Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Harper College tuition is $3,000 per year for in-district residents. This is 1% more expensive than the national average public two year in-district tuition of $2,965. The cost is 40% cheaper than the average Illinois in-district tuition of $4,997 for 2 year colleges. Tuition ranks 8th in Illinois amongst 2 year colleges for affordability and is the 49th most expensive 2 year college in the state.

The school charges an additional fees of $498 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $9,666.

Housing Costs

Harper College doesn't offer on campus housing. If you're not living with family you will need to budget for food and housing in the Palatine area just like you would for a college with dorms. The estimated rent and meal expense per academic year for off campus housing is $11,940.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,000.

Other Living Expenses

Off-campus students should budget for $4,115 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-district residents to go to Harper is $20,553 for the 2017/2018 academic year. The total cost for in-state, but not in district residents is $26,721. Out-of-state students who don't possess Illinois residence can expect a one year cost of $28,533. Students residing at home with parents providing food and housing can expect a total cost of $14,781.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for Harper College and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Harper College
Estimated Budgets
In-District Resident Total Budget (Living Off Campus)$20,553
   In-District Tuition$3,000
   Other Fees$498
   Off-Campus Other Budget$4,115
   Books and Supplies$1,000
   Off-Campus Housing Estimate$11,940
In-District Resident Total Budget (Living with Parents)$8,613
   In-District Tuition$3,000
   Other Fees$498
   Family Provided Room and Board$0
   With-Family Other Living Budget$4,115
   Books and Supplies$1,000
Illinois Out of District Total Budget (Living Off Campus)$26,721
   In-State Tuition$9,168
   Other Fees$498
   Off-Campus Housing Estimate$11,940
   Off-Campus Other Budget$4,115
   Books and Supplies$1,000
Illinois Out of District Total Budget (Living with Parents)$14,781
   In-State Tuition$9,168
   Other Fees$498
   Family Provided Room and Board$0
   With-Family Other Living Budget$4,115
   Books and Supplies$1,000


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $26,721 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported Harper net price for in-state students is $7,161* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

44% of Harper College students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $4,887. 37 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,626. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Harper College, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Harper College
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$7,161*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid44%
Average Total Grant Aid$4,887
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants37%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,626

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$6,867
$30,001 to $48,000$7,959
$48,001 to $75,000$10,107
$75,001 to $110,000$11,936

Average Financial Aid Mix - $26,721 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $26,721. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 22% - $4,887

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Harper College or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 22% - $5,067

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 56% -  $12,652

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Community Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Harper College
Oakton Community College12.1% more expensive
Elgin Community College13.9% more expensive
City Colleges of Chicago Wilbur Wright College11.4% less expensive
College of DuPage5.4% less expensive
Triton College0.9% more expensive

Cost of a Degree

Being a school offering two year programs, prospective students should consider the multi year outlay when budgeting the cost for two years at Harper College.

Estimated 2 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 2 year associate degree at Harper is $53,442 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 2 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $5,739 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 2 would estimate the cost of a degree at $11,478**

**Based on a 2 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Harper College.

Illinois Resident Tuition Per Semester$4,584
Illinois Resident Total Cost Per Semester$13,360
Non-Illinois Resident Tuition Per Semester$5,490
Non-Illinois Resident Total Cost Per Semester$14,266

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Harper College are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Harper College
Price per credit hour for in district residents$125
Cost for one class for in district residents (3 credit hours)$375
Price per credit hour for Illinois residents$382
Cost for one class for Illinois residents (3 credit hours)$1,146
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$458
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$1,374
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$1,832


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 10% of Harper College students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,067.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Harper College? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $11,478, 100% of the estimated average net price for a two year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $14,241.57. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Harper College. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 44% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $5,739. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Harper College student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Harper College Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$118.68
Amount Borrowed$11,478.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$2,763.57
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$14,241.57

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend Harper? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Harper College, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $14,241.57 would be needed to afford a $118.68 monthly payment in the example $11,478.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Harper College in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $8,736 to $9,168. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 1%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 2 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 2 year cost of $53,442.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Harper College.

