In 1971, yearly tuition at a four-year private college averaged $1,832, according to the College Board
. In 2015, it was $32,405—a mind-boggling 1,669 percent spike. "Students aren’t aware of how much tuition increased," says Dr. Pappas. "Certainly you can do it for a semester, but can you come up with it for a two- to three-year period?" For older adults, there’s something else to keep in mind, too: The Hiccup, a.k.a. the significant life incident that affects your ability to attend classes and/or pay for them.
"No matter how we do it, we may end up with some kind of life event that stops us for a while," says Dr. Pappas. "The illness, the job loss—all kinds of things that happen in life, so what I try to say to people is, 'You’re going to have life happen somehow, so you need to be sure that when it does, you see it as a temporary barrier. You need to come back and continue to go on.'"
Speaking about life events...