Harper offers free tuition through “Promise Scholarships”

Max Piasecki- As of next year Harper College will be offering up to two years of free tuition to eligible students through their new scholarship program.

The new Promise Scholarships give financially struggling students the chance to attend Harper for up to two years without having to worry about tuition. However, students must meet certain criteria in order to fully utilize this opportunity.

These requirements include attendance, rigor, quality, persistence and community service. Eligibility for the scholarship begins during the second semester of their freshmen year. For each grade, a different set of requirements must be met.

When it comes to attendance a student can miss up to a certain number of days each year. Rigor and quality requires the student be ready for college by the time they graduate, which means being able to maintain their GPA. District 214 requires that freshman have to have at least a 3.0 GPA, sophomore and junior year requires a 3.25 GPA and senior year requires a 3.2 GPA. Juniors and seniors must also obtain grades that are a C or higher in order to remain eligible. Persistence requires that students must obtain the minimum amount of required credits each year and that they graduate on time with their class. Students also have to complete a total of 50 hours of community service.

Meeting this criteria during high school gives students one semester at Harper free. In order to keep attending Harper with free tuition, students would have to continue meeting similar criteria. This includes having to maintain a constant GPA throughout the year. Students must also earn a minimum of fifteen credit hours per semester and must attend each following semester until they complete their degree. Summer sessions are not covered by the Promise Scholarships. Students must also complete ten hours of community service through Harper-related programs.

Students like Lesly Gonzalez, freshman, are incredibly pleased that such a program now exists.

“I think it’s great that Harper is offering these scholarships. Many people aren’t able to afford tuition, and I’m glad Harper knows that. Harper is giving high schoolers the opportunity to succeed in life,” Gonzalez said.