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Perpetual Student Michael Nicholson on His Way to 30th Degree

Mike Nicholason

You’ve surely heard it said that so-and-so has “dedicated his life to learning.” But it would be hard to find anyone more dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge than 71-year-old Michael Nicholson, who is currently working on his 30th college degree.

That breaks down to one bachelor’s degree, two associate’s degrees, 22 master’s degrees, three specialist degrees and one doctoral degree. Nicholson always goes to class, and his educational journey has taken him all over the United States and Canada. So how does he do it?

“I just stayed in school and took menial jobs to pay for the education and just made a point of getting more degrees and eventually I retired so that I could go full-time to school,” Nicholson told

His 30th degree will be a Masters in criminal justice.

“I would like to get to 33 or 34. I’m almost there,” he said. “When I complete that, I’ll feel like I’ve completed my basic education. After that, if I’m still alive — that would take me to 80 or 81 — I would then be free to pursue any type of degree.”

Among the other degrees Nicholson hopes to pursue is one in law.

Just what we need, another lawyer.

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