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 have received a letter from HESAA sometime at the end of February or in early March. Students who do not activate their NJ STARS eligibility by May 7th will still be eligible to apply to the NJ STARS program at Bergen Community College. Click here to view the letter.
Postcards were mailed out from Bergen Community College in mid-March containing information about the NJ STARS program and QR Codes that can be scanned to RSVP to NJ STARS events, and to this webpage to complete the online application process.
Students who already graduated and are within five semesters from high school graduation are also potentially eligible for the NJ STARS Program, even if they have already attended another college or university.
*If you do not receive a letter from HESAA or a postcard from Bergen Community College by mid-April, please see the bottom of this webpage.
Please Read to Avoid Unnecessary Delays
2021/2022 FAFSA: The 2021/2022 FAFSA should have been uploaded to students’ records sometime after April 19th. Your financial aid review cannot begin until the FAFSA is checked off as complete in the financial aid section of Self Service in your student portal. Please email email@example.com if you do not see your FAFSA in your student portal.
NJ STARS Application/Contract: Signing the contract is one of the final steps in the NJ STARS application process. Students should not sign their contract until after they have completed all steps below including registering their courses full-time. In addition, students should not sign the Scholarship Maintenance Agreement until they have received their signed contract back from the NJ STARS Representative.
Contract Deadline: The deadline to complete the process and sign the NJ STARS Application/Contract for Fall 2021/Spring 2022 is Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Please let the NJ STARS Representative know if you are having difficulty with any step that may prevent you from meeting the deadline.
Additional Help: Students and their parents should attend one of the NJ STARS Weekly Webinars for additional help. A schedule of webinars to be held weekly beginning on Tuesday, May 11th is posted on the NJ STARS Events webpage. Please RSVP to find out everything you need to know about the NJ STARS program, or to a topic-specific webinar such as how to navigate your student portal, complete your NJ STARS Application/Contract, or learn some financial aid tips for NJ STARS students.
Let’s Get Started
- To ensure that 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 qualify and 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 NJ STARS Application Process Checklist carefully and complete all steps. The checklist contains email addresses, web addresses, phone numbers, and helpful information you may need for additional help need to ensure all necessary requirements are met, especially completion of the financial aid review process for both federal and state-based financial aid. If necessary, you can attend a FAFSA workshop. Please check the Financial Aid Dates & Deadlines webpage for available workshops.
- It is extremely important that you check your student Gmail address to see if you were required to submit additional information that might later hold up the processing of your NJ STARS Application/Contract.
- Continue following the steps in the NJ STARS Application Process Checklist. After all required steps have been completed including registering your courses full-time, click on NJ STARS Application/Contract for Fall 2021/Spring 2022, and log in with your username and password. Read the contract carefully before electronically signing and submitting 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, 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 when your contract has been processed. A link to a copy of your signed contract will be included in the email, and a copy of your contract will also be available in the Bergen Links section of your student portal by clicking on My E-forms history (Laserfiche).
- After receiving the email that your NJ STARS Application/Contract has been processed, click on the Scholarship Maintenance Requirements for NJ STARS Students document*, read it carefully, and sign and submit it. Signing this document will verify that you understand the steps necessary to maintain your NJ STARS scholarship. A copy of the signed document will be available in the Bergen Links section of your student portal by clicking on My E-forms history (Laserfiche). *The link has been temporarily removed due to students signing the form before their NJ STARS Application/Contract.
- Following high school graduation, 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.
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 must be completed in order to be officially certified as an NJ STARS student, especially federal and state-based financial aid reviews.
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.
You Did Not Receive a Letter from HESAA or a Postcard from Bergen Community College
If you did not receive a letter from HESAA, you will not receive a postcard from Bergen Community College since you may not have ranked in the top 15% of your class at the end of your junior year. Please check with your high school guidance office since 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.