skip to main content
Heartland mobile logo

Student Information

As a College NOW student, you can...

  • explore specific academic and career pathways of interest to you
  • earn both high school and college credit (dual credit) at the same time
  • develop a sense of independence, personal responsibility, & confidence
  • enter the workforce early or transfer your HCC credits to another college 
  • save time and money towards the completion of a college degree/certificate 

*More information should appear as you select each option below. If you have trouble with the drop-down menu, please try a different browser before reporting the issue to us.*

  • Apply to Heartland

    The very first step to becoming a College NOW student is to complete the Heartland student application!

    • It's free and only takes about 10-15 minutes if you have all the information you need!
    • Await your welcome letter via the email address entered on your application.
    • You do not need to apply every year as a high school student. 

    Meet Course Prerequisites

    Next, as you consider the HCC courses you want to take, you must pay special attention to the requirements for each course. 

    • You may need to complete placement testing for HCC courses offered at your high school or at HCC on-campus/online. There is no fee for initial placement testing.
    • You may also need to complete some courses in a particular sequence with a grade of C or better to be enrolled in the next level course.

    » For more details, go to

    Understand Program Costs


    • While initial placement testing is free, there is a $5 fee for the ALEKS math re-test. 


    • Students are expected to pay HCC's tuition/fee rate (by the due date each semester) for courses offered on-campus or online that are not a part of an early college partnership with a district 540 high school:
    • HCC does not charge tuition/fees when students take HCC courses offered through our early college partnership with a district 540 high school at their location or online.
      • Be advised that some high schools may charge students a dual credit fee upon enrollment. 


    • Students are responsible for purchasing any required textbooks/materials for HCC courses.
    • Required textbooks/materials are listed on the syllabus instructors provide for each course.


    • There is a $5 fee for all official transcript requests. (Note: Students can access/download their unofficial transcript for free through myHeartland. See Access College Transcript section below.)

    College Student Expectations

    • You are expected to take responsibility for your own learning.
    • You should plan for an additional 2 to 3 hours of work time per week 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. 
    • You may be expected to use online learning management systems (i.e. Canvas) to review course content and submit assignments.
    • You are expected to use your myHeartland account to check for pertinent information about your enrollment status as a College NOW student.
    • You are expected to follow the guidelines for Heartland students as outlined in the Student Handbook at
  • 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.

    Complete the admission process:

    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.

    Dual Credit

    Allows 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

    Allows 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 Courses


    Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

    Both 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.

    Dual Credit Approval After you receive your enrollment confirmation email, send this link to your high school counselor or administrator. They should submit this form to indicate whether you are earning high school credit for the course, in addition to the college credit:

    Campus Students


    Partner Students

    College NOW Partner Students select HCC (tuition-free) courses offered through our partnership with a high school:
    or career center:

    College NOW Campus Students select HCC (tuition-bearing) courses to take on-campus/online: from the HCC Schedule:

    Once you have completed our admissions process (, your HCC account allows you to take classes from both pathways.

  • As a high school student, you cannot register yourself for Heartland courses. 

    Additional information

    • If your course request is submitted correctly, we will complete your enrollment and send a confirmation message to your Heartland email address.
    • If you also want high school credit for Heartland on-campus/online courses, you should connect with your high school administrator/counselor before submitting your course request(s).  
  • Using myHeartland is essential!

    You should use it to check your HCC email account for important updates, easily access student support services, schedule placement testing appointments (if necessary), confirm your enrollment status, and access class information!

    HCC Log-In Info

    First, you need to find your student log-in information in the top-right section of your welcome letter. Then, you can skip to the Account Set-Up section below.

