Harper Board Approves $4 Tuition Increase


(PALATINE, IL) The Harper College Board of Trustees approved a $4 per credit hour tuition increase at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, February 15 at 6 PM at the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus in Palatine. The increase will cost a full-time student (15 credit hours) an additional $60 per semester. The increase follows the College's practice of approving small yearly increases to keep tuition costs manageable and predictable for students.

 The increase is supported by members of the Harper College Student Senate, who told administrators the small tuition increase was reasonable to insure that the College continues to offer high quality programs.

"Harper is a phenomenal college and the Student Senate wanted to make sure the quality of the classes and activities didn't change," said Kristina A. Shkaruba, President of the Harper College Student Senate. "We also considered next year's class before making the decision. We didn't want the students to have to face a large tuition spike if the college froze tuition this year and then had to make up for it next year."    

Harper, like all Illinois community colleges, is experiencing decreasing support from the state. Under the original concept, the State of Illinois was to fund one-third (33%) of the per capita costs of community colleges, with tuition and property taxes covering the remaining costs. The state's percentage of the per capita cost at Harper has fallen to 4.9%, the lowest level of state support since Harper began operating in 1967.  

Overall, state spending for community colleges has not increased since 2002 according to the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA.)

"Given the state's massive financial problems, it's likely state support for community colleges will continue to decline in the years ahead," said Harper College President Dr. Kenneth Ender. "Through small tuition increases and our commitment to running the College as efficiently as possible, we've been able to weather the storm without compromising the academic quality and rigor that Harper is known for."

Tuition will increase from $102.50 to $106.50 per credit hour beginning in the summer 2012 term. The construction and renovation fee will remain the same, at $9 per credit hour. The technology fee will also remain unchanged, at $7 per credit hour. The cost for a full-time student (30 credit hours) will increase by $120 to $3,675 per year.

 Despite the tuition increase, Harper remains the most affordable and accessible option for higher education in the northwest suburbs. Harper's tuition is less than half of the tuition charged by Northern Illinois University, a quarter of the tuition at the University of Illinois and a small fraction of the cost of the first two years at a private university.

"Harper is far and away the best deal in higher education in Illinois," said Dr. Ender. "When you combine our academic rigor, small classes, facilities and individual attention, it's easy to understand why Harper continues to be among the best values in higher education in the Chicago area."

Harper's tuition increase will be covered for students who are eligible for financial aid under the federal Pell Grant Program and the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP). Last year, nearly 6,700 Harper students qualified for financial aid, totaling $31.1 million. The Harper College Educational Foundation, the fundraising arm of the College, also distributed more than $225,000 in scholarships
to 275 students last year.

"We want to do everything we can to make sure no student is turned away from Harper solely because of financial reasons," said Dr. Ender. "The College will continue to work to increase our pool of scholarship money, both public and private, to make sure Harper remains affordable for all who choose to attend."    


Harper Tuition And Fees Versus Four-Year Universities (30 credit hours)


Harper: $3,675

Northern Illinois University: $8,490

University of Illinois at Champaign: $14,414 - $19,238 (depending on program)

Roosevelt University: $25,950

DePaul University: $30,000

Northwestern University: $41,592



Community College Tuition and Fees, 2011/2012 (Per credit hour) 


Carl Sandberg: $138.00                  

College of DuPage: $132.00                  

Heartland: $131.00                  

John Wood: $130.00                  

South Suburban: $125.75                  

Harper (beginning summer 2012): $122.50    

Lewis and Clark: $110.00

College of Lake County: $109.00              


Contact:Phil Burdick, Chief Communications Officer, 847.925.6183