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What You Need to Know for Prospective NJ STARS Students

Qualified students are eligible for the NJ STARS program up to five semesters from high school graduation, even if they were enrolled at another college or university.

2021 and 2022 high school graduates who qualified for the NJ STARS program but did not attend Bergen Community College full-time may still be eligible if they enroll within five semesters following high school graduation, even if they attended another college or university.  Fall 2023 is the final semester that 2021 high school graduates will be eligible to enroll at Bergen Community College in the NJ STARS program.

  • Eligibility Requirements:  Please see the appropriate NJ STARS Fact Sheet on the HESAA website for eligibility requirements.
  • Self-Identify to the NJ STARS Representative:  After applying to Bergen Community College, each student will need to download the fillable pdf Self-Identification Form for Prospective NJ STARS Students, save it to their computer, complete the form and save it again, and email it to njstars@bergen.edu, the Bergen Community College NJ STARS Representative.  Once the representative receives the form, the student will be identified as a prospective NJ STARS student in their student record.  After verifying the student qualifies for the NJ STARS program via the HESAA junior year list or by a high school representative, they will be waived from taking placement tests.  Students who self-identify but have not applied to the college yet should email njstars@bergen.edu after applying so these tasks can be completed.
  • How to Apply to the NJ STARS Program:  Please refer students to the How to Apply to the NJ STARS Program webpage to get started.
  • Application Process Checklist:  For a list of detailed steps to be certified as NJ STARS students, students should access the NJ STARS Application Process Checklist.
  • NJ STARS Application/Contract:  Prospective NJ STARS students should not complete the NJ STARS Application/Contract until all steps including registering full-time have been completed.
  • NJ STARS Resources:  For an extensive list of helpful forms, documents, and links, please visit the NJ STARS Resources webpage.
  • Proof of Academic Eligibility:  Prospective NJ STARS students must have their high schools provide proof of academic eligibility as described below.

Placement Tests

On June 21, 2021, the full New Jersey Council of County Colleges unanimously approved a resolution that changes the test used for final NJ STARS eligibility, designating “a student’s high school academic ranking as the test of a student’s final eligibility for NJ STARS.”

Accordingly, prospective NJ STARS students no longer have to take the Next Generation Accuplacer placement tests but they must be waived from taking the tests before registering for their courses.

Students who still wish to take the placement tests may do so. If a student takes the tests and requires a remedial course or courses, they can either choose to be waived, or they can take the remedial course or courses if necessary, but they must still register for 12 or more college-level credits. Please note: NJ STARS will only pay for college-level courses.

Financial Aid Requirements

Prospective NJ STARS students must complete both federal (FAFSA) and state (HESAA- NJFAMS) financial aid reviews to qualify for NJ STARS scholarships and continue to do so each year they are enrolled as NJ STARS and NJ STARS II students.  Some states and schools have limited funds, so don’t delay!  Students can begin their FAFSA application by clicking here.

For federal and state financial aid deadlines and the schedule of FAFSA Workshops at Bergen Community College, please click here.

Please feel free to share Financial Aid TV with your students and their parents. Choose to browse through video playlists by category, go through the financial aid process in order, or search for answers to questions. These short videos have a typewritten script that runs alongside them.

Proof of Academic Eligibility Required to Certify NJ STARS Students

Prospective NJ STARS students are required to provide their final, official high school transcript containing the student’s class rank and class size as well as the graduation date as proof of eligibility for certification in the NJ STARS program.

The transcript must be signed by the Director of Guidance, the Principal, or the Vice Principal and the high school seal must be affixed.

Original transcripts should be mailed from the high school with the Certification of High School Class Rank Form, if required (see below), to:

NJ STARS Program
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ  07652-1595

If any of the following applies, it will also be necessary for the high school to complete the Certification of High School Class Rank Form for Prospective NJ STARS Students.

  • If the high school transcript does not contain the student’s class rank and class size, complete the form using either the class rank and class size that was provided to HESAA at the end of the student’s junior year, or the class rank and class size at the end of the student’s senior year, if the student still qualifies.
  • If the final transcript contains the student’s class rank and class size but the student did not qualify at the end of the senior year, please complete the form using the class rank and class size that was provided to HESAA at the end of the student’s junior year.
  • If the student did not appear on the HESAA list for various reasons, or the student did not qualify at the end of the junior year but did qualify at the end of the senior year, please complete the form using the class rank and class size at the end of the junior or senior year, as appropriate.

Please print the completed form which must also be signed by the Director of Guidance, the Principal, or the Vice Principal, and the high school seal must be affixed and mail with the original transcript to the address shown above.