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For Hunter's Senior Auditors, Class Is In Session

One way that Hunter embraces the practices advocated by the Brookdale Center is by creating plenty of opportunities for older adults to stay involved with cultural and educational pursuits. Each semester, more than 800 individuals age 60 and over audit undergraduate classes at Hunter College—and pay no tuition, just a low $80 registration and services fee. With a wide range of course offerings to choose from, senior auditors will find something that piques their interest, be it literature, drama, dance or mathematics. And thanks to the intergenerational classroom experience that results when a senior citizen audits a class, the undergraduates enrolled in that particular course benefit, too.

Whenever these lifelong learners feel like taking an on-campus lunch or coffee break, they can head to the Senior Lounge on the lower level of Hunter North, where they can enjoy coffee and tea, cookies and conversation.

“It’s a quiet oasis where seniors come to just read the paper, relax and have a cup of coffee,” says Peter Remch, president of Hunter’s Senior Citizen Student Association (SCSA) and a senior auditor for six years. “There comes a point in a senior auditor’s day when they just need a spot to go to, and this is that spot.”

The SCSA runs the cozy lounge, which provides complimentary newspapers and magazines along with access to a host of valuable services for seniors, including assistance creating a CUNYfirst account and registering for Hunter courses. The SCSA also hosts monthly free luncheons with speakers as well as occasional free trips to cultural institutions like Carnegie Hall. The cost of a SCSA membership is $10 per semester. More than 200 people have joined the SCSA, says Remch, who has fulfilled his lifelong dream of studying mathematics as a senior auditor. He says his fellow lounge-goers audit classes in the arts as well as in religion, sociology and archeology.

“They audit classes here at Hunter because it makes their lives richer,” Remch says. “And coming to class at Hunter promotes their social and intellectual interests.”

To be eligible to be a senior auditor, an individual must be a New York State resident 60 years of age or older. If you’re interested in learning more, email

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