Bergen Community College’s main campus in Paramus.
PARAMUS, N.J. – In as clear a sign as any that students stand ready to “come back to Bergen” this fall, approximately 1,000 prospective students, their families and friends attended the College’s July 13 open house. The event, which took place in the College’s outdoor quad, represents the most-attended open house in Bergen’s over 50-year history. Students attended to learn about Bergen’s offerings, tour facilities such as the Health Professions Integrated Teaching Center and even become vaccinated against COVID-19. Two students who attended the open house and became vaccinated on-site through Bergen New Bridge Medical Center earned $1,000 tuition incentive awards through the Bergen VIP program. Fall classes begin Sept. 1; students can register at Bergen.edu.
Earlier on open house day, the College also sponsored a luncheon for faculty and staff returning to campus. The event, which took place in the main campus quad, offered returning employees pizza and a “care pack” that included hand sanitizer, a face mask and tote bag.
The College has now fully reopened its campuses after more than a year of operating via a mostly remote instructional and professional environment, with the open house becoming the first major on-campus event since March 2020.
Students returning to Bergen – or enrolling for the first time – can take advantage of numerous financial aid programs that will ease their transition back. Among them, and through federal and state funding, Bergen plans to erase current student tuition balances, while the Bergen Community College Foundation will sponsor $5,000 in tuition relief for students who receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The College will release details on the balance payoff program soon.
The foundation’s $5,000 initiative – the Bergen VIP (Vaccine Incentive Program) – will encourage students to not only register at the College, but become vaccinated. Similar incentive programs in New York, West Virginia and Ohio have proven effective at increasing vaccination rates and lowering community risk to COVID-19. Under Bergen VIP, the foundation will offer five $1,000 awards for use at the institution by vaccinated students. Students who provide proof of registration and vaccination through a secure web portal will be entered into a scholarship lottery that will take place Aug. 27 via live YouTube stream for four of the $1,000 awards.
Bergen’s affordable tuition and renowned faculty complement general education classes such as English Composition, General Biology and Statistics that remain ideal for transfer to many four-year colleges. Bergen offers more than 130 degree and certificate programs in areas such as aviation, criminal justice, dental hygiene, fashion design and hospitality. Students considering enrolling at the College should first file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filing a FAFSA can help students become eligible for programs such as the state’s tuition-free Community College Opportunity Grant, which has now expanded to include households making up to $65,000 per year, and other tuition assistance programs. The College ranks No. 1 in New Jersey for associate degree graduates.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.
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