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FAQs for Senior Citizen Tuition Waivers


Elgin Community College has been granting Senior Citizen Tuition Waivers for senior citizens living in District 509 since the passage of the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief Act on July 17, 1972. The Act provides for tuition waivers for senior citizens who are 65 years of age or older and meet specified income requirements.

Granting Senior Citizen Tuition Waivers supports the College's long-standing mission of improving people's lives through learning with affordable public access to quality education.  Therefore, ECC lowered the age requirement to 60 with no requirement for income verification.

From time to time, when the College faced financial challenges, it would revert back to the statutory requirement of 65 years of age with an income requirement. Currently, every public institution in the State of Illinois, including ECC, is facing challenging times. Therefore, the College has decided to revert back to the statute and fully comply with the state's requirements.

New changes:

Beginning with the summer 2016 term, Senior Citizen Tuition Waivers will only be granted to students who meet the requirements outlined in the Illinois Senior Citizens Courses Act. To qualify, students must be at least 65 years of age, must be an Illinois resident, must be under a specific income level as outlined in the Act, and must be enrolled in a regularly scheduled credit course. Independent Study classes, and courses designed specifically for senior citizens are ineligible.

Is the College eliminating Senior Citizen Tuition Waivers?

No, the College is not eliminating Senior Citizen Tuition Waivers. Tuition waivers will still be granted to senior citizens who meet the requirements as outlined in the statute.

What courses are impacted by this?

Independent Study classes, by statute, are ineligible for the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver.

How many senior citizens are affected?

At this time, we do not have an official count. There were 314 senior citizens who have enrolled in classes since summer 2015. Of the 314 students, approximately 30 percent will be affected due to the type of course enrolled. Each of the 314 students was notified of this change on March 30, 2016.

How much will senior citizens need to pay to take classes at ECC?

If senior citizens meet the requirements as outlined in the statute, they are still eligible to receive a tuition waiver. Course and book fees are still applicable. If they do not meet the requirements, they will be billed at the in-district rate of $129 per credit hour.

Can senior citizens apply for financial aid and scholarships?

Yes, we encourage all of our students to apply for scholarships with the ECC Foundation to help alleviate the financial cost. Students can apply online by visiting or calling 847-214-7360. Students may be eligible to receive scholarships for any number of reasons, regardless of financial need.

ECC remains committed to lifelong learning.

While the college has taken necessary steps to comply more closely with the statute, Senior Citizen Tuition Waivers are still available to those who meet the requirements. For more information about these changes, please visit or contact Student Accounts at 847-214-7380.    


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