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Student Information

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  • Cost

    • There is no application or initial placement testing fee.
    • Heartland does not currently charge tuition for College NOW dual credit courses. 
    • Heartland does charge tuition for dual enrollment (college credit only) courses. 
    • You are responsible for:
      • purchasing any required textbooks & materials for College NOW courses
      • paying any fees charged by your high school/career center for participating in the program
      • paying tuition for any Heartland courses you take outside of the program


    • Earn both high school and college credit!
    • Save time and money as you pursue a college degree (most College NOW courses are tuition-free).
    • Develop a sense of independence, personal responsibility and confidence.
    • Take college courses in the comfort of your high school or career center during your regular school day.
    • Get a Heartland student ID card and enjoy free services and discounts offered to Heartland students, as well as access to our campus facilities, such as the Fitness and Recreation Center, library and tutoring center.
    • Explore career paths and coursework that prepare you to enter the workforce or attend college or university.


    We expect College NOW students to follow the standards and code of conduct provided in the Heartland Student Handbook


    Your high school or career center will choose the Heartland courses to offer as dual credit (high school and college credit) or dual enrollment (college credit only) from the approved course listings within the following pathways: 

    • Success Education: Workshops/courses that will improve study skills, assist in career exploration and enhance life skills like budgeting and time management.
    • General Education: First-year courses in areas that will transfer to four-year colleges/universities, such as communication, fine arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and life/physical sciences.
    • Career and Technical Education: First-year college courses in programs that will put students on a fast path to completing an applied degree, such as computer networking, digital media, welding and nursing.


    • You are expected to take responsibility for your own learning.

    • You should plan on an additional 2 to 3 hours of work time outside of class in order to do well.

    • You may be asked to read, write and talk about mature and controversial topics that are not covered in high school courses.

    • You will develop critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills, along with an appreciation for diversity.

    • You are expected to actively work towards achieving the learning outcomes listed on the course syllabus through regular attendance, participation and the completion of assignments and assessments. 


    • You should receive information about any required textbooks and materials from your school counselor or instructor.

    • You may be expected to use online learning management systems, such as Blackboard, to review and submit assignments.

    • You should use myHeartland to connect to Heartland’s online learning resources, access your Heartland email account, see what courses you are enrolled in and make any necessary appointments to visit our campus.

    Withdrawal Policy

    • You have the right to withdraw from any College NOW course. You should talk to your school counselor about withdrawal guidelines for your high school or career center.
      • You must also be mindful of Heartland's course drop deadlines to avoid having a "W" on your college transcript. You can find those dates on the College NOW Admission Process calendar.
    • You may also be withdrawn from a College NOW course by your instructor if you are not considered to be actively pursuing completion of the course at the time of midterm grade entry.


    Your successful completion of Heartland courses through the College NOW program means you are already on the path to earning a certificate or degree from Heartland. It is easy for you to continue your college experience with us after you graduate from high school. Take some time to explore all that Heartland has to offer! 

    Heartland courses completed through the College NOW program could also transfer to other colleges according to the following statements:

    • General education courses that are within the Illinois Articulation Initiative are widely accepted across many colleges and universities in Illinois.

    • Career technical education and elective courses may transfer to other colleges and universities in a variety of ways.


    The grade you receive in your College NOW course(s) will be recorded on your Heartland Community College transcript. College transcripts are used to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

  • What is the difference between dual credit and dual enrollment courses?

    • Dual credit courses allow qualified high school students to earn both high school and college credit upon successful completion. Approval from your high school counselor is required in order for you to participate.

    • Dual enrollment courses allow qualified high school students to earn only college credit upon successful completion. Approval from your school counselor is not required for you to receive college credit for courses you enroll in on your own through Heartland. Instead, you would work with a Heartland academic advisor for enrollment into the courses you choose.

    What is the difference between dual credit and advanced placement (AP) courses?

    Both dual credit and advanced placement provide opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school. The difference is that dual credit courses are college courses, appear on your college transcript as college courses, and you receive college credit upon successful completion of the course. Advanced placement courses are high school courses for which you do not receive credit unless you achieve the required score on the test at the end of the course. Four-year colleges and universities routinely accept both dual credit and advanced placement course credit, but as with any transfer credit, check with your particular school to see how your credits will apply.

    Is the College NOW program only open to high school juniors and seniors?

    Our College NOW partners determine the appropriate grade level for high school students to participate in the program. Some high schools have requirements you must meet first, so communicate with your school counselor about your interest in the program. You will be required to complete the student admission process one academic year before you intend to take College NOW courses.

  • Why do I have to submit the Heartland student application to participate in the College NOW program through my high school?

    • To earn both high school AND college credit through this program, you must submit the Heartland student application online.
    • Yes - you are becoming a Heartland student by participating in the College NOW program even if the courses you take are not at one of our campuses.
    • As a College NOW student, you can enjoy some of the same benefits as students taking courses at one of our campuses. You can get a Heartland student ID card so you can use our Fitness and Recreation Center, as well as access our library and tutoring services.
      • Students who live near our Lincoln or Pontiac campus can ask about getting a student ID card at the front desk.

    How do I submit the Heartland student application for the College NOW program?

