HCCC Selected for NJ Tuition-free Pilot Program

Posted: 9/27/2018
Jennifer Christopher, 201-360-4069, jchristopher@hccc.eduRoger Jones, 201-200-1080, rj@jonesandassociatescommunications.com

September 27, 2018, Jersey City, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced today that Hudson County Community College has been named one of thirteen New Jersey community colleges to pilot the New Jersey Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) in Spring 2019.

“On behalf of our Trustees, administration, and, most especially, our students, I want to thank Governor Murphy and the State legislators for working to remove the financial barriers that restrict members of our community from obtaining a college education,” said HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber. “A college education has become essential to establishing a career and earning family sustaining wages. We are honored to have been chosen to pilot the Community College Opportunity Grant during the Spring 2019 semester. This program will benefit families seeking opportunities that might have been impossible before.”

Earlier this year, the Governor and legislature approved $25 million in funding to begin the CCOG pilot initiative in Spring 2019. The CCOG pilot program will allow HCCC to offer current and new students from low-income families the opportunity to attend community college tuition free. Students with adjusted gross incomes of up to $45,000, who take six or more credits in the Spring 2019 semester will be eligible to receive CCOG awards for tuition and educational fees after applying any other federal or state grant aid they receive.

Hudson County Community College has comprehensive Financial Aid programs with 83 percent of HCCC students receiving assistance. Additionally, the County of Hudson and HCCC Foundation provide over $500,000 in scholarships each year. Still, there is a large population in Hudson County in need of tuition assistance.

“Since becoming President, I have spoken with hundreds of our students and I am inspired by their persistence and dedication to attaining a college education,” Dr. Reber stated. “Thousands of HCCC students struggle every day with balancing full-time employment, full-time studies, and caring for their families. This program will go a long way in easing their burdens and providing a free and accessible education to thousands of continuing and new students next spring.”

The NJ Secretary of Higher Education and the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) evaluated applications from colleges before selecting pilot institutions. The application criteria included the colleges’ plