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Financial Planning > College Planning

Seniors + Academia = A Good Match?

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Who says it’s too late to go back to college? Certainly not the folks at Winthrop University located in the Mayberry-like community of Rock Hill, South Carolina.

According to a recent report, plans are underway for a residential community for the 55+ age group that would be tightly integrated with Winthrop. For now the community project is in the market research stage to gauge interest.

Maybe it’s because the 2012 college football season kicked off last week, which always makes me nostalgic for school. But, I have to admit if this project takes off there are worse places to spend your golden years than on a college campus. I can imagine auditing a few classes, maybe even going through fraternity rush again or possibly becoming a university icon and being adopted as a campus mascot.

The Winthrop president seems to be on board as well. In a public statement, Anthony J. DiGiorgio said, “We have lots to learn from all ages. Attracting folks to the campus with a broad range of backgrounds, education and experience will further enrich our already wonderful campus community.”

With notable school pride, DiGiorgio added, “It’s exciting to imagine how adding scores of lifelong learners to our campus will bring a new brand of enthusiasm for learning and eagerness to share their own years of real life experience and insights. It’s an inter-generational win-win.”

According to the report, this would be “the first university retirement community to be constructed since the recession began, and the very first active adult community in the U.S. to be so tightly integrated with an academic institution.”

I have to ask the obvious question: If you could go back to school would you? Or, is that a page you’ve turned and don’t want to return to? Maybe I’ll wake up thinking differently about it tomorrow, but I’ll always fondly remember how much fun the “old guys” made returning to school look in comedies like Rodney Dangerfield’s “Back to School” and the Will Farrell movie “Old School,” where he plays the stumbling, bumbling character affectionately known as Frank the Tank.

Ah, those were the days.

For more from Daniel Williams, see:

2012 Advisor of the Year: Mark Pruitt

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