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 high school seniors should receive a letter from HESAA sometime in February. This year, students will receive a postcard from Bergen Community College containing information about the NJ STARS program and also QR Codes that they can use to RSVP to NJ STARS events, and to this webpage to begin the online application process which includes the online forms necessary to certify NJ STARS students.
Students should sign their NJ STARS Application/Contract for Fall 2021/Spring 2022 after they have completed all steps including registering their courses full-time. Since online registration opens on April 1st, the NJ STARS Application/Contract for Fall 2021/Spring 2022 will be available online after April 1st. Students applying for the Fall 2021 semester should not complete the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 contract currently online.
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, to be sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements, please read the NJ STARS Fact Sheet for 2021 High School Graduates or visit the HESAA website and check the NJ STARS Fact Sheet for the year you graduated high school.
- If you are interested in applying to the NJ STARS program at Bergen Community College, please download the Self-Identification Form for Prospective NJ STARS Students, right-click on the form and “Save As” to your computer. Complete and save the form again and email it as soon as possible 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 Application Process Checklist for Prospective NJ STARS Students Students 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 Information Webinars to find out everything they need to know about the NJ STARS program. A schedule of NJ STARS Weekly Webinars will be posted on the NJ STARS Events webpage shortly for help navigating their student portal, completing their NJ STARS Application/Contract, and more. Please visit the NJ STARS Events webpage to RSVP to an NJ STARS Webinar.
- After all required steps have been completed including registering your courses full-time, click on NJ STARS Application/Contract for Fall 2020/Spring 2021, and login with your username and password. Read the contract carefully before electronically signing and submitting it. A copy of your contract will be available in your student portal in your Laserfiche e-forms history. Again, students applying for the Fall 2021 semester should not complete the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 contract.
- 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, the counselor will sign the contract.
- Next, your contract will be forwarded to the NJ STARS Representative who will verify your academic and financial aid requirements, check that all steps are complete, and sign and date the contract. 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. You will receive an email that your contract has been processed. A link to your fully signed contract will be included in the email.
- After receiving the email that your contract has been processed, download the Scholarship Maintenance Requirements for NJ STARS Students, right-click on the form and “Save As” to your computer. Read it carefully, and sign and date the form verifying that you understand the steps necessary to maintain your NJ STARS scholarship. Save the signed and dated form 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 on their transcripts, the Certification of High School Class Rank Form will need to be completed and included 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 for the Spring 2021 semester was Tuesday, January 19th. Please let the NJ STARS Representative know if you are having difficulty with any step that may have prevented 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.