Eligibility Requirements for Maintaining your NJ STARS Scholarship

Financial Aid Requirements (FAFSA/HESAA)

Each year:

  • Apply for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA):  Complete the FAFSA application each year by the deadline and be sure that Bergen Community College (college code 004736) is one of your college choices.
  • Apply for State-Based Financial Aid (HESAA):  A few days after completing your FAFSA, check your HESAA NJFAMS student portal.  Click on “To Do List” on the main menu to be sure your  FAFSA is listed for the correct academic year and that there is a green checkmark in the box preceding it.  If there are any red boxes that do not contain a checkmark beneath the FAFSA, provide the requested information to HESAA by stated deadlines.  If you have any questions, please check the NJFAMS Student User Manual.

Important!  Please continue to check your student gmail account for important information.  It is of the utmost importance that all financial aid and HESAA paperwork, and any additional information requested is completed by stated deadlines. Compliance will ensure continued enrollment in Bergen Community College’s NJ STARS Program.  Failure to complete all documents and provide all requested information may result in one or more unfunded semesters, or possible loss of NJ STARS and NJ STARS II eligibility.

Financial Aid Deadlines

For the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Financial Aid Deadlines, and the 2020-2021 FAFSA Workshop Schedule, visit our Financial Aid Deadlines page.

The new FAFSA for 2020-2021 became available on October 1, 2019.  Continuing NJ STARS students who received the NJ TAG (Tuition Aid Grant) from HESAA must complete their FAFSA and HESAA requirements by April 15th each year.  The deadline was extended to June 1, 2020 for the 2020-2021 Academic year only.

Financial Aid TV
Please access Financial Aid TV where you can browse through video playlists by category, go through the financial aid process in order, or search for answers to your questions.  These short videos also have a typewritten script that runs alongside it so you can read or listen.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the Financial Aid requirements above, the following requirements must be met:

  • Full-Time & Continuous Enrollment:  Maintain continuous full-time enrollment with a minimum of 12 college-level credits in fall and spring semesters (students have five consecutive semesters of eligibility).
  • 3.0 Requirement:  Obtain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA prior to the start of the third semester of NJ STARS eligibility. Grades received for remedial courses are not included in your cumulative GPA.
  • Payment of Fees:  Make payment arrangements for all fees and any other payments not covered by NJ STARS prior to the payment deadline for each semester.  For payment deadlines, click here.

Click here for full NJ STARS Scholarship Maintenance Requirements.

When to Meet with an Academic Counselor

  • It is strongly recommended that you meet with an  Academic Counselor each semester.
  • If you are having difficulty, you can make an appointment with an Academic Counselor to apply for a medical, family emergency or military leave.  New NJ STARS legislation has been passed allowing students on leave to attend on a part-time basis.  Check with Financial Aid for more information.
  • You should make an appointment with an Academic Counselor before making any changes to your schedule.
  • Be sure to get permission before dropping a class or classes or you may permanently lose your NJ STARS eligibility.
  • It is never too early to talk to a transfer counselor!  You should make an appointment to see a Transfer Counselor after completing 48 college level credits, and visit the Transfer and Articulation Services webpages for more information.
  • If after meeting with a counselor you would like to withdraw from a course or course, you must have the Change of Status form signed by the NJ STARS Representative.
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