CRANFORD, NJ -- Governor Phil Murphy authorized a pilot program that will provide "last-dollar" Community College Opportunity Grants to students enrolled at least half time in 13 community colleges, including Bergen Community College. The funding kicks in during the Spring 2019 semester. 

“Today we are putting the dream of higher education within reach of more students and more families,” said Governor Murphy. “Making community college tuition free will help New Jersey’s young people and working adults earn post-secondary degrees to advance their careers – and it will help build the talented workforce that is the engine of our state’s economy.”

BCC is the largest community college in the state. Murphy's pilot program may dedicate upwards of $20M dollars in scholarships to students from families earning $45K or less per year.

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"To be selected is quite an honor and I think it's a tribute to the fine work of our faculty and staff and the programs that we have here at Bergen," said BCC President Dr. Michael D. Redmond. "We, along with 12 other community colleges will receive an additional $20M of what's called 'last-dollar' scholarships that will be administered to students in the spring semester."

The other 12 schools receiving this designation are Atlantic Cape Community College, Camden County College, Cumberland County College, Hudson County Community College, Mercer County Community College, Middlesex County College, Ocean County College, Passaic County Community College, Rowan College at Gloucester County, Salem Community College, Union County College and Warren County Community College.

Current students who have already completed a financial aid application for the fall 2018 semester will be automatically considered for eligibility if they enroll at one of the 13 pilot institutions for at least six credits in the spring 2019 semester.

Students at one of these pilot community colleges who have not yet filed for financial aid for academic year 2018-2019 will have until February 15, 2019 to apply for awards by completing the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid and the supplemental New Jersey state questions, or by completing the Alternative Application for New Jersey Dreamers.

"These students will be able to come here and have this wonderful experience at our college without worrying about financial problems," said President Redmond.