The Parkland College Blog

Trustees Vote For Tuition Freeze, Debt Forgiveness Plan

Trustees approve Cobra Comeback program, freeze tuition rates


Parkland College plans to keep next year's base tuition rates at the same level as 2019-2020 and will offer encumbered students up to $2,000 of debt forgiveness through a new initiative. 

Parkland in-district rates will remain at $148.50 per credit hour (all Tier One courses) for the 2020-2021 academic year, the Parkland College Board of Trustees announced at its regular meeting Wednesday. Parkland President Tom Ramage made the recommendation not to increase tuition rates based on a careful analysis of projected revenues and expenditures.

State decreases in funding over the past several years had put increasing pressure on student tuition to make up the difference, concerning the Board. Administrators say recent measures put in place to reduce costs make it possible to hold the tuition rate steady for the coming academic year.

Along with freezing tuition rates for next year, the Board of Trustees has approved a new debt forgiveness program, called Cobra Comeback, which will allow returning students a chance to restart their education at Parkland by removing financial holds preventing registration. For each course in which these returning students earn a C or higher, the cost of current tuition per credit hour will be removed from their past-due balance, according to Dean of Enrollment Management Kristin Smigielski. Eligibility for the Cobra Comeback program also includes:

  • good academic standing 

  • debt of no more than $2,000

  • non-enrollment at Parkland during the past academic year

"With Cobra Comeback, Parkland College continues its mission to engage the community in learning by ensuring that all students have a second chance at completing an academic credential," Smigielski said. "We want to provide maximum access to the training and transfer programs available here, to enrich the lives of students and their families."

Potential program participants must complete an eligibility form. Find it and more information about the program at

In other business, the Board also approved:

  • the extension of the Lease Agreement with the State of Illinois CMS (IDES and IDHS) to extend the term through February 28, 2025.

  • the purchase of 4,000 ALEKS PPL testing units from McGraw-Hill, $60,000. 

  • the following personnel appointments:

    • Lauren Craig, Purchasing Agent, Business Office

    • Elizabeth Horne, Assistant Teacher, Child Development Center

    • Barry Pelmore, Custodian, Physical Plant

    • Kennedy Potempa, Assistant, Accessibility Services

    • Molly Rittenhouse, CTE Perkins program manager, Career and Technical Education

    • Kenyatta Ruff, Custodian, Physical Plant



Parkland Pathway to Illinois Program Information Event Feb. 22

High school students invited to Parkland Pathway to Illinois Program Information Event, Feb. 22

High school students can learn more about a Parkland College program guaranteeing them admission in selected colleges at the University of Illinois while saving money on tuition.

The Parkland Pathway to Illinois Program Information Event will be held Saturday, Feb. 22 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Parkland College Student Union. Prospective students and their parents are welcome to attend. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

Representatives from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Parkland College will answer questions about the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program, including eligibility, housing options, financial aid, admissions, and other topics.

For qualifying Illinois high school graduates who begin college at Parkland and are interested in transferring to the University of Illinois, the program is an opportunity to gain guaranteed admission to certain University of Illinois programs. While preparing to transfer, participating students will be able to integrate their time as full-time Parkland students with resources and classes at Illinois. Pathway students typically complete the program in two years, but AP credit and college credit earned in high school may affect program length.

To RSVP for this event, please go to

For more information about the program, please visit, contact Student Services Advisor Mary Kay Smith at 217/351-2509, or email

Parkland College to Host Spring Campus Visit Day

Campus Visit Day starts at 10 am, Feb. 17

On Monday, Feb. 17, Parkland College will host a Campus Visit Day for prospective students to give them a chance to get comfortable with the campus and ask questions.

The Campus Visit Day will include an overview of how to apply to Parkland, sign up for financial aid, and select among its many academic programs. Students will receive a guided tour of campus and some tips for the general admissions process. Visits begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; a typical visit lasts 1.5 hours.

Please RSVP here:

This event is free to attend. For more information, please call Admissions at 217/351-2482 or email

Spring Enrollment Blitz: Help with Registration

Sign up for classes with one-stop help: Admissions, Financial Aid, Counseling, more 

Parkland College's Student Services offices are offering the community a week of one-stop help with enrolling in spring semester classes.

Spring Enrollment Blitz 2020 runs Jan. 6–10, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the second-floor "bridge" of the Student Union. Since Parkland College Spring Semester 2020 classes begin Monday, Jan. 13, the event is especially useful for those who have steps yet to complete in their enrollment. 

During Enrollment Blitz, new and returning students can receive one-stop service from the college's Admissions and Records, Financial Aid and Veteran Services, Assessment Center and Counseling Services offices. Students receive assistance with such enrollment steps as completing applications for admission or financial aid; determining course placement for English, reading and math; attending a new student orientation; and registering for courses. 

For more information on this event, contact Admissions and Records at 217/351-2482 or

Parkland College to Close for Winter Break; Spring Registration Continues

Break extends Dec. 21 to Jan. 1; online registration available for current students

Parkland College will be closed Dec. 21 to Jan. 1 for the winter break. Campus offices will reopen Jan. 2 and will continue helping new and returning students register for the Spring 2020 semester, which begins Monday, Jan. 13.

From Jan. 2 to the start of the semester, Student Services offices (Admissions, Financial Aid and Veterans Services, Counseling Services, Accessibility Services, and Assessment Center) will be open during normal business hours, with extended hours available; visit for Admissions hours. The Parkland College Bookstore will also provide alternate hours, including 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3 and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 8 to 10.

Parkland College will offer its Spring 2020 Enrollment Blitz Jan. 6 to 10 on the second floor bridge of the Student Union. Here, new and returning students can receive one-stop help with enrolling in spring courses, from applying for financial aid to scheduling an orientation.

Current Parkland College students may continue registering for spring 2020 classes through WebAdvisor, at This online registration is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Sunday, Jan. 12; certain restrictions may apply.

New students can visit to apply for admission to the college and can view available spring 2020 courses at For additional assistance, visit the Admissions office in Room U214, email, or call 217/351-2482.