Annual2 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$34,956$69,912
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$44,614$89,228
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $56,940$113,880
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $65,915$131,830

Tuition History

What was tuition at Harper five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearIn-StateOut-of-stateAnnual Increase
2012$8,628$10,440 1.1%
2011$8,532$10,344 3.7%
2010$8,226$10,218 0.6%
2009$8,178$10,026 3.7%
2008$7,890$9,762 7.2%
2007$7,362$9,138 4.4%
2006$7,050$8,706 0.6%
2005$7,008$8,616 0.6%
2004$6,964$8,884 37.8%
2003$5,055$7,815 -2.4%
2002$5,181$6,886 -1.2%
2001$5,242$6,816 -5.1%
2000$5,526$6,884 -7.3%
1999$5,958$7,334 2.5%
1998$5,814$6,773 8.4%
1997$5,363$6,167 11.7%
1996$4,800$5,583 4.2%
1995$4,606$5,372 3.8%
1994$4,437$5,522 -9.3%
1993$4,891$6,131 45.2%
1992$3,369$4,268 4.5%
1991$3,223$4,055 0%
1990$3,223$4,055 17.4%
1989$2,745$3,499 19.7%

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Harper College to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Associate's Degree 883 29% costlier
Biological and Physical Sciences Associate's Degree 101 32% costlier
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Associate's Degree 96 41% costlier
Fire Science/Fire-fighting Associate's Degree 50 55% costlier
Criminal Justice/Police Science Associate's Degree 32 48% costlier
Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Associate's Degree 26 46% costlier
Business Administration and Management, General Associate's Degree 24 32% costlier
General Studies Associate's Degree 24 35% costlier
Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist Associate's Degree 19 31% costlier
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer Associate's Degree 19 47% costlier
Legal Assistant/Paralegal Associate's Degree 19 41% costlier
Interior Design Associate's Degree 19 36% costlier
Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant and Medical Secretary Associate's Degree 15 49% costlier
Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping Associate's Degree 14 46% costlier
Hospitality Administration/Management, General Associate's Degree 11 43% costlier
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 11 45% costlier
Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer and Ultrasound Technician Associate's Degree 10 46% costlier
Child Care Provider/Assistant Associate's Degree 9 45% costlier
Banking and Financial Support Services Associate's Degree 8 46% costlier
Fashion Merchandising Associate's Degree 8 0% costlier
Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production Associate's Degree 7 58% costlier
Information Science/Studies Associate's Degree 7 29% costlier
Music, General Associate's Degree 6 47% costlier
Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 5 62% costlier
Dietetic Technician Associate's Degree 5 42% costlier
Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD Associate's Degree 4 44% costlier
Fashion and Fabric Consultant Associate's Degree 3 22% costlier
International Business/Trade/Commerce Associate's Degree 3 25% costlier
Nanotechnology Associate's Degree 2 76% costlier
Small Business Administration/Management Associate's Degree 2 43% costlier
Engineering, General Associate's Degree 2 52% costlier
Selling Skills and Sales Operations Associate's Degree 2 48% costlier
Parts, Warehousing, and Inventory Management Operations Associate's Degree 2 66% costlier
Building/Property Maintenance Associate's Degree 2 58% costlier
Applied Horticulture/Horticulture Operations, General Associate's Degree 1 44% costlier
Forensic Science and Technology Associate's Degree 1 58% costlier
Turf and Turfgrass Management Associate's Degree 1 41% costlier
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) Associate's Degree 1 58% costlier
Computer Programming/Programmer, General Associate's Degree 1 54% costlier
Teacher Assistant/Aide Associate's Degree 1 52% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Harper College or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Harper College in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Harper College student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Harper College

Harper College is a two year community college located in Palatine, Illinois.  Full time enrollment is 4,836 and part time is 9,306.  Harper College has an open admission policy meaning that any prospective student who has completed high school or attained a GED certificate may enroll in classes.

Only undergraduate degrees are offered at this school.

Harper College
1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, Illinois

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Harper College is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

Harper College cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=149842 IPEDS survey data.