After you retire, you may decide to travel, start a new hobby or maybe get around to doing the things you never had the time for when working. For many years now, universities such as York U have been offering free or discounted tuition for students aged 60 or better – would you go back to school?

Education for Health

Stimulating your brain is important to your overall health. Did you know that people with less education are at a higher risk for dementia? Mental stimulation throughout your lifetime is important for keeping your brain healthy. Social interaction, learning new skills, playing challenging games and doing activities that engage the mind are helpful in reducing your risk of developing dementia.

Continuing education in adulthood could be a great way to learn more about a particular passion, study to take on a new career or discover a new hobby. It is a great opportunity to establish a structured routine and have daily doses of socialization, engagement and mental stimulation.

York University and Senior Students

There are many universities that offer discounts or free tuition for senior students. York University, for example, waives program fees for degree programs to students aged 60 or better. The fees that are waived are limited to regulated undergraduate and graduate programs. This means you can get a free ride for programs that fall under the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science category. With these program fees waived, you would save approximately $25,000 in tuition fees over the span of a four-year program!

You can read the fine print and see what fees are waived on the York U website here.

Staying Sharp, With or Without School

Having good cardiovascular health (healthy blood sugar, cholesterol levels, blood pressure) and keeping physically active while not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight is associated with better cognitive function.

If you are not looking for a degree program, but would rather sit in on the occasional class or workshop, Senior Toronto has a list of learning opportunities available around Toronto. There are numerous outlets and organizations that offer free or low-cost educational programs in the city.

Whether or not you decide to start a new degree program or participate in local classes, keeping your mind sharp is important for overall health. Here is a list from Harvard Medical School on how to keep your mind sharp at any age. How do you stay sharp?