Lifelong Learners

Redefining what it means to be a college senior

Whether they’re changing careers, re-routing after detours, or envisioning a brighter future for their communities, the people in these pages — all over age 60 — don’t conform to traditional ideas about college or aging.

Roughly 16 million undergraduates enrolled in schools nationwide in 2020. Of those, 0.54% were between ages 50 and 64, and 0.10% were over 65, according to the Education Data Initiative, which collects data about the U.S. education system.

While the students we met buck the norm, they all share a key trait: They don’t let aging define them. Instead, they’re spinning their age into a unique benefit, a way to add value to themselves and their communities.