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Becoming a College NOW Student

First, you must submit the HCC student application!

Before You Apply

  • You do not need to submit the HCC student application every year while you are in high school. Your HCC student account will remain active until after you graduate from high school. 
  • You will need to enter your correct social security number and high school graduation month and year during the application process. (No SSN? No problem! See the section below for help!)
  • Use an email address you check often but avoid using your high school email account.
  • Students under the age of 16 taking HCC courses on-campus/online, not through our high school or career center partnerships, must satisfy the additional admission requirements outlined here.

I'm Ready to Apply

After You Apply

  • Your welcome letter will go to the email address you entered on your application within 3-5 business days after you submit your application. (Application processing could take longer during high-volume times or if an error is detected with the information entered on your application.)
  • Be sure to check your spam/junk filter before reaching out about your welcome letter.
  • You must follow the instructions provided in your welcome letter to access your free myHeartland student account. (Contact IT for assistance accessing your account: | 309-268-8380)
  • Don't Have a Social Security Number?

    For any student who does not have a social security number (primarily international or exchange students), you will need to complete this application instead. This is a fillable form you can complete on your computer, then download as a PDF. Please double check to be sure that your downloaded form saved the information you entered before you close the browser window! If the download does not include your information, try the Print to PDF feature instead. 

    As you complete the form, choose these options:

    • Page 1: Select the correct start term for the HCC courses you intend to take.
    • Page 2: What would you like to do as a student at HCC?
      • Under Take one or more classeschoose:
      • I would like to earn HCC credit while I am still in high school.
      • Then choose which option describes how you will select your courses:
        • I will choose my HCC courses from the high school/career center offerings (College NOW)
        • I will choose my HCC courses from the HCC course catalog and work with a Heartland Academic Advisor.

    Submit both your completed application pdf and a scanned copy of your permanent residency card or visa to this secure link following these instructions. If you don’t have access to a scanner, you can take a picture of your permanent residency card or visa with a cell phone; be sure the entire document is centered in the picture, on a solid background, and clearly legible. 

    Alternately, you can bring the completed application and permanent residency card/visa in person to any of our Heartland campuses to be scanned. On our main campus in Normal, our Early College Opportunities department is located inside the Records Office, in the Community Commons Building, suite 1600. At our Pontiac or Lincoln campuses, bring it to the front welcome desk, and let them know you are a College NOW student! 

Next, you may need to take HCC placement tests. 

*Not required for HCC courses offered through our career center partners, success education courses, or most career-technical education courses.*

Before You Test

  • Make sure you set up your Heartland account.
    • Go to Manage My Password to get started, using the information included in the welcome letter you received via email after applying. 
    • If you experience difficulty setting up or accessing your HCC student account, please contact HCC IT for assistance: | 309-268-8380.
  • Make sure you know which placement test(s) are required for the HCC courses you intend to take.
    • If you are taking courses on-campus or online you should review the information in the Placement Testing section here
    • If you are taking courses at your high school, access your high school's dual credit course page for more information.

Please note: Confirmation emails for placement testing appointments are sent to your Heartland email account, not your personal email account. If you have any questions or difficulties with your testing appointment, please reach out to our Testing Center at or call 309-268-8077.

I'm Ready To Test