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Harper College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research Harper College. Learn about its admissions requirements, degree and certificate programs, and financial aid to make an informed education decision.

About Harper College

Harper College is a 2-year public institution located in Palatine, IL, and serves a district including all or part of 23 communities. The community college sits on a 200-acre campus designed in the 1960s to resemble a small village. Throughout the beginning of the 21st century, the campus received almost $90 million dollars allowing for the creation of new science, technical and performing arts centers. In 2011, Harper had about 16,000 undergraduates enrolled.


Harper College has 13 areas of study offering majors ranging from astronomy to world languages. The programs, awarding certificates and associate's degrees, prepare students for pursuing study at 4-year institutions or entry into the workforce. Some of the school's study areas include hospitality; architecture and construction; business, management and administration; education and training; health sciences; transportation, distribution and logistics; manufacturing; and paralegal, law enforcement and public safety. For graduates of the class of 2011, the most certificates awarded were in health professions, and the most associate's degrees earned were in liberal arts and sciences.


Harper College has an open admissions policy. Students must complete an application to the college. Some programs are selective and require an additional application. Students must also submit an official copy of their high school transcript and transcripts from any other colleges or universities attended. The school also requires that students send official ACT scores. COMPASS placement testing is required for full-time and degree-seeking students starting in 2013.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition at Harper College varies depending on program and residency. For credit classes, residents of the college district were charged a rate of $106.50 per credit hour in 2012-2013. Residents of Illinois who live outside the district were charged $363.50 per credit hour, and non-residents paid $439 per credit hour for the same year. Many of the health programs have varying tuition. Prospective students should contact the institution for more information about their program of choice.

Financial aid is available, with 25% of all undergraduates receiving grants or scholarships and 12% taking federal student loans in 2011.

School Type 2-year, public*
Degrees Offered Certificates, associate's degrees*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semester**
School Setting Large suburb*
Student Body 16,007 undergraduates in 2011*
Student Housing None*
Schools 13 areas of study**
Student-Faculty Ratio 21:1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Certificate, less than 1 year: Nursing assistant/aide and patient care assistant/aide (777);
Certificate, 1 to less than 2 years: Medical insurance coding specialist/coder (46);
Associate's: Liberal arts and sciences/liberal studies (883)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates For the class matriculating in 2008: 19% within 150% of normal program completion time*
Admission Rate Open admissions policy*
Entering Class Size 2,345 in 2011*
First Year Retention Rates For the class matriculating in 2010: 67% (full-time students); 45% (part-time students)*
Undergraduate Application Due Date Varies by program**
Decision Notification Date Varies by program**
Tuition For the 2012-13 school year:
In-district residents: $106.50/credit hour
Out-of-district residents: $363.50/credit hour
Nonresidents: $439/credit hour (figures do not include room and board, books, or course materials)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percentage of Students Receiving it) First-time, full-time undergraduates in 2011:
Federal grants (38%)
Pell grants (38%)
Other federal grants (7%)
State/local government grants/scholarships (17%)
Institutional grants/scholarships (2%)
Federal student loans (15%)*
Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid of Any Type In 2011: 50% of full-time, first-time undergraduates*

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics; **Harper College

School Contact Information:

  • Address: Admissions Outreach, Building C, Room C103, Harper College, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine, IL 60067
  • Phone: (847) 925-6700
  • Website: goforward.harpercollege.edu

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