skip to main content

Program Information

Please use the drop-down menu options below to find information about participating in the College NOW program through a high school, career center, or taking Heartland courses on-campus/online on your own. 

*Try a different browser if you experience difficulty accessing the information on this page.*

  • Costs/Fees

    • There is no application fee.
    • There is no fee for initial placement testing.
      • There is a re-test fee of $5 for the ACCUPLACER Math placement test.
    • Heartland courses taken through a high school/career center and taught by qualified high school/career center faculty are tuition-free for students.
    • Heartland courses taken at any Heartland location/online and taught by Heartland faculty are subject to tuition & fees unless offered through a high school/career center partnership.
    • Students/parents are also responsible for:
      • purchasing any required textbooks & materials for Heartland courses
      • paying any applicable fees charged by your high school/career center 

    Age Limit

    The majority of the Heartland courses offered through this program are primarily recommended for students who are over the age of 16 and/or are juniors or seniors in high school.

    The following special notations apply:

    • We work with high school/career center administrators to determine appropriate high school grade-level for students taking Heartland courses through a high school/career center.
    • Students under the age of 16 who want to take courses at any Heartland location/online must complete additional admission steps found here: heartland.edu/collegeNow/atHeartland/under16 

    Credit Hour Limit

    • High school students are subject to an 8 credit hour limit when taking a full high school course load in addition to taking Heartland courses for college credit only.
    • Students under the age of 16 are limited to one Heartland course in their first semester of enrollment.

    Understanding Key Terminology

    Application vs. Registration

    • Application: Completion of the Heartland student application does not equal registration. Successful submission of the application is simply a part of the admission process that creates a Heartland student profile necessary for registration. 

    • Registration: Completion of the student admission process leads to registration -- also referred to as course enrollment. Students must be enrolled in Heartland's student management system in order to earn college credit upon successful completion of each course. Need to get registered for Heartland courses? 

    Dual Credit vs. Dual Enrollment

    • 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 earn college credit for Heartland courses you enroll in on your own by working with a Heartland advisor. 

    Dual Credit vs. Advanced Placement (AP)

    Both dual credit and advanced placement provide opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school. The difference is:

    • 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 college 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.

  • Your participation in the College NOW program can help you:

    • earn both high school and college credit for each course
    • save time and money as you pursue a college degree 
    • develop a sense of independence, personal responsibility, and confidence
    • take college courses at your high school/career center during your regular school day in some cases
    • explore career paths and coursework that prepare you to enter the workforce or attend college or university

    Heartland Student ID Card

    You can get a Heartland student ID card after you are enrolled in Heartland's system. You will need your HCC ID # found in your Heartland acceptance email and a photo ID. 

    Once you have a Heartland student ID card, you can:

    • You are expected to take responsibility for your own learning.
    • You should plan for 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 are expected to get any required textbooks and materials for your Heartland courses. Your high school will typically provide you with this type of information if you are taking Heartland courses at that location
    • You may be expected to use online learning management systems -- such as Canvas -- to review course content and submit assignments.
    • You should use your free myHeartland account -- provided after your Heartland student application has been processed -- to connect to the online learning resources, access your Heartland email inbox, see what courses you are enrolled in and make any necessary appointments to visit our campus.
    • You are expected to follow the standards and code of conduct provided in the Heartland Student Handbook.  
  • Heartland Application Submission

    You must successfully submit the Heartland student application for the College NOW program to earn college credit for the completion of Heartland courses. There is no application fee and you do not have to reapply for the program every year.


    Application Process  

    • Visit www.heartland.edu/application
      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.
    • Then choose the option below that applies to you:
      • By choosing from HCC courses offered through my high school/career center.
      • By choosing from the HCC course catalog on my own and working with a Heartland Academic Advisor.

    Welcome Letter

    • Heartland will send your welcome letter to the email address and mailing address you entered on your application 3 to 5 business days after successful application submission.
    • Follow the instructions provided in your welcome letter to set up your myHeartland account immediately.
    • If you do not receive your welcome letter via email or in the mail after the time period mentioned above, you should:
      • see if you received an email from us with ACTION REQUIRED in the subject line 
      • check your spam/junk folder to see if the email was redirected from your inbox
      • email collegenow@heartland.edu to inquire about your application status or to request a copy of your welcome letter.
  • We send HCC welcome letters to the email address provided on each Heartland student application within 3 to 5 business days after successful submission. Use these instructions for accessing your myHeartland account for the first time:

    NOTE: If you do not receive your welcome letter via email or in the mail within the time mentioned above...

    • check your spam/junk folder to see if the email was redirected from your inbox
    • see if you received an email from us with ACTION REQUIRED in the subject line 
    • email collegenow@heartland.edu to inquire about your application status or to request a copy of your welcome letter
  • You only need to complete placement testing at Heartland if:  

    • you do not have other eligible test scores, such as ACT/PSAT/SAT scores 
    • required for HCC courses you intend to take on-campus/online or through your high school

    Important Notes

    • You are not required to complete placement testing for HCC courses offered through BACC, LACC or LTEC. 
    • You must set up your myHeartland account in order to make a placement testing appointment.
    • You must schedule your testing appointment online 48 hours in advance. 
    • You can use the HCC course catalog to see placement testing requirements for HCC courses you intend to take on-campus/online by working with a Heartland academic advisor.
    • You can find the dual credit course options page for your high school to see applicable placement testing requirements for Heartland courses offered at that location during your regular school day.

    Schedule An Appointment

    • Log in to my.heartland.edu using the 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 OR Lincoln OR Pontiac
    • Follow the next prompts to finish making your appointment.

    Note: If necessary, you must schedule any retesting appointments through myHeartland. There is no fee for the Literacy retest. There is a $5 fee for the Math retest.

  • At Heartland Locations/Online

    • As a high school student, you cannot register yourself for Heartland courses. A Heartland academic advisor will complete your enrollment into Heartland courses you are eligible to take when you bring your student enrollment form to any of our campus locations: Normal | Lincoln | Pontiac 
    • You will be awarded the college credit you earn through taking Heartland courses on your own.
    • You must get permission from your high school to also earn high school credit for Heartland courses you take on-campus/online and a high administrator/counselor must complete this form.
    • You/your parents are responsible for paying Heartland tuition/fees by the due date on your bill. (Also see: Paying for College)

    *Online Awareness Survey: All students must complete our online awareness survey before taking the very first online Heartland course by following these instructions.*

    Reference: At Heartland/Online


    Through a High School

    • You cannot register yourself for Heartland courses. Instead, you must request enrollment during the registration process at your high school. We enroll students in Heartland courses offered through high schools using the dual credit course rosters submitted by each school.
    • Course registration into Heartland's system happens at different times for Heartland courses offered through high schools. Use the chart below as your guide and ask your counselor to confirm that your name was included on the dual credit course rosters submitted by your high school.
    Tentative Heartland Enrollment Periods

    Fall Courses: During the summer prior to the school year - typically in June

    *Yearlong Courses: During the summer prior to the school year - typically in July

    Spring Courses: During the school year -  typically in November

    *Although you are scheduled to be in these courses during the whole year at your high school, these courses will appear on your Heartland Spring schedule. You can only earn the college credit if you stay enrolled in these courses for the whole school year.

    High School Credit Only

    You can take a Heartland course through your high school for high school credit only if the high school allows it. You should talk to your school counselor about this option.

    • You must still meet any placement requirements to take Heartland courses through your high school even if you do not want the college credit. 
    • If you decide to take a Heartland course through your high school for high school credit only, Heartland cannot award you the college credit after you have completed the course.  

    Reference: High School Options


    Through a Career Center

    • You cannot register yourself for Heartland courses. Instead, you must request enrollment during the registration process at your high school. We enroll students in Heartland courses offered through career centers using the dual credit course rosters submitted by each center.  
    • Course registration into Heartland's system happens at different times for Heartland courses offered through career centers. Use the chart below as your guide and ask your career center instructor to confirm that your name was included on the dual credit course rosters submitted by your career center.
    Tentative Heartland Enrollment Periods

    Fall Courses: During the school year - typically in September

    *Yearlong Courses: During the school year - typically in October

    Spring Courses: During the school year -  typically in November

     *Although you are scheduled to be in these courses during the whole year at your career center, these courses will appear on your Heartland Spring schedule. You can only earn the college credit if you stay enrolled in these courses for the whole school year.

    High School Credit Only

    You can take Heartland courses through your career center for high school credit only. If you decide to take a Heartland course through your career center for high school credit only, Heartland cannot award you the college credit after you have completed the course.  

    Reference: Career Center Options


    Drops & Withdrawals

    • You have the right to drop or withdraw from a Heartland course. However, you should first let your instructor know if you are having difficulty in a course. 
    • You should be mindful of Heartland's course drop/withdrawal deadlines, which can be found on the College NOW Important Dates calendar.
      • If you drop a Heartland course by the drop deadline, the course will not appear on your college transcript and you will receive a refund if you paid Heartland tuition/fees for the course.
      • If you withdraw from a Heartland course after the drop deadline and before the withdrawal deadline, a "W" will appear on your Heartland college transcript and no refund will be issued to you for Heartland tuition/fees.
    • If applicable, you should talk to your counselor about any additional drop/withdrawal guidelines for Heartland courses offered through your high school/career center.
      • If you decide to drop/withdraw from a Heartland course offered through your high school/career center, your counselor or career center staff will prompt Heartland to complete your drop/withdrawal.
    • If applicable, you will be dropped from your Heartland courses if you do not pay the Heartland tuition/fees by the due date listed on your student bill. (See Paying for College)
    • You may also be withdrawn from a Heartland course by your instructor if you are not considered to be actively pursuing successful 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!

    Placement Testing

    If you are coming to Heartland and want to know your prior placement testing scores, you can access your ACCUPLACER score report here: https://studentportal.accuplacer.org/#/studentisr.

    • You will need to know your HCC student ID number.
    • You can also contact the Testing Center via email (testing@heartland.edu) or phone (309-268-8077). 

    Transferability

    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.

    Transcripts

    The grade you earn will be recorded on your Heartland Community College transcript. College transcripts are used to determine your eligibility for financial aid.
  • Important dates for College NOW students

  • Still need help?

    Submit an inquiry to us by responding to the prompts below if you could not find the answer you were looking for on this website.