Senior citizen education program

The University of Minnesota provides senior citizens with opportunities in higher education. The Senior Citizen Education Program (SCEP) is part of a Minnesota state statute that applies to all state-supported institutions of higher education in Minnesota. Minnesota residents who are aged 62 or older may enroll in courses at the University for reduced costs, either to audit or earn college credit.

Program information

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To receive SCEP reduced tuition benefits, you must be a Minnesota resident aged 62 or older before the start of the term for which you are registering. You may be eligible at age 60 if you have a railroad retirement annuity.

At your initial registration for classes, you will need to provide identification to verify your age, Minnesota residency, and (if applicable) railroad retirement annuity. This documentation can be scanned and emailed to [email protected]. Some acceptable documents include:

  • Minnesota driver’s license
  • Minnesota state ID
  • Minnesota tribal identification card
  • Birth certificate (verifies age only)
  • Passport (verifies age only)


If you meet the residency and age requirements of the SCEP, you may audit courses free of charge, or take classes for credit at $10 per credit. This applies whether you are degree-seeking, or non-degree. Whether you audit or earn credits for a class, you are responsible to pay any required laboratory, material, or course fees. Fees vary by course.

Please note that if you are enrolled into SCEP, you will be ineligible for the Student Health Benefit Plan. Please contact the Office of Student Health Benefits if you have questions.

Admission and registration

There are different admission and registration steps depending on your status as a student. Choose below that which applies to you:

  • First time non-degree: To take classes as a first-time, non-degree senior citizen, follow the steps for non-degree registration. This applies if you want to take classes for personal enrichment.
  • Returning non-degree: If you are a continuing or returning senior citizen with login credentials, register for classes in MyU. See registration times to find your registration date. You can register for classes through the first two weeks of the start of the term. 
  • First time degree-seeking: To apply as a degree-seeking senior citizen, visit the Office of Admissions. You will still receive the tuition discount through SCEP.
  • Accepted through admissions: If you have already applied and been accepted to the University, or are in a degree program, register for classes in MyU. If you receive the benefits of SCEP, your registration time is the same as non-degree students, even if you are degree-seeking. You can register for classes through the first two weeks of the start of the term.

Open and closed classes

Find out if a class is open or closed via the online Class Search. If a class is open, you can sign up without any instructor or department permission during the first week of the term. If a class is closed, you will need a class permission number from the instructor or department that offers the class. Some classes have restrictions on who is allowed to take the class.


Courses sometimes have prerequisites, or prereqs, that you have to complete before you can register for them. Prerequisites apply to any and all University students, including senior citizens.

If, for example, you want to register for ARTS 3300, Intermediate Sculpture, you have to have taken the prereq, ARTS 1001, Introduction to Contemporary Art and Theory. Some courses allow exceptions, but be aware that prereqs can prevent your registration for a class.

Cancel your enrollment

You can receive a 100% refund if you cancel a class during the first three weeks of the term. After the first three weeks of the term, no refunds are issued. Cancel or drop the class online, in MyU.