Harper to freeze tuition for second consecutive year amid pandemic

Recognizing the pandemic’s significant financial impact, Harper College approved freezing tuition for the second consecutive year coupled with other measures aimed at keeping costs down for students.

“It is our sincere hope that through these actions, we may provide our students and their families with some stability during these uncertain times,” said Dr. Avis Proctor, Harper College president. “As the community’s college, we’re committed to ensuring quality higher education remains affordable and accessible to all of our students.”

Effective this summer, Harper’s in-district tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year will remain $133.50 per credit hours, or $152.50 per credit hour including the universal fee. Out-of-district, out-of-state and international student tuition rates also will not increase. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution at the February 17 board meeting leaving tuition unchanged for Fiscal Year 2022.

In addition, the board approved the following differential tuition and fee adjustments:

  • Extension of Business EdVantage: Harper College permits students who work in the district, but live outside Harper’s boundaries, to pay in-district as part of the Business EdVantage program. Many students who benefitted from Business EdVantage lost their jobs with district employers due to the pandemic. These students should have the opportunity to complete their programs of study at the continued in-district rate. The board approved extending in-district tuition via Business EdVantage to these students through spring 2022.
  • Continued elimination of distance learning fee: The board approved continuing to eliminate the distance learning fee of $20 per course for the summer 2021 and fall 2021 terms, expecting the college will continue to rely heavily on online instruction to promote continued safety and prevent the spread of COVID-19. This fee helps to support the technology and software licenses needed for online classes.
  • Suspension of differential tuition: The board approved suspending all differential tuition charges through the spring 2022 semester. Students in several health care programs are charged differential tuition (i.e. double tuition) since they are more expensive to offer.
  • Tuition for new HIT program: Students enrolled in the college’s new online Health Information Technology program, which launches in fall 2021, will pay in-district tuition regardless of residency through spring 2022. The college is making this program affordable and accessible to all, as an all-online version of this program is not available in many Illinois community college districts.

The financial impact of these actions is estimated to exceed $2 million in revenue. To help offset this, the college will utilize funds through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) if permitted under federal regulations, or reserve funds the college has allocated for student success initiatives.

“Holding the line on tuition for a second year demonstrates Harper’s broader commitment to removing barriers and supporting students,” Board Chair Pat Stack said. “The college has worked to carefully manage its resources before and throughout the pandemic, and we are pleased this fiscal responsibility has positioned us to provide some relief to the many students who are facing financial hardship.”

Last Updated: 8/20/21