toxic substances. The course takes about 15 hours to complete.

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Time Tested Ways To Make Pottery Without Potters Wheel

Provided by SkillShare

To some, pottery may seem like an inaccessible activity, especially as you get older. Wheel throwing can be expensive, especially when you may not have the money or time for your own pottery studio. This course from SkillShare takes students through how they can create their own beautiful pottery without needing a potters wheel or any other expensive equipment. SkillShare is an educational platform that offers a variety of courses, some of which are locked by a premium membership. This course is one of those, so you will need the two-week free trial to access it.

This exciting class only takes about an hour and a half to complete and is sure to flex your creative muscles! The free online course for senior citizens takes you through pottery techniques that dont require a lot of training, including making pinch pots, coil constructions, scooping techniques, slab construction, and making textured pots. If you are stuck at home for long periods of time and need a new creative outlet to keep your mind occupied, making your own, unique pottery could be the perfect pastime.

Cost: Free

Certificate: No

Time to Complete: Approximately 1.5 hours

Curriculum: Beginner

  • Start whenever you want and go at your own pace
  • Teaches pottery methods that dont require potters wheel
  • Great for those stuck indoors


  • Course material is not accessible after free trial period

Programs At Specific Colleges

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As you can see from the list above, only about half the states in the country have a statewide law or program guaranteeing free or discounted classes for seniors. However, every state even ones that dont have this kind of law has at least one college or university where senior citizens can take classes at a reduced cost. On top of that, some colleges in states that do have a statewide program offer discounts above and beyond those required by law.

Heres an overview of colleges across the country that provide special deals for seniors.

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Professional Diploma In Interior Design

Provided by Shaw Academy

Shaw Academy believes that your future should go the way you want it, even if you are a senior citizen! There is still so much to gain later in life and this interior design diploma could be the key to starting a new hobby or even career. Typically, access to Shaw Academy means you would have to pay nearly $70 a month. However, this interior design diploma is one of the few courses on the site that is offered at no charge. The diploma takes about 4 weeks to complete and gives you the tools you need to become an interior design pro.

During this globally-recognized course, you will learn about how to create and manage your own interior design projects, whether they are in your own home or in someone elses. The free online course will go over what you can expect as an interior designer, as well as basic design terms and jargon. You will also learn about floor plans, sections, elevations, mock-ups, perspective drawings, individual style, and more. This course is truly a comprehensive look at interior design as a whole, one that will have you ready for any design challenge.

Cost: Free

Time to Complete: Approximately 4 weeks

Curriculum: Beginner

Provided by YouTube and The Studio by Jamie Kinkeade

Cost: Free

Time to Complete: Approximately 15 minutes

Curriculum: Beginner

Provided by SkillShare

Cost: Free

Certificate: No

Time to Complete: Approximately 2 hours

Curriculum: Beginner

Provided by


It Offers Social Opportunities

School is one of the best places to make friends and thats still true with online classes. While virtual learning is remote, it still provides opportunities to connect with others who have similar interests.

With more seniors becoming tech-savvy, there are new ways to collaborate with others and meet new, like-minded people. Here are a few places online where you can meet new friends on the digital playground:

  • Interactive classes with video streaming.
  • Online group projects, like virtual volunteering.
  • Virtual book clubs.

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Other Definitions Of Free

Its much more common to see senior discounts than actual offers of free items. Sometimes, free does mean exactly that: you do not have to pay.

However, there are times that what is advertised as free is very basic and to get to the good stuff you have to pay a fee.

Many courses, including some we have listed below, are actual college classes that are being offered in real time.

Enrolled students are taking these classes as part of their college curriculum.

Colleges and universities have gotten smart, however, and now offer several of these class with an audit only option.

This is why its free to you.

You sign up to audit the class. You get the instruction, materials, videos, etc., but you usually do not have to do the assignments or quizzes.

There are also several definitions of free when it comes to online courses: grants, reduced fees, and reimbursement are very common.

Whatever course you look at, be sure that you understand how any payments work, and guarantee that the course will not cost you money in the long run.

Also, some sites may require you to register to be able to access the courses.

Most of these are free registrations, because they only want to know who is interested in taking their courses.

Once registered, some will curate your choices, and notify you of any new courses in your chosen interests.

These sites will sometimes charge for premium materials.

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Online Courses For Senior Citizens

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2020 has been an incredibly stressful year for everyone, but especially senior citizens. COVID-19 has deeply affected the way that our senior citizens live, since they are much more at risk than younger people for catching the virus. The pandemic has forced many senior citizens to abandon their everyday activities and spend most of their time in their homes, which can be so difficult if you live alone. Having to leave behind friends and family for the majority of the year could leave you feeling depressed or in need of a new hobby to satisfy your creative urges.

