Harper College

Harper launches tuition relief, scholarships to ease pandemic hardship

Recognizing the financial hardships that many are facing in the wake of the pandemic, Harper College is providing some of the most generous tuition relief programs in its history.

As many people consider options and rethink opportunities, Harper has introduced new scholarships and financial support to keep prospective students of all ages and backgrounds moving forward.

“We recognize that people throughout our community are facing tremendous financial challenges during these uncertain times,” said Dr. Avis Proctor, president of Harper College. “Removing some of these barriers will provide many with the opportunity and support they need to get back to work, elevate their career, earn a degree or progress toward achieving their goals.”

Moving Forward Scholarship: The Moving Forward Scholarship aims to help people negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by connecting them with short-term training programs. The scholarship benefits community members who have experienced job loss, require a career change, or have delayed college or employment due to the pandemic.

The scholarship awards up to $4,000 per student in short-term, Continuing Professional Education career training in a variety of fields including contact tracing, medicinal cannabis, human resources certification preparation, real estate licensing, strategic planning, substitute teaching, truck driving and veterinary assistant training. Technology-focused programs include big data, cybersecurity, networking and web development.

“Many individuals and families have suffered as a result of COVID-19,” said Cristina Willard, manager of Continuing Professional Education. “This scholarship can be a lifeline for those in need, whether someone has recently lost a job, needs to find new work due to workplace changes, or has just graduated high school or college and is having difficulty finding work.”

­Women’s Program support: The Rita and John Canning Women’s Program provides education planning, financial assistance and ongoing support for students who meet low-income guidelines and at least one of the following criteria: single parent, a non-traditional career seeker; woman fleeing domestic violence; or woman with limited English skills pursuing ESL coursework.

Educational Foundation scholarships: The Harper College Educational Foundation has an additional 225 scholarship funds to award this year; last year, the foundation awarded $2.3 million in funding to 1,054 students.

Non-tuition emergency funds and basic needs support: About three-fourths of Harper students work while attending classes, and many of these students have experienced reduced working hours or job loss as a result of the pandemic. The Harper College Student Emergency Relief Fund was established to help keep students working toward their educational goals. It awards up to $500 to currently enrolled students to help manage needs such as groceries, rent/mortgage, medical expenses, gas and technology. Since March, the college has awarded more than $300,000 and served nearly 700 students through the fund. The college has committed to continuing the fund through the spring 2021 semester and anticipates serving another 600 students. In addition, the college is funding an initiative that will distribute e-gift cards to 1,000 students with food, gas and housing insecurities.

Technology support: The Harper College library has Chromebooks, WiFi hotspots and graphing calculators available for semester-long loans.

Registration for the spring 2021 semester has opened. Classes begin January 19. Credit courses are scheduled to be taught in three formats: Online ANYTIME, Online LIVE and Blended (labs on campus, lecture online). To help keep the campus community safe, the college will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and follow guidance from public health experts to determine whether labs will be held remotely or on campus. To learn more, visit harpercollege.edu/start, email admissions@harpercollege.edu or call 847-925-6700.

Last Updated: 3/14/24