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Eligibility Requirements for Maintaining your NJ STARS Scholarship

Financial Aid Requirements (FAFSA/HESAA)

Each year and/or semester:

  • Continuing NJ STARS students who received State financial aid such as the NJ TAG (Tuition Aid Grant) from HESAA must complete their FAFSA and HESAA requirements by April 15th each year.
  • 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.  Some states and schools have limited funds, so don’t delay!  To begin your FAFSA application, click here.  First, you will receive an email from Federal Student Aid confirming that your FAFSA was successfully submitted.  Next, you will receive an email from the U.S. Department of Education confirming that your FAFSA was processed successfully.  If you do not receive both of these emails, your FAFSA is not complete.  Look for an email explaining what you need to do to have your FAFSA processed. You could also log in to your FAFSA for more information.
  • New Jersey Dreamers should complete the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application. For more information, please click here.
  • Access your State-Based Financial Aid  Student Portal (HESAA NJFAMS student portal):  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 the stated deadlines.
  • Check the Financial Aid section in Self Service in your Bergen Community College student portal to be sure your FAFSA was received and that it is being processed.  If necessary, provide any missing documents or missing information so that your financial aid review can be processed and completed.
  • Out-of-county students must complete their chargeback paperwork each semester by stated deadlines.  For chargeback process information and deadlines, please visit https://bergen.edu/bursar/chargebacks/.
  • Protection will be added to all students’ records before each semester (typically in early July for fall semesters and by mid-December for spring semesters).  You should see “NJ STARS Student” in Notifications in your student portal which ​means your courses will not be dropped for non-payment.  If you do not see NJ STARS Student in Notifications in your student portal, please email njstars@bergen.edu.
  • Visit an Academic Counselor each semester, and when necessary. See below for more information.

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 the 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.

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 the 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:  Students should only pay fees associated with tuition.  Since partial payments cannot be paid online, after students are finished registering, adding, and/or dropping courses, NJ STARS students should either pay their fees at the Bursar’s Office in the One-Stop Center, or mail a check to the Bursar’s Office at Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, NJ 07652.  Make payment arrangements for fees prior to the payment deadline for each semester.  For payment deadlines, click here. For more information, visit the Bursar’s Office, Pitkin Education Center- Room L-127, call 201-447-7105, or email bursaroffice@bergen.edu
  • Tuition: If you do not receive financial aid or you only receive partial financial aid, your tuition will be funded by the State by the end of each semester as long as you complete all eligibility requirements.

To review all of the NJ STARS scholarship maintenance requirements, go to https://lf.bergen.edu/Forms/, click on Completed Tasks and search for your signed Scholarship Maintenance Requirements document.

Financial Aid Deadlines

For the Financial Aid Deadlines and FAFSA Workshop Schedule, visit the Financial Aid Deadlines page.

Important:  Continuing NJ STARS students who received State financial aid such as the NJ TAG (Tuition Aid Grant) from HESAA must complete their FAFSA and HESAA requirements by April 15th each year.

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 them so you can read or listen.

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.  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.