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Older Americans Month

Learn About the Experiences of Older Students at WGU


We endeavour to make your educational experience as unique as you are. We value our students' differences because we recognize that diversity brings strength. It's why we strive to be the most inclusive university in the world. WGU is bridging the gap between talent and opportunity.

We want to recognize, encourage, and elevate the voices of students, while also expanding possibilities for students throughout the country. This mission motivates us to provide high-quality, equitable higher education to all people, regardless of their background or location. We advance equity for all students by improving access to higher education.

Join us as we celebrate Older Americans Month, and recognize how older students and employees are making a difference in their communities around the country.

Employee Spotlight: Shalae De Jarnatt

Many students, and even employed people, hope for a career that is both personally fulfilling and professionally rewarding. When your job involves making a difference in the lives of others, you derive even greater purpose and motivation for the work you do. Shalae De Jarnatt’s life has never been short of purpose.

Student Spotlight: Kim Larsen

Kimberly Larsen of Mt. Vernon, Wash., knew from a young age that she wanted to become a teacher. When she was about to begin her journey at WGU, a mysterious neurological disorder left her with debilitating physical and mental symptoms. With the support of her mentor and instructors, Larsen overcame her barriers and earned her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, and she is now achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher.

Employee Spotlight: Kevin Cummings – Silver Owls

Every year in May, Older Americans Month recognizes the contributions of older adults across the nation and the vital role they have in the success of our communities, workplaces, and lives. To celebrate, WGU shines a light on one of its very own: Kevin Cummings.

"You don't have to BE to BELONG.
While directed towards "people of a certain age," Silver Owls welcomes any WGU employee concerned with aging, ageism, and its effect on the work environment and the working person. Silver Owls provides education and advocacy to support WGU’s older employees. We will accomplish our purpose by partnering with WGU leadership to recruit, retain, and advance older employees. We provide opportunities for personal and professional growth through education, such as panel discussions, and resources on how to best support older employees. We promote the health and well-being of the older worker."

–Silver Owls ERG at WGU

Removing Barriers

Donna Law, 2016 WGU Commencement speaker, enjoyed career success but could only advance so far without a degree. With the encouragement of her employer, she enrolled in WGU’s business management degree program. In the middle of her studies she was diagnosed with cancer, but Donna wasn’t going to let that stand in her way of earning a degree. She continued on and entering her 3rd term at WGU was deemed cancer-free.

"When I started a new job, I said I would go back to school and get my master's degree. This was something I never thought I would accomplish, especially at the age of 60! I did it, and I was so happy that I did! I wanted to do something for me, and I wanted to give back to nursing for many years to come."
–Benita G., Master's Degree in Nursing Leadership & Management

Featured Articles

10 Tips for Going Back to School at 40

Through higher education, you can also hone the soft skills that benefit you in nearly all aspects of life. From technology and time management to research and improved communication, this type of personal development will remain with you long after you earn your degree. Read on for 10 tips for achieving academic success as a student in your 40s and beyond.  

10 Tips for Going Back to School at 50

By the time a person reaches 50, they have accumulated decades of invaluable life experience—a major asset when returning to school to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree. As the saying goes, “It’s never too late to make a new start.”

10 Tips for Going Back to School at 60

Across the U.S., more older adults are going back to school and helping to change the way we think about the college experience. If you’re in your 60s and considering higher learning, you’re not alone. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Shaquille O’Neal are just some of the notable names who returned to school and earned their college degree later in life. 

5 ways to prepare to go back to school online.

Whether you’re attending college for the first time or you’re returning to finish your degree, going back to school is an exciting moment in anyone’s life. Getting your bachelor’s or master’s degree is a tremendous accomplishment that can lead to a better future and career.

College for working adults: things to consider

Now more than ever, many adults are finding a need to pursue higher education in the form of a bachelor's or master's degree. These adult students are often called non-traditional students.

Adult learning theories and principles

It’s easy to overlook adult education when you think about schools and learning. But adult education happens every day, and there are many important reasons why adults may pursue education.

"I am a 63 year-old retired financial services executive. Getting a degree had been a lifelong dream. WGU was perfect for me. My program mentor was helpful and responsive. As an adult learner with lots of work experience, the competency-based format was a perfect fit for me. I am likely to pursue my master's degree later this year."
–Jimmie G., Bachelor of Science Business Administration - Management

Scholarships Available for Affordable Education

Scholarships are one of the many ways in which WGU removes obstacles from your path to achieving your education goals and improving your career opportunities.

Sage Scholarship

The Sage Scholarship is from our official spokesowl, Sage, for future WGU graduates. Apply by June 30th!

WGU Leadership Scholarship

At WGU, we know that leaders with strong skills are vital in helping organizations thrive. That’s why we’re offering the WGU Leadership Scholarship, worth up to $5,000, to individuals who are ready to ramp up their careers, show what they have to offer, and take the lead in their chosen field. 

Alumni Master's Scholarship

This is an exclusive scholarship available to WGU alums who are interested in pursuing a master's degree. For WGU grads who are considering pursuing another degree, now is the perfect time to apply and get started. Selected applicants will receive up to $2,500 toward their graduate degree.