    • You will need to enter your correct social security number, date of birth, high school graduation year, and start term.
    • You can use this application guide to see every page of the Heartland student application and get tips for how you should respond to each prompt.
    • See if your school has an active dual credit admission process webpage OR start the process:
      • Visit
      • Scroll down to choose I’m Ready to Apply Online.
      • Select the following responses as they appear:
        • Take one or more classes.
        • I would like to earn HCC credit while I am still in high school.
        • By choosing from HCC courses offered through my high school/career center. 

    What should I do if I submitted the Heartland student application but I received an acceptance letter that does not list College NOW as my Admit Type?

    • Please email immediately if you intend to take Heartland courses chosen by your high school or career center that are offered during your regular school day.
    • If you also intend to take additional Heartland on your own, you should email for help along that pathway. You should not have to resubmit the Heartland student application for the Dual Admission program.

    What should I do if I submitted the Heartland student application but never received an acceptance email?

    • Please be advised that acceptance emails are sent within 3 to 5 business days of successful application submission to whatever email address you provided on the Heartland student application.

      • Sometimes those messages get flagged as spam/junk, so be sure to check that folder of your email address. 

      • If you used your high school email address, that email account may not be set up to receive external emails from sources other than your high school.

    • You should email to:
      • check the status of your application 
      • provide a different email address
      • request that we resend the acceptance email to the same email address you provided on the heartland student application
  • Why do I need to set up myHeartland?

    • To access your Heartland email address.
    • To make an appointment for any required placement testing for courses you intend to take through the College NOW program.
    • To access our learning management system (Blackboard) if your course requires it.

    How do I set-up or access myHeartland?

    • You need your Heartland student ID # provided on your acceptance email.
    • Follow these instructions for accessing myHeartland

    What should I do if I am having trouble accessing myHeartland?

    • You should contact our Heartland IT department.
    • You must be able to provide our IT staff with your HCC log-in information from your acceptance email. (Your HS counselor should be able to provide you with your HCC student log-in information.)
  • How do I know what placement tests are required for the courses I want to take through the College NOW program?

    • All of the general education courses offered through this program require you to take the ACCUPLACER®literacy test unless you have other eligible scores. 

    • Placement testing is currently not required for career-technical education courses offered through our career center partners.

    • If you intend to take a Heartland Math, Biology and/or Chemistry course offered through your high school, you must also take the ACCUPLACER® Math test in addition to the ACCUPLACER® literacy test.
    • When available, details about requirement placement testing for courses offered at each College NOW high school will be provided here for each academic year.
    • Heartland will waive some ACCUPLACER® test requirements if you achieve other eligible scores before or after taking placement tests at Heartland.
      • You can review the current listing of other eligible scores here.
      • You should connect with your counselor about submitting your score report(s) to Heartland.

    How do I make an appointment for placement testing?

    • Log in to using the student log-in information from your acceptance letter.
      • Choose Appointments from the options in the top menu bar.
      • Then choose the Placement Testing option:
        • Select your desired testing location: Normal   |   Lincoln   |   Pontiac 
        • Follow the next prompts to finish making your appointment.
    • Placement testing appointment must be made online at least 48 hours in advance.
    • You will get a score report when you have completed the required placement test(s) unless you attend a group testing session with your school.

    How should I prepare for my placement testing appointment? 

    • The Heartland testing center has provided some very helpful tips here.
    • You will need to bring a photo ID to your testing session and should know your HCC student ID #.
  • Once I complete the College NOW admission process, how do I enroll in dual credit courses offered through my high school or career center?

    • After you are sure you have met all the requirements for the Heartland courses you intend to take, you must enroll through your high school counselor.
    • Heartland will enroll College NOW students based on rosters submitted to the College by high school counselors and career center support staff.
    • You will receive an email from Heartland welcoming you to the program after you have been enrolled to earn the college credit portion of your College NOW course(s). 

    Can I take a College NOW course for high school credit only?

    • Yes, but you would have to prove that you are eligible to take the course through completion of placement testing or submission of other eligible test scores for courses that require college-level readiness. 

    What should I do if I want to drop or withdraw from a Heartland course I am taking through the College NOW program?

    • Be aware of the course drop and withdrawal dates for each semester. Those dates will be available on the College NOW Admission Process Calendar and in the enrollment letter sent via email every semester.
      • If you drop a course by the drop deadline, your Heartland college transcript will not be impacted.
      • If you withdraw from a course after the drop deadline and before the withdrawal deadline, a "W" will appear on your Heartland college transcript.
    • Let your instructor know that you are having difficulty -- he or she may be able to help you avoid dropping or withdrawing from the course.
    • Connect with your counselor to adjust your schedule and your counselor will alert Heartland.

    Can I take courses at Heartland outside of the College NOW program?

    • Yes! You can take Heartland courses not offered by your high school/career center through our Dual Admission program.
      • You would work with a Heartland advisor if you want to earn college credit only.

      • You must work with your school counselor if you would like to earn both high school AND college credit for the Heartland courses you take on your own.

      • You must pay Heartland's regular tuition for courses you take through the Dual Admission program.
  •  AY 2018-2019 Student Deadlines