Welcome High School Students, Graduates and Transfer Students!
We are excited that you have decided to apply to Bergen Community College as a new or transfer student in the NJ STARS program. Prospective NJ STARS students should have received a letter from HESAA sometime in February of their senior year.
Since letters will not be going out from Bergen Community College to prospective NJ STARS students at this time, to accommodate new students, we have created a new online process and online forms to certify NJ STARS students and will be adding the forms here shortly.
Students who already graduated and are within five semesters from high school graduation are also potentially eligible for the NJ STARS Program but will need to provide proof of their class rank and class size (see above) depending upon whether or not they are listed on a previous HESAA list of qualifying high school students.
Let’s Get Started
- First, check the HESAA NJ STARS Fact Sheet for 2020 High School Graduates (or the year you graduated high school) on the HESAA website to be sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements.
- If you may be eligible and are interested in applying to the NJ STARS program at Bergen Community College please complete the Self-Identification Form for Prospective NJ STARS Students as soon as possible, right-click on the form and “Save As” to your computer, and email the completed form to Catherine Krostek, the NJ STARS Representative so you can be identified as a Prospective NJ STARS student in your college record.
- Students who self-identify will be added to the NJ STARS email list to receive important announcements regarding upcoming deadlines, NJ STARS Information Sessions, registration dates, etc. In addition, when students self-identify, their courses will be protected from being dropped for non-payment.
- Next, go over the NJ STARS Application Process Checklist carefully and complete all steps. The checklist contains email addresses, web addresses and helpful information you will need to ensure all necessary requirements are met, especially completion of the financial aid review process for both federal and state-based financial aid and how to contact an Academic Advisor for help registering your courses.
- It is extremely important that you check your student gmail to see if you were required to submit additional information that might later hold up the processing of your NJ STARS Application/Contract.
- Students and their parents should attend one of the NJ STARS Weekly Webinars to find out everything they need to know about the NJ STARS program, for help registering courses and/or for assistance in completing their NJ STARS Application/Contract. Please visit the NJ STARS Events webpage to RSVP to an NJ STARS Webinar.
- After all required steps have been completed, please read the NJ STARS Application/Contract carefully, electronically sign and submit it. Your contract will be assigned to an Academic Counselor who will verify that you are registered full-time in your programs and that you are college ready (no developmental/remedial courses necessary), and they will sign the contract. If there are any issues, the assigned Counselor will email you at your student gmail address, and once resolved, they will sign the contract.
- The contract will be forwarded to the NJ STARS Representative who will verify your academic requirements, check that all steps are complete, and sign and date the contract. A copy will be available in your student portal. If a contract cannot be signed due to missing information, the NJ STARS Representative will email you at your student gmail address. The contract will be signed once missing or incomplete information is submitted.
- After you receive your signed contract, download the Scholarship Maintenance Requirements for NJ STARS Students and read it carefully. Sign and date the form verifying that you understand the steps necessary to maintain your NJ STARS scholarship, right-click on the form and “Save As” to your computer, and email it to Catherine Krostek.
- You will need to have your final high school transcript containing your class rank and class size, signed by your high school’s Director of Guidance, Principal or Vice Principal and sealed with the high school seal mailed directly to the NJ STARS Representative. If your high school does not rank, your high school will need to complete the Certification of High School Class Rank Form and include it with your final transcript. For more information, please have your high school visit the Information for New Jersey High Schools webpage.
The deadline to complete the process and sign the NJ STARS Application/Contract and the Scholarships Maintenance Requirements documents is Tuesday, September 1st. Please let the NJ STARS Representative know if you are having difficulty with any step that may prevent you from meeting the deadline.
Bergen Community College will do everything it can to assist you in maintaining your eligibility in the NJ STARS program, but the responsibility for understanding and following the requirements is yours.
Important: Please remember that all required steps, especially federal and state-based financial aid review must be completed in order to be officially certified as an NJ STARS student.
It is of the utmost importance that all financial aid (FAFSA) and state-based (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.
What if You Did Not Receive a Letter from HESAA?
If you did not receive a letter from HESAA, please check with your high school guidance department to see if you ranked in the top 15% of your class at the end of your junior year. If you did not qualify at the end of your junior year, you can still qualify if you rank in the top 15% of your class at the end of your senior year.
Students whose names are not on the HESAA list of qualifying junior high school students but should have been and students who qualify at the end of their senior year are potentially eligible for the NJ STARS Program. However, these students will need to provide proof of their class rank and class size either on an official, final signed and sealed transcript or on the Certification of High School Class Rank form from their high school which must contain the school seal.