Peggy Barnhardt: Free college for 65+ seniors

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 1, 2018

Peggy Barnhardt

Kudos to Rowan County educators for the innovative move to improve our public school system, raising student proficiency with charter school flexibility.
Traditional barriers can be removed. Hopefully, this will allow for greater input and authoritative-based action on a local plain. The process has been extolled in the news media, but this is not the only change North Carolina has undertaken.
All aboard to the senior education express. Not so widely known is that seniors age 60-plus can attend community college for free.
Effective July 1, 2017, House Bill 702:
Requires the state board of Community Colleges to waive tuition and registration fees for up to six hours of credit per academic semester for senior citizens who are at least 65 years of age and are legal citizens.
No need to rationalize any longer. Get those dreams out of the back seat of the mini van/cab that was used to transport kids and grands back and forth to games, music lessons and the like, and be selfish.
Make that portfolio of all the technical and skilled laden jobs you have had, augmented by everyday activity. The list is long, mother has been busy with activities such as bookkeeping, budgeting, public speaking, house repairs, shopping, nutrition, first aid, stock appropriation. Gather any certificates and workshop credits you have received for different things. I have a whole book of those.
Club affiliation and charitable works are also included, as well as hobbies, and can be parlayed into a host of accolades of accomplishment. Send this eclectic snippet of you to a school of lifelong learning and you might find that you only need a minimal amount of additional credits to receive that degree you always wanted — the one you nearly achieved but that was interrupted by life, pregnancy, child rearing, financial upheaval, fat, lack of faith and whatever other reason that detoured you from the beaten path.
Not to mention having put said dependents through their chosen school, leaving little surplus money for you.
Now retired, you have the time, desire, comfort in your own skin and the confidence to get it done, and best of all it is free.
So join me. I am looking for a school of journalism to pique my interest. There is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you know.
Think about it.

Peggy Ann Barnhardt lives in Salisbury.

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