Types of Financial Aid

Bergen Community College disburses over $45 million Federal & New Jersey State financial assistance to eligible students annually. Funding consists of a combination of grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. To be eligible, you must complete the steps on How To Apply. To learn how the Office of Financial Aid determines your financial aid award package, please go to How Financial Aid is Determined.


Grants are forms of aid that do not have to be repaid. They are awarded to students who show financial need on the FAFSA. Students who attend Bergen Community College may be eligible for the following grants:

Federal Pell Grants

The Federal Pell Grant is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. To qualify for a Federal Pell Grant, a student must demonstrate financial need. Financial need is determined by using a formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The fundamental elements in this standard formula are the student’s income and assets, the parents’ income and assets (if the student is dependent), the family’s household size, and the number of family members attending college.

Federal Pell Grants are grants awarded to students who have not received their first bachelor’s degree, are U.S. Citizens (or eligible non-citizens), not defaulted on a Federal Student Loan, or owe a refund on a federal grant, completed a FAFSA, and are enrolled in a degree program. For the 2013-2014 Academic Year, Federal Pell Grants range from $574 to $5,645 (depending on EFC & enrollment).

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education reserved for students with the greatest need for financial aid to attend college. Priority is given to students who receive Federal Pell Grants and are usually restricted due to funding limitations. FSEOG is a grant that is awarded to students who have not received their first bachelor’s degree, are U.S. Citizens (or eligible non-citizens), not defaulted on a Federal Student Loan, or owe a refund on a Federal grant, completed a FAFSA, and are enrolled in a degree program.

Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG)The New Jersey Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) is a state grant program that is based on financial need and does not have to be repaid. Award amounts are determined by the State of New Jersey. You must be a resident of NJ and enrolled full-time (12 credits) or part-time (6 – 11 credits) in order to receive this grant. This grant may cover up to the cost of tuition, but individual grants vary based on financial need, cost of attendance and available funding.

Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF)

The New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) is one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful state-supported efforts to provide access to higher education for economically and educationally disadvantaged students. EOF grants assist low-income residents who are capable and motivated but lack adequate preparation for college study. EOF supports a wide array of campus-based outreach and support services to help program participants succeed and graduate.

Student Loans

Student Loans must be repaid, but generally have low interest rate. Loans may come from the government or a commercial lender, such as a bank or credit union. The Federal Direct Loan Program offers the following types of loans for students and parents.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods. The borrower may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal) when the loan enters repayment.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students. Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. The school will determine the actual amount you may borrow. Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan borrowers are subject to a credit check. Dependent students whose parents have applied for but were unable to get a PLUS Loan are eligible to receive additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Private Student Loans

Private student loans are an alternative to the Federal Direct Loans. Students who may not be eligible for Federal &/or NJ State funding may apply.

Federal Work Study Program (FWS)

The Federal Work-Study Program is a federally-funded program for students who need financial assistance with educational expenses. The purpose of the program is to place financially eligible students in part-time employment so that students can earn money while attending Bergen Community College. To be considered for FWSP funds, you must file the FAFSA form by the priority deadline, must request Federal Work Study on the application, and must be financially eligible according to federal and university policies. Students must also attend half-time, 6 credits or more) for and FWSP. If you are eligible, you will be notified in your Financial Aid Award Letter. Students must file a FAFSA form each year and must continue to be financially eligible to participate.

Federal Work Study pay rates are as follows:

  • $8.25 pay rate for both on and off campus FWS positions.
  • Life Guard (CPR/First Aid Certification required): $8.50 per hour

Students are permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week. The Maximum award will be $1500.00 for the academic year, if eligible. If additional funding becomes available throughout the academic year, this award may be increased.

To apply for a Federal Work Study position:

  1. Receive a financial aid award letter via email indicating that you are eligible for Work Study position. If you have not received a Federal Work Study award, please stop by the Financial Aid Office One Stop Window for information.
  2. Students will receive an additional Award Notification with a deadline date to seek placement, if the deadline date has passed with no placement the FWS award will be deleted
  3. Attend a mandatory Federal Work Study workshop.
  4. Select a position of interest based on the job postings offered, and contact the Supervisor (job lead) for an interview.
  5. Obtain written confirmation by completing the On-Campus Employment Form.
  6. Complete the hiring paperwork (I-9 and W-4 form) within three (3) days of the student’s hire date. Please note that students will not be cleared to work until all paperwork is completed.
  7. Accurately complete timesheets provided by the Supervisor. Student is responsible for handing in their timesheets for approval, on a timely basis, to their Supervisor for submission to the Financial Aid Office.

Other Types of Assistance


New Jersey STARS (NJ Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship)

NJ STARS is a program that was created in 2004 by the State of New Jersey to provide access to higher education for the State’s highest achieving students. The eligibility requirements vary depending upon when you graduated high school and/or began attending a community college.

Bergen Community College Foundation Scholarships

Scholarships are currently available to students who have completed a minimum of six (6) credits at Bergen Community College. Go here to complete a general application for consideration for Bergen scholarships. Be sure to submit the application by the appropriate deadline. If you have any questions about scholarships, the application or the application process, please contact the Bergen Community College Foundation, 400 Paramus Road, Scoskie Hall, Paramus, NJ 07652, or call 201-447-7117.

The Bergen Community College Foundation is a separately incorporated foundation whose mission is to raise funds to support student scholarships and other college related endeavors. The Foundation has a forty seven year tradition of excellence in education provided by Bergen Community College. The Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders from the public and private sector who work closely with the College to develop fundraising opportunities to meet the needs of the institution. Since its inception in 1982, total contributions received by the BCC Foundation have surpassed the $20 million mark.