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At 102, Michigan woman heads back to college

September 28, 2012

It's not unusual for adults to go back to college in their 50s, 60s or even their 70s, but one Michigan woman has taken continuing education to a new level. Margaret Dunning, a Plymouth, Michigan native, recently was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Michigan, according to

Dunning will head back to school thanks to the FRAM Group, which volunteered to pay her tuition after it learned about her passion for automobiles. She's going to take classes at the university's business school to complete her degree around 80 years after she was forced to drop out due to the depression.

"I'm very, very pleased about it," she told "I feel that I've been granted a few years that other people do not have, and I am really very happy that I have this beautiful old world to live in."

Dunning's enrollment at Michigan is just the latest of her endeavors that make her a paragon of healthy aging. Most famously, she earned some attention for the fact that she is still a legally licensed driver. And as if that wasn't impressive enough, she gets behind the wheel of an 82-year-old Packard 740, according to car blog Jalopnik.

While most seniors may not be lucky enough to have their tuition fully paid for, there are countless benefits to continuing education. Aside from helping older adults remain socially engaged, hitting the books in retirement may be better for one's health. People who take part in brain-stimulating activities, whether it be learning a new subject, doing crossword puzzles or playing a musical instrument had two-thirds lower of a chance of developing Alzheimer's disease, WebMD reports.