A senior citizen is any person, who, before the beginning of any semester in which they claim entitlement to the senior citizen educational benefit is 60 years of age and has had legal domicile in the commonwealth of Virginia for one year. The senior citizen may take courses without paying tuition or mandatory fees, except for course-/program-related fees, under certain conditions. The tuition-free policy does not apply to the cost of private music lessons, special course and materials fees (e.g., textbooks, laboratory and art fees), or program-specific tuition and fees. Additionally, a waiver may not be submitted for noncredit courses offered through third-party partnerships. The Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver form must be submitted for each semester in which the senior citizen enrolls in classes.
If the senior citizen had a taxable income of not more than $23,850 for Virginia income tax purposes for the year preceding the year in which enrollment is sought, the individual may take a course for academic credit. The senior citizen will be required to submit tax documentation verifying income. If the person’s taxable income exceeded $23,850, the individual may only audit the course for free.
No limit is placed on the number of terms, quarters 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 semester. There will be no restriction on the number of courses that may be taken for credit in any semester, or on the number of semesters in which an eligible senior citizen may take courses for credit.
The two additional conditions listed below shall be met before a senior citizen may take a course under the provisions of this program:
- The senior citizen shall meet the appropriate admission requirements of the institution in which the student plans to enroll.
- The senior citizen may be admitted to a course only on a space-available basis after all tuition-paying students have been accommodated, unless the senior citizen has completed 75 percent of the degree requirements necessary for a degree. At such time in the senior citizen’s program, the senior citizen can enroll in courses at the same time as other tuition-paying students.