Program Eligibility: In compliance with the Code of Virginia’s Section 23 of the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act, senior citizens (persons 60 years of age and older), who have been legally domiciled in Virginia for at least one year may take courses without paying tuition or required fees, except for course materials, under certain conditions. A senior citizen shall only be admitted to a class, tuition-free, after all tuition paying students have been accommodated. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact your school’s Registrar to determine if space is available. Tuition-paying students are given priority. Here's the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) FACT Sheet for additional information.
Courses for Credit: If the senior citizen has taxable income of not more than $23,850 in the preceding year, the individual may take a course for academic credit free of tuition and fees, except for fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials. If you are enrolling for credit, the University requires proof of income eligibility (e.g., a copy of completed current or last calendar year IRS 1040 Form). Please submit this supporting documentation with your completed form.
There is no restriction on the number of courses that may be taken for credit in any term or semester, or on the number of terms or semesters in which an eligible senior citizen may take courses for credit.
Courses for Audit: A senior citizen, regardless of income level, may audit a course that is given for academic credit or take a noncredit course free of tuition and fees, except for fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials.
There is no limit placed on the number of terms or semesters in which a senior citizen who is not enrolled for academic credit may register for courses, but the individual can take no more than three noncredit courses in any one term or semester.
The two additional conditions listed below must be met before a senior citizen may take a course under the provisions of this program:
- The senior citizen must meet the appropriate admission requirements of the institution in which the student plans to enroll, and
- The senior citizen may be admitted to a course only on a space-available basis after all tuition-paying students have been accommodated. State institutions of higher education may make individual exceptions to this procedure when the senior citizen has completed 75% of the requirements for the degree.
Application Process: Please follow the below process to submit the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver request form and Course Registration.
- Complete all appropriate admissions requirements for the school of enrollment.
- Coordinate with school Registrar to review courses, availability, and registration. A senior citizen is only permitted to register for a class, tuition-free, after all tuition paying students have been accommodated (see Step 6 for final course registration).
- Submit the completed Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver form securely through DocuSign on a term-by-term basis. If you are submitting the waiver for courses for credit, you are required to attached supporting income documentation to the DocuSign form (e.g., tax return, W-2s, or statement of non-filing). This is the secure method to submit your income verification documentation.
- Eligibility Review: Student Financial Services (SFS) receives the submitted form and any securely attached supporting income documentation. The online DocuSign form automatically routes to SFS’ Student Accounts team for review. Please allow 2-5 business days for Student Accounts to review eligibility.
- Applying the Waiver: Student Accounts validates program eligibility requirements and reviews any supporting tax documentation, and, if eligible, applies the waiver to the student account for the applicable term.
- Course Registration: SFS coordinates with the applicable School Registrar, who will need to review enrollment eligibility, and then enroll the student accordingly (Senior Citizens cannot self-enroll in classes). A senior citizen is only permitted to register for a class, tuition-free, after all tuition paying students have been accommodated. Registration for individuals using the Senior Citizen’s Higher Education Act benefit begins three days prior to the first day of class. It is recommended that participants call relevant School Registrar’s Office to determine if space is available.
The tuition-free privilege cannot be retroactively exercised after payment has been received. Some program-specific fees may apply and cannot be waived.
Registration or process questions? Please contact [email protected].