    • Our system automatically sends welcome letters to the email address entered on submitted Heartland student applications; you may need to check your junk/spam folder for an email from
    • If you are taking courses through an early college partnership we have with a district 540 high school or career center, you can contact your high school counselor for your HCC log-in credentials.
    • If you need us to resend your welcome letter, complete each prompt below as it appears:

    Account Set-Up

    Follow these steps after you have your HCC log-in credentials.
    • Go to and choose the Manage My Password option. 
    • If you have any difficulty accessing your Heartland account, contact HCC IT staff via email or phone 309-268-8380.
  • This calendar lists the following:

    • student drop/withdrawal deadlines for 16-week courses
    • admission deadlines for early college (HS/CC) partner locations
    • deadline for initial roster submissions from early college partners
    • midterm/final grade due dates for HCC courses offered at partner locations
  • Be sure to check your myHeartland email account for your enrollment confirmation message and other details!

    myHeartland Access

    • You should make sure you have access to myHeartland at! (See the myHeartland Access section above if you need help.) Once logged in:
      • choose My Mail to review the messages we send to your myHeartland email account. 
      • choose Student Center to view your HCC course enrollment/schedule & tuition bill (if applicable).
      • choose My Classes to access detailed information posted by your instructor(s), especially if your course is being taught online by an HCC instructor.

    Courses in Canvas

    • If applicable, you can also access detailed course information by logging directly into our learning management system (LMS), which is Canvas, at 
      • Your course may not appear in Canvas until shortly before the class start date.
      • Take the time to review the Canvas 100 Orientation & Support before your class(es) start if your course is online or if your instructor chooses to use Canvas for course content.
      • All HCC courses offered on campus/online, taught by HCC instructors use Canvas, which typically becomes available to students five days before the start of each semester.
        • Some HCC courses taught by high school instructors at high school locations also use Canvas, but some do not. Check the HCC syllabus your instructor provides for details.

    HCC Student ID

    • You should get a Heartland student ID card to receive special discounts provided to college students and to access student spaces on HCC's main campus.
      • You can find more information here:
      • Or, schedule a visit to any of our campus locations to get your free ID, College NOW items (while supplies last), and answers to questions you have about the early college opportunities available to you as a high school student. Choose the link to the location you want to visit below:

    Normal Location

    Pontiac Location

    Lincoln Location 

    Support Services

    • Connect with our tutoring services center for help with your HCC and/or high school classes at 
    • Engage with Success Coaching to help you get on track at
    • Discover how you can start a pathway towards a particular college certificate or degree through College NOW Plus Pipeline at
  • From College NOW to College NEXT...

    Continue At HCC

    Completing HCC courses through College NOW means you are already on an accelerated path to earning a college degree or certificate! Why not continue your collegiate experience as a Heartland Hawk before transferring to another college or entering the workforce full time?!

    • Your College NOW student profile will be discontinued after your high school graduation date - but don't worry!
    • Simply resubmit the Heartland application, but this time as a returning student; you'll keep the same HCC log-in credentials and email address:

    Transfer Elsewhere

    Heartland courses completed through College NOW also transfer to other colleges/universities:
    • We are a part of the Illinois Articulation Initiative, which means our general education courses are widely accepted across many Illinois colleges/universities. You can find out more information about that at 
    • HCC career-technical education and elective courses may transfer to other colleges/universities in a variety of ways.
    • Exactly how your HCC courses count could be determined by your major and guidelines set by your transfer institution, so you should always check with your college/university of choice for confirmation. (You could also visit
    • You can request your HCC transcript at 
  • The grade you earn will be recorded on your unofficial and official HCC transcript.

    • You can download/print a copy of your unofficial transcript at any time by logging into your Heartland student account ( and following this path:
      • Student Center » Academic Transcripts/Grades » View Unofficial Transcript 
    • If you intend to transfer your Heartland credits to another college/university, you can request your official transcript after your last HCC course at
      • It is important to note that official college transcripts are used to determine your eligibility for financial aid. So, if you will continue your education after high school graduation and plan to seek financial aid, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress. The three main areas are outlined in Heartland’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Need More Specific Information?