2. Eligibility Requirements for New and Transfer Students


In October, 2014, new NJ STARS legislation was signed allowing students who rank in the top 15.0% of their class at the end of either their junior or senior year of high school to be potentially eligible for the NJ STARS Program.  Proof of eligibility is required from New Jersey high schools upon graduation. For more information, please visit How to Apply to the NJ STARS Program.

Students who graduated from high school and did not take advantage of the NJ STARS Program may still be potentially eligible for NJ STARS scholarships to enroll in their home county community college within five semesters following high school graduation.

NJ STARS will pay for the tuition of up to 12-18 college-level credits in fall and spring semesters for up to five semesters.  Currently, funds are not available to cover summer courses. Books and fees are not covered by NJ STARS.

In order to be eligible for NJ STARS scholarships, certain academic, residency and financial aid requirements must be met.  See the following HESAA  (Higher Education Student Assistance Authority) Fact Sheets for each cohort of NJ STARS students which link directly to the HESAA website and contain eligibility information:

**2016 high school graduates are eligible to apply to Bergen Community College through the NJ STARS program through Fall 2018, even if they already attended another college or university.

Academic Requirements

Students must rank in the top 15% of their class at the end of their junior or senior year of high school; and

Students must demonstrate college readiness for English, Reading and Math in order to be academically eligible for NJ STARS no later than September 1st, one year following high school graduation or they will no longer be eligible for the NJ STARS program.

Residency Requirements

Students and their parents must be U.S. Citizens or eligible non-citizens, and legal New Jersey residents for a minimum of twelve months prior to high school graduation and upon county college enrollment; and

Students must be residents of Bergen County.  Out-of-county students may attend but MUST be enrolled in a major that is not available at their home county community college or in a program that is oversubscribed for at least one year.

Eligible out-of-county students must follow a Chargeback procedure every semester which must be completed by stated deadlines.  For more information, click here.

Federal and State-Based Financial Aid Requirements

Although students are not required to display financial need, each academic year, applications for both federal and state-based financial aid must be completed and reviewed by Bergen Community College and HESAA by the appropriate deadlines in order to be eligible for the NJ STARS program.*

If an NJ STARS student receives financial aid, NJ STARS will cover the remaining cost of tuition, if any.  If a student is not eligible for any financial aid, NJ STARS will cover the entire cost of tuition.

*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 continuous enrollment in Bergen Community College’s NJ STARS Program. Failure to complete all documents and provide all requested information may result in an unfunded semester, or possible loss of NJ STARS eligibility.

Please access the following documents to be sure all steps have been completed:

How to be Sure Your Federal Financial Aid Review is Complete (FAFSA)

How to be Sure Your State-Based Financial Aid Review is Complete (HESAA)

Once certified, NJ STARS students should periodically refer to the NJ STARS Current Students webpage for reminders and requirements to maintain their NJ STARS status, as well as refer to the appropriate NJ STARS Fact Sheet above.

After determining potential eligibility, please visit the NJ STARS How to Apply to the NJ STARS Program webpage.