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Student Guidelines

Academic Year 2018-2019

  • 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


    The basic admission steps for the College NOW program are as follows:

    • Heartland Application: You must successfully submit the Heartland student application if you intend to earn college credit for HCC courses you take through your high school or career center.

      • You should receive an acceptance within three to five days of application submission that will help with your next steps. Access your myHeartland account using the student identification information provided in the top-right corner of your acceptance letter.

    • Placement Testing: You must make an appointment through myHeartland to complete any required placement tests.

      • Heartland will waive placement testing requirements if you have other eligible test scores. You can find information about acceptable alternate tests here

    After you meet the necessary requirements for the Heartland courses you intend to take, you can request enrollment through your high school counselor.

    Heartland's College NOW open admission window is from September through April of the prior academic year. However, the admission process steps and timeline could be different depending on your high school or career center.


    • 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

  • Pathways

    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: 



    • 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 withdrawal deadlines to avoid having a "W" on your college transcript. You can find those dates on the Calendar of Events here.
    • 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 and 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, you want to 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.

    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.

    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.