The virus and 2020 in general has probably left you, as a senior citizen, wondering what to do next. You likely have questions about what kind of courses you have access to and what kind of learning material would be best for you. Hopefully, some of these answers will quell your anxieties and help you feel confident about starting a new skill or hobby.

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Citizen Science And Global Biodiversity

Identifying and Recording wildlife is a great way to explore nature, while learning how to contribute to wildlife conservatories and provide academic resources for scientific research across the globe. The Citizen Science and Global Biodiversity course, sponsored by Dangoor Education, provides students with a free study on how to become a citizen scientist. The course looks at what a citizen scientist is, and how individuals can learn and build skills through public involvement in scientific research activities. The online recordings of wildlife are used through the platform. Students will learn how a species is identified and the importance of its ecology plays in the research. After taking this course, students will be able to observe, record, and analyze Biodiversity, post observations to the iSpot community, and learn how to identify organisms from real examples. Students will also understand how to best use online ads in identifying nature. This introductory-level course is perfect for seniors, since many older adults have more time to explore nature while in their retirement years.

Edx: Register And Start Learning

Probably the best way to find and participate in MOOC courses is by using edX, an online education platform created in 2012 by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. As of 29 December 2018, edX has around 18 million students taking more than 2,200 courses online.

From the edX website, you can search for and browse courses anonymously but to take a class youll need to register for edX and enroll in the class you want. To register at edX, you can either use an existing social media account or create a new account specifically for taking free online courses. From here, you are taken to a personal dashboard where you can peruse hundreds of free online classes.

Heres an introduction from the edX Youtube Channel.

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Enrolling: Choosing Your Class

Now that you have chosen your class, you are ready to learn. Lets assume that you have chosen U.S. Government Foundations, Democracy and Politics through Purdue University. You can look through the details of the course and see that it is a free six-week course that was created by Purdues highly esteemed faculty. There is no cost to take this course, but you can pay a small fee of $49 to receive a certificate.

When you are ready, click the link to enroll. The link is a large, green box that is prominently displayed. If you have not yet registered, youll be taken to a page where you can do so. Then, as soon as you click to enroll, you will be taken to your dashboard. This is the area where any class in which you enroll will be displayed. When you see the course listed under my classes, you know that you have successfully enrolled. You can now begin learning or look for more courses to add to your list.

Free Online Courses For Senior Citizens

Access 2021 Beginner Tutorial

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Want to Make Extra Money?

Youve finally retired, and youre looking for a way to pass the time. Free online courses for senior citizens can be a great way to pass the time.

It gives you a chance to learn something new at a relaxed pace from inside your very own home.

And with the internet at your fingertips, theres literally thousands of choices to explore for both old and new areas of interest.

In this article, were going to give you a list of the 22 best free online courses for senior citizens. Weve broken down these courses into specific categories as well.

After that, well show you some pointers on how and where to look for free courses, as well as what free might actually mean on different websites.

For each free online course listed here, well give you a description along with a link to a website in which the course can be found.

Lets go ahead and get started.

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Property And Liability: An Introduction To Law And Economics

Wesleyan University

Property and Liability is a free online course which explores the oldest and most familiar principles of American law, property and proportional liability, in a new and surprising way. Its offered by Wesleyan University via Courser. This interesting course covers topics ranging from Exchange and Efficiency to Crime and Punishment. The class can be completed entirely online, has flexible deadlines, and takes about 18 hours to complete.

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Blogging Masterclass By Udemy

Senior citizens are repositories of knowledge and experiences. So why dont you put down all those stories on a blog of your own? Apart from your grandchildren, the world will always be intrigued to listen to your stories. Maybe you had an exciting profession with strange and funny anecdotes. Or maybe you are adept in astronomy, or science or even cooking! Whatever it is, blogging helps you to convey and express your ideas to the world in your style. Udemy helps you to learn to start writing a blog from scratch. If you are already a blogger, this course will help you to hone those skills. For 189.99 USD, you get lifetime access to all of their lessons and a certificate of completion after successful completion of the course. The course can be accessed on your mobile phone, computer, and even your TV. It helps you develop the mindset of a successful blogger and also helps you establish a system in which you never turn out of ideas.

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In fact, some senior citizens begin a whole new career once they reach retirement age.

Or they start a business or decide they want a promotion.

Learning through online courses can help them achieve that.

Even if youre retired, you might still want to dig into learning something thats always been of interest to you, but you never had the time to learn it.

You may not know it yet, but youre about to find out that there are several websites and places where you can go as a senior to get free online courses to expand your learning!

These sites want you to keep learning and growing.

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