Non-traditional students studying together.

Are you interested in a second career? Looking to brush up on business skills? If you are 65 or older, you can take up to 90 free credit hours at San Jacinto College.

San Jac director of financial services Lauren Bellenger and manager of campus business offices Genoveva Garcia share the details of this tuition exemption.

Q: How does the tuition exemption program work?

Garcia: Students over the age of 65 will apply using When it is time to pay their tuition, they will ask for a free exemption for seniors 65 and older.

Q: Do I need to live in the San Jacinto College district?

Garcia: Texas residents, nonresidents, and international students are all eligible.

Q: What is covered under the exemption?

Bellenger: The maximum award is free tuition for up to six hours per semester but no more than 90 hours total. This doesn’t cover books or supplies — only the courses.

Q: Can I register for any course?

Bellenger: This program covers only credit courses, not continuing professional development or lifelong learning classes.

Q: If I enroll under this exemption, will I still get the same benefits as a traditional student?

Garcia: Yes, you will be eligible for all support services, including career, personal, and health support through the office of student support services.

Q: What if this is my first college course or it has been a while since I took college courses?

Garcia: It’s not a problem if you are a first-time college student. You will still be eligible. As a returning student, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA to qualify for the next semester.

Q: What if I exceed 90 hours but still need classes to finish my certificate or degree?

Garcia: This does happen, and you are allowed to appeal. If your appeal is approved, you can still register for the course.

Q: Am I guaranteed to get into the classes I want?

Bellenger: We want to accommodate everyone, but it may take a little time. Registration is subject to space availability. We have to wait to see how full the class will be before enrolling exemptions. If the class is too full, you won’t be able to take advantage of the exemption, especially in courses that are in high demand.

Tuition Exemption Snapshot

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be 65 or older
  • Enroll in credit classes
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA
  • Complete your educational objective within the first 90 hours attempted

To learn more, visit

For questions, contact your local campus business office:

By Melissa Trevizo