CAMDEN, NJ - Students from families with a gross annual income of $65,000 a year or less may be able to attend Camden County College tuition-free this September.

A revised Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) was included in the budget bill the New Jersey Legislature passed and Gov. Phil Murphy signed at the end of June. It covers all 19 community colleges in the state.

CCOG began with a pilot program last spring and was aimed at students with an adjusted gross income of $45,000 a year or less. This budget increased the threshold to $65,000.

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“Making community college free this past semester was a game-changer for the students, for their communities, and for the State,” said Gov. Murphy.

CCOG now covers the fall and spring semesters for those taking six or more credits. It does not include summer session.

The 2020 state budget includes up to $25 million for CCOG awards to be applied directly to eligible student accounts. This is a last-dollar scholarship, which means it will cover tuition after other federal or state assistance programs – such as Federal Pell Grants or New Jersey Tuition Assistance Grants – are applied.

Zakiya Smith Ellis, New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, along with David J. Socolow, Executive Director of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, visited numerous county colleges in the spring to gauge the success of the program.

“I heard from students who had to take on three jobs to pay their expenses,”  Smith Ellis said. “I heard from single parents who supported their children while studying for exams. The Community College Opportunity Grant enabled these students to stay in college. Those students are more likely to graduate and thereby repay the state’s investment.”

For more information, including a question and answer section, please visit the Camden County College website here.