No Degree Necessary
There are always people who love to learn, and returning to college or university as they age might be a dream come true. They are not interested in obtaining a specific degree, and many of them are simply looking for an academic challenge. They see the world around them as a place of learning, but they might be missing the interaction advanced study can provide for them. For these students, it is more about the classroom experience than the end result of a degree that draws them.
Many smaller colleges have long recognized this drive to learn, and more than a few of them have added classes that cater to returning students. Rather than requiring them to enroll in a degree program, they allow them to take any class where they have already completed any prerequisite requirements. They have found students in this category might have eclectic choices, but they also exhibit a large degree of enthusiasm that adds value to the class for all students.
The lack of choosing a degree program does not necessarily mean a lack of commitment to education, and students who want to enhance their own knowledge have found this is a relaxing way to learn. They see it as an opportunity to explore new educational possibilities, and some of them do eventually find they have enough credits to apply for a diploma.
Entering formal education after a gap can be a difficult experience for many who are required to get a degree to keep their career advancing, but students attending only for advanced knowledge find it is generally an easy experience. Even if the classes they choose are challenging, they have plenty of enthusiasm and time to learn. They often find the lack of a degree requirement gives them plenty of freedom to spend their time enjoying the process of learning.