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.

2020 and 2021 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 2022 is the final semester that 2020 high school graduates will be eligible to enroll at Bergen Community College in the NJ STARS program.

  • Please see the HESAA website for eligibility requirements.
  • Eligible students should complete and email the Self-Identification Form for Prospective NJ STARS Students to Catherine Krostek, the NJ STARS Representative as soon as possible.*
  • Please refer students to the How to Apply to the NJ STARS Program webpage to get started.
  • For a list of detailed steps to be certified as NJ STARS students, students should access the NJ STARS Application Process Checklist.
  • For an extensive list of helpful forms, documents, and links, please visit the NJ STARS Resources webpage.
  • Prospective NJ STARS students should not complete the NJ STARS Application/Contract until all steps including registering full-time have been completed.
  • 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, please advise prospective NJ STARS students that they do not have to take the Next Generation Accuplacer placement tests.  However, students must be waived from taking placement tests before they register for their courses.

*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 Catherine Krostek, 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 Ms. Krostek after applying so she can complete these tasks.

Financial Aid Requirements

Prospective NJ STARS students must complete both federal financial aid review (FAFSA) and state financial aid review (HESAA- NJFAMS) to qualify for NJ STARS scholarships and continue to do so each year they are enrolled as NJ STARS students.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA became available on October 1, 2021.  Some states and schools have limited funds, so don’t delay!  Students can begin their FAFSA application by clicking 2022-2023 FAFSA.

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.

Transcripts should be mailed from the high school or hand-delivered by the student or parent in a sealed envelope to:

Catherine Krostek
NJ STARS Representative
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road- Room C-111
Paramus, NJ  07652
201-689-7055

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.