Undocumented students ineligible for free Harper tuition

  • Undocumented students will not be able to participate in Harper College's new program that guarantees free tuition for students who meet performance standards because the process requires a Social Security number, school officials said Sunday.

      Undocumented students will not be able to participate in Harper College's new program that guarantees free tuition for students who meet performance standards because the process requires a Social Security number, school officials said Sunday. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/30/2015 9:35 AM

Undocumented students will not be able to participate in Harper College's new program that guarantees free tuition for students who meet performance standards because the process requires a Social Security number, school officials said Sunday.

Harper spokesman Phil Burdick said under the new Harper Promise program, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, they provide a Social Security number.

 

Under the Harper Promise, students must seek other forms of financial aid along with the program's assistance.

"Students have to apply for all financial aid first and Promise picks up the rest," Burdick said.

Burdick said Harper has other scholarship programs available for undocumented students.

The college's students are never asked to provide a Social Security number or any proof of their citizenship, he added.

"The college is open to anyone," Burdick said. "We just assign students a student ID number."

Harper does not keep records of how many undocumented students are enrolled, he said.

The Harper Promise program pledges two years of free tuition to local high school students who stay on top of their grades, don't skip class and perform community service.

Those who do make the cut get the big reward: four consecutive semesters of free tuition, saving them, by today's rate, up to $3,892.50 a year.

More information on the Promise program's qualifications can be found on the Harper College website.

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