Rock Valley College

Rock Valley College Offering Free Tuition for First Year at Advanced Technology Center

Posted: Friday, December 11, 2020

Media Contact: David Costello, 815-921-4516

Rock Valley College will be offering free tuition for in-district students who enroll in first year coursework at RVC’s new Advanced Technology Center (ATC). Programs of study that will be initially offered when the ATC opens in August 2021 include CNC Machining, Industrial Maintenance, Mechatronics, Truck Driver Training and Welding. This initial offer will be extended across the district on a proportional basis using census data by zip code (See Exhibit A). RVC is also committed to transportation assistance to the ATC in Belvidere which will be detailed in the coming months.

“Rock Valley College is committed to providing accessible, exceptional educational and training opportunities to a diverse student body and community, and this ATC free tuition initiative will help us do just that,” said RVC President Dr. Howard Spearman. “We are further committed to removing the financial obstacles that can hinder students from pursuing their educational goals. If we are going to change the culture of education in our community, it is going to take regional, collaborative approaches like this to make a true impact.” 

“The Rock Valley College Board of Trustees has been passionately dedicated to bringing an Advanced Technology Center to the 511 District we serve because we truly believe it will aid in transforming the region through education and workforce development,” said RVC Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick Murphy. “This free tuition initiative further illustrates our commitment to making RVC and the ATC accessible to anyone in our district who is seeking the training and education for good jobs in our region. We are excited to offer this assistance to approximately 300 students because of cost savings achieved and partnerships built in the opening of this new ATC.” 

Interested students must complete an online form at, complete an RVC application, attend a mandatory virtual Information, Financial Aid and Registration session, and complete the RVC Tuition Waiver/Sponsorship Form.

Free tuition will be limited to residents who have lived at least one year in RVC’s service area (District 511). As this is limited please contact RVC for availability. This initiative does not provide for some course related fees and materials.

The Rock Valley College Board of Trustees will vote on the ATC tuition waiver initiative at the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, December 15.

About RVC’s Advanced Technology Center

RVC's Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is a regional approach that has commitment and collaboration from regional partners that will help transform the region through education and workforce development.

This new, state-of-the-art, 77,000 square-foot facility will be conveniently located off Business 20 in Belvidere, and will house many of RVC's manufacturing, technology, and industrial-based programs. The ATC will offer both credit and non-credit programs, including certificate programs and stackable credential models that can be completed in as few as five weeks.


Release date: 12/11/2020