Introducing the Promise Scholarship

Sign up for the Promise Scholarship Program through your high school.

Freshmen attending Districts 211, 214 and 220, check with your local high school for details.

Tuition Earned

A scholarship offered to every eligible incoming public high school student in Harper's district that would fund up to two years of college

What if we could remove financial barriers for every hard-working high school student who wanted to go to college? Think of the possibilities for students, parents and our local workforce. Two years of college. Tuition free.

Under the Harper College Promise Scholarship Program every eligible incoming public high school student in Harper’s district (Districts 211, 214 and 220) can earn up to two years of tuition at Harper College if they maintain solid grades, have good attendance, don’t repeat classes, graduate on time and provide service to their community.

How It Works

The criteria for the Promise scholarship was developed by Harper College, area high schools and northwest suburban business leaders to develop skills and habits that will help students succeed in college and provide businesses with smart, skilled and motivated employees.

If the student meets attendance, rigor,  quality, persistence and community service requirements they can earn up to two years tuition at Harper College.

The program starts in the second semester of a student's freshman year in high school.

Students may only miss the following number of days:

  • Second semester of freshman year: 5
  • Sophomore year: 9
  • Junior year: 8
  • Senior year: 7

Note: Student tardiness is measured in the first period that the student needs to be in attendance. Three instances of tardiness are equivalent to one day of absence.

Graduate from high school college-ready.

District 211, District 220 annual minimum grade point average (4.0 scale unweighted):

  • Second semester, freshman year 2.0
  • Sophomore year 2.25
  • Junior year 2.25*
  • Senior year 2.3* 

*No grades of D or F

District 214 annual minimum grade point average (5.0 scale unweighted):

  • Second semester, freshman year 3.0
  • Sophomore year 3.25
  • Junior year 3.25*
  • Senior year 3.2* 

*No grades of D or F

Meet minimum credit standards at the end of each year. That is, a student must be promoted with their class each year and graduate on time with their class.

Number of hours per year:

  • Second semester of freshman year: 5
  • Sophomore year: 10
  • Junior year: 15
  • Senior year: 20

Attending Harper on the Promise Scholarship

If a high school student meets the criteria, they will earn the first semester of Harper tuition free. They can continue to attend Harper tuition free if they met the following criteria.

Minimum grade point average:

  • 1st semester 2.2 
  • 2nd semester 2.3 
  • 3rd semester 2.5 
  • 4th semester 2.6 

No grades of D or F


  • student must attend full-time each
    semester. (minimum 15 credit hours)
  • A student must attend each consecutive
    semester (fall/spring) until their certificate
    or degree is completed –– up to four
  • Summer session tuition is not included
    in the program.

Service requirements must be performed through a Harper-related program. Number of hours per semester:

  • 1st semester: 10
  • 2nd semester: 10
  • 3rd semester: 10
  • 4th semester: 10

Promise Benefits

Students in a similar promise  program in Peoria, IL graduated or transferred at a rate of 65% compared  to 31% for students who did not participate in the program.

Decreased Unemployment
4.1% for people with a college credential vs. 9.4% for people with only a high school education. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor)

Generational Impact
Children raised in a household of a college degree holder are 75% more likely to earn a degree. This trend can close the household economic gap for years to come. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics)

Business Partners

The Harper Promise Scholarship needs support from business leaders to ensure that local students have the skills they will need.