How to Apply to the NJ STARS Program

Welcome High School Students, Graduates and Transfer Students!

We are excited that you have decided to apply to Bergen Community College as a new or transfer student in the NJ STARS program. Prospective NJ STARS students should have received a letter from HESAA sometime in February of their senior year.

Since letters will not be going out from Bergen Community College to prospective NJ STARS students at this time, to accommodate new students, we have created a new online process and online forms to certify NJ STARS students and will be adding the forms here shortly.

Students who already graduated and are within five semesters from high school graduation are also potentially eligible for the NJ STARS Program but will need to provide proof of their class rank and class size (see above) depending upon whether or not they are listed on a previous HESAA list of qualifying high school students.

Let’s Get Started

Once you receive your letter from HESAA, check the NJ STARS Fact Sheet for High School Graduates to be sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements for the year you graduated high school.

Students who may be eligible and are interested in the NJ STARS program at Bergen Community College should complete the Self-Identification Form for Prospective NJ STARS Students as soon as possible, save it to their computer and email the completed form to Catherine Krostek so their college records can be flagged as Prospective NJ STARS students. Students who self-identify will be added to the NJ STARS email list to receive important announcements regarding upcoming deadlines, NJ STARS Information Sessions, registration dates, etc. In addition, once students who self-identify register, their courses will be protected from being dropped for non-payment.

Next, check off the steps on the NJ STARS Application Process Checklist which contains email addresses, web addresses and helpful information to ensure all necessary requirements are met. Students and their parents should attend one of the NJ STARS Weekly Webinars to find out everything they need to know about the NJ STARS program, or for assistance in completing their NJ STARS Application/Contract for Fall 2020/Spring 2021. Please visit the NJ STARS Events webpage to RSVP to an NJ STARS Webinar.

After registering 12 or more credits, students should visit an Academic Counselor who will certify that the student is registered in enough credits and in the correct courses for their program.

The final step is to complete and electronically sign the online NJ STARS Application/Contract which will be available by July 1st, and then download the Scholarship Maintenance Requirements for NJ STARS Students document, save it to your computer and email the signed and dated form to Catherine Krostek. The deadline to complete the process and sign these two documents is Tuesday, September 1st.

Bergen Community College will do everything it can to assist you in maintaining your eligibility in the NJ STARS program, but the responsibility for understanding and following the requirements is yours.

Important: Please remember that all required steps, especially federal and state-based financial aid review must be completed in order to be officially certified as an NJ STARS student.

It is of the utmost importance that all financial aid (FAFSA) and state-based (HESAA) paperwork, and any additional information requested is completed by stated deadlines. Compliance will ensure continuous enrollment in Bergen Community College’s NJ STARS Program. Failure to complete all documents and provide all requested information may result in an unfunded semester, or possible loss of NJ STARS eligibility.

What if You Did Not Receive a Letter from HESAA?

If you did not receive a letter from HESAA, please check with your high school guidance department to see if you ranked in the top 15% of your class at the end of your junior year. If you did not qualify at the end of your junior year, you can still qualify if you rank in the top 15% of your class at the end of your senior year.

Students whose names are not on the HESAA list of qualifying junior high school students but should have been and students who qualify at the end of their senior year are potentially eligible for the NJ STARS Program. However, these students will need to provide proof of their class rank and class size either on an official, final signed and sealed transcript or on the Certification of High School Class Rank form from their high school which must contain the school seal.