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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Bernard Osher Foundation?

The San Francisco–based Bernard Osher Foundation was started in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. In partnership with the Bernard Osher Foundation, Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes are now found on the campuses of 123 prestigious colleges and universities, from Maine and California to Hawaii and Alaska. Each provides a distinctive array of noncredit courses and activities specifically developed for intellectually curious adults of all ages, with special attention to those 50 or better.

Initially endowed by the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Colorado State University was established in 2006 and is a membership-based, self-supporting program committed to fostering lifelong learning and enriching lives. Designed to challenge and inform, courses are small, engaging, and interactive.

Why am I seeing the term OLLI?

OLLI is the commonly used abbreviation for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute which you’ll see us using throughout our catalog and on the website.  Same great program, just a shorter name.

Who belongs to OLLI?

Our members are people like you from all backgrounds, professions, education and places.  We welcome adults of all ages,with special consideration of those 50 and better, with a desire to learn, engage, build new friendships, and take an active part in discovering more about the world around us.

Do I have to be an OLLI member to enroll in a course?

Yes, OLLI is a member institute, and you must pay a yearly, non-refundable membership fee in order to enroll in any OLLI classes.

Why does OLLI have a membership fee requirement?

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU is a member-based, member-driven program. Membership and course fees are critical to our institute’s success and sustainability – they help support our dynamic, quality programming and remind students that they are part of an engaged learning community and a national network of lifelong learners. The Osher Foundation also provides grant funds to OLLI programs that have developed a sustainable financial model, which includes renewable membership fees.

What does my membership fee include?

An annual OLLI membership fee includes two terms and a current membership is required to register for all OLLI classes, Perk lectures, and special programs.  Included with new and renewing memberships is free access to one Perk lecture within the membership year.

When is registration?

Download current course registration form here

Registration normally opens online and in-person three-four weeks before classes begin each term.

Catalogs are mailed to members one-two weeks before registration opens.

How are course fees determined?

Course fees are based on a charge of $5/course hour. For example, a 6-week course meeting for two hours per week is $60, and an 8-week course meeting for two hours per week is $80. Perk series events are $5/perk. Special programs are charged according to their unique costs.

If a class is full, can I add my name to a wait list?

When you register online, you’ll be able to add your name to the wait list if an OLLI class is full.  If space becomes available, you’ll receive an email, and will have 48 hours to determine if you’d like to take that space.  If you don’t, no additional action is needed as the automated system will offer the space to the next person on the wait list.

When you register in person, your name will automatically be added to the wait list for any class that is full.  You’ll be notified by email if space becomes available and you will have 48 hours to determine if you’d like to take the newly opened space in the class.

Are my membership and course fees refundable?

OLLI membership and course fees are nonrefundable. Extenuating circumstances to drop a course and obtain a tuition refund may only be considered by an Appeals Committee on a case-by-case basis.

If a course is cancelled by OLLI, a course refund will be processed. Credit card refunds require 10 business days; check refunds may take up to eight weeks and will be mailed to the address on file.

How does the Value-Added Draw work?

Current OLLI members who have registered for at least one course are eligible to submit an entry into the drawing each term for one tuition-free course, valued at $60 or less, based on availability.  Members will complete the Osher Value-Added Draw form (PDF) and select two possible course options in order of preference.  Entry forms must be received in the OLLI office CSU Drake Hall, 2545 Research Blvd., Fort Collins, CO 80526  before the deadline indicated on the form. Entries from ten OLLI members will be randomly drawn and they will be notified within five working days if they were selected for one of the tuition-free classes on their entry form. 

Does OLLI offer tuition assistance?

The Oltjenbruns Tuition Assistance fund was established in honor of the commitment that Kevin and Ken Oltjenbruns have shown to OLLI for many years. If financial hardship is preventing you from taking OLLI courses, you’re encouraged to apply for tuition assistance. Call (970) 491-7753 or email us at if you have questions or need an application form.

Can I make a donation to OLLI at CSU?

Support our Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and help us reach our annual fundraising goals. With your tax-deductible contributions we can enhance, grow and continue to create an engaging and thoughtful learning environment. Please consider making a generous online donation today.

Are assistive- listening devices available?

Yes, the OLLI office has several portable assistive-listing devices available that enhance the ability to hear the instructors using classroom microphones.  Please stop by the office before class if you’d like to check out one of these devices as we have personal earphones available for your use.

Can I buy a gift membership?

Looking for the perfect gift for a friend or relative? Give the gift of learning! We have membership gift certificates available for any occasion. Call (970) 491- 7753 or email us at for more information.

Do you cancel courses due to weather conditions?

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute follows the University's severe weather policy in regard to cancelling courses due to weather. Please call (970) 491-7669 if there is extreme weather to find out the University’s status. It is important that we have your phone number so we can contact you in case of emergency.

How do I become an OLLI instructor?

OLLI at Colorado State University is always interested in welcoming instructors who bring new learning opportunities in a wide range of academic subjects and instructional formats.

For more information and to become an instructor, simply fill out the Fall 2020 Course Proposal Form.

Please email your course proposal to or bring it into our Osher office at CSU Drake Hall.

The completed Fall term 2020 course proposals will be due by March 2, 2020.