President's Office

Dr. Kenneth Ender

What if you or someone in your family had the opportunity to earn an associate degree or the first two years of a bachelor’s degree debt-free?

That’s the opportunity that Harper College, High School Districts 211, 214 and 220, and our business and community partners created in 2015 with the launch of the Harper College Promise Scholarship Program.

Keeping a college education affordable and accessible is at the centerpiece of Harper’s new mission statement. And it just makes good sense, especially when you consider seven in 10 seniors who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2014 had student loan debt, with an average of $28,950 per borrower.* (*Source: The Institute for College Access and Success

An education isn’t worth much if you have to spend much of your life trying to pay for it.

But there’s another aspect of the Promise Scholarship Program that will pay dividends to our students and community for many decades to come. It also aligns with another important element of Harper’s mission – providing quality education that’s affordable and accessible.

Promise is not a free tuition program. It’s tuition earned by a commitment that area students make their freshman year to:

  • Maintain solid grades (“C” average or better)
  • Have good attendance
  • Graduate on time and college ready
  • Provide service to their community

These qualities will position students for academic, career and life success, and help ensure they are productive members of our community.

We’re pleased that more than 67% of this year’s area high school freshmen signed up for Promise, and we’re already reaching out to next year’s freshmen and their families to make them aware of the program.

As we prepare to welcome our first full class of Promise students in fall 2019, we continue to look forward to partnering with area community organizations and businesses to provide new and relevant opportunities to help ensure our students succeed and our community remains a vibrant place to work and live. 


Signature of Kenneth Ender