Harper Promise Scholarship
The Harper Promise Scholarship provides District 211 students the opportunity to earn up to two years of tuition-free coursework at Harper College upon high school graduation. Applications for the Promise Scholarship are accepted during the first semester of a student’s freshman year of high school and eligibility requirements become effective during the second semester of freshman year.
All freshmen enrolling in District 211 prior to the start of the 9th-grade year are automatically included in the Promise Scholarship program. Freshmen students who enroll during the first semester of 9th grade will have the opportunity to complete an application between October 15 – December 15. Information about this fall application window will be shared with families directly as key dates approach. Applying to take part in the Promise Scholarship program does not commit a student to attend Harper College after high school graduation.
Class of 2025 Harper Promise Information
Update Effective with Class of 2025
A SCHOLARSHIP OFFERED TO EVERY ELIGIBLE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT IN THE HARPER COLLEGE DISTRICT THAT WOULD FUND UP TO TWO YEARS OF COLLEGE.
What if we could promise every public high school student in the northwest suburbs an associate degree tuition-free if they’re willing to earn it? Think of the possibilities for students, parents, and our local workforce. An associate degree. Tuition-free.
Under the Harper College Promise Scholarship Program, every eligible incoming public high school student in Harper’s district can earn an associate degree* at Harper College if they maintain solid grades, have good attendance, don’t repeat classes, graduate on time and provide service to their community.
*Students can earn up to 60 credits of tuition inclusive of dual credit, AP credit, and other prior credits earned. As of 2021, more than $2.1 million in scholarship tuition has been administered to Promise students.
Out of District Waiver for Promise Students
Out of District Waiver for Promise Students:
If a student resides within the boundaries of D211, D214, or D220 school district but is outside of the boundaries of Harper College, that student may receive a waiver to be charged in-district tuition if they have earned the Promise Scholarship. The waiver will be given on an annual basis (Fall and Spring semester), and the student must maintain Promise eligibility to receive the waiver for a second year. If the student falls out of Promise eligibility, they would not be eligible for this in-district tuition waiver starting the following Fall. They would be encouraged to pursue the Business EdVantage Program if they wish to remain eligible for In-District tuition.
All absences from school (excused and unexcused) have the potential to impact a student’s eligibility for the Promise Scholarship. An absence that accounts for more than 50% of student’s school day will count as a full day of absence. Three (3) incidents of tardiness to the student’s first daily class period will count as a full day of absence.
Freshmen – Five (5) days during the second semester
Sophomores – Nine (9) days for the entire year (first and second semester combined)
Juniors – Eight (8) days for the entire year (first and second semester combined)
Seniors – Seven (7) days for the entire year (first and second semester combined)
Students must maintain the minimum annual unweighted grade point average (GPA) each year of high school. This is not the cumulative GPA. It reflects the grades from a single year of school. Specific GPA thresholds vary by grade level.
Freshmen – 2.0 (second semester only)
Sophomores – 2.25
Juniors – 2.25 and no grades of D or F
Seniors – 2.3 and no grades of D or F
Students must graduate high school “college ready.” Any need to take non-credit bearing remedial/developmental mathematics or English coursework at Harper College will disqualify a student from the Promise Scholarship program.
Students must earn a minimum number of credits each school year.
Freshmen – four (4)
Sophomores – eight (8) cumulative
Juniors – twelve (12) cumulative
Seniors – eighteen (18) cumulative
Students must graduate on time with their class at the end of their senior year. Seniors requiring summer school to earn graduation credits will lose eligibility for the Promise Scholarship.
*** Important Information for the Class of 2021, Class of 2022, and Class of 2023 ***
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, community service requirements have been adjusted for the 2020-2021 school year. Click here to see the adjusted eligibility criteria.
All Promise Scholarship applicants must complete community service hours to remain eligible for the Program. Community service is unpaid work done by the student that benefits others. The service work cannot be performed for a family member or at an organization where the student’s parent is the agency representative.
The number of required service hours varies by grade level.
Freshmen – Five (5) hours of community service must be completed during the 2nd semester of 9th grade (including the summer after freshman year). Hours must be completed and reported no later than the last day of summer school following freshman year.
Sophomores – Ten (10) hours of community service must be completed during the 10th grade year (including the summer after sophomore year). Hours must be completed and reported no later than the last day of summer school following sophomore year.
Juniors – Fifteen (15) hours of community service must be completed during the 11th grade year (including the summer after junior year). Hours must be completed and reported no later than the last day of summer school following junior year.
Seniors – Twenty (20) hours of community service must be completed during the 12th grade year. Service hours completed during the summer after senior year will not be included. Hours must be completed and reported no later than May 1 of senior year.
Documenting Community Service Hours
Students must use the Involvement tab of the District 211 Student Readiness Plan to record their community service hours. The date of the community service must be within the current school year, which ends the last day of summer school except that seniors must record their service hours no later than May 1. Community service must be completed before hours can be submitted.
All community service hour entries are subject to random audit for authenticity. False/inaccurate information may result in termination from programs that require community service such as the Harper Promise Scholarship.
Community Service Resources
Harper Promise Scholarship applicants may complete their community service hours at a community-based site of the applicant’s choosing. Below are resources students may find helpful to identify opportunities to complete community service hour requirements.
VolunteerMatch – Find a place to volunteer that aligns with a personal area of interest.
HandsOn Suburban Chicago – Find a place to volunteer that aligns with a personal area of interest.
Students must annually meet each individual eligibility requirement to remain eligible for the Promise Scholarship and will be asked to recommit to the Promise Scholarship Program at the start of each school year.
Seniors have some unique tasks and important eligibility deadlines. Click here to see the detailed checklist about this Senior year information.
Students and parents should consult with the student’s high school counselor regarding questions pertaining to Promise Scholarship criteria or eligibility. Click here to view Harper College’s website detailing the full set of Promise Scholarship Program information.