CATALOG: Senior Citizen Higher Education Act

The Virginia Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974 and amendments allow senior citizens to take classes at no charge under certain circumstances. Before the beginning of the semester in which enrollment is desired, the senior citizen must have (1) reached the age of sixty and (2) had legal domicile in Virginia for at least one year.

A senior citizen is entitled to enroll and pay no tuition on a space-available basis for the following types of courses:

  • Credit courses if taxable individual income did not exceed $23,850 for Virginia income tax purposes for the previous year. (Must provide a copy of Virginia state income tax return)
  • Credit courses for audit (no credit) — eligible regardless of income level.


  • Senior citizens must submit an application for admission to RCC.
  • The registration process will include a determination of income eligibility for those wishing to take courses for academic credit.  A copy of the current Virginia tax return is required.
  • Tuition-paying students are accommodated in courses before senior citizens participating in this program may enroll.
  • If qualified, senior citizens shall pay no tuition or fees for courses, except fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials such as laboratory fees, subject to a determination by the institution of its ability to offer the course or courses for which the senior citizen registers.
  • If a senior citizen applies for free tuition AFTER registering and paying for a class, the individual is not eligible for a refund for that class.
  • RCC reserves the right to cancel any class.
  • Audit enrollment is limited to three courses per semester.

To enroll in credit courses go to the Admissions and Records Office on either campus. Please note that senior citizens cannot register until the first day of the class. However, senior citizens pursuing a degree who have completed seventy-five percent of degree requirements can enroll at the same time as tuition-paying students

Last modified on 08-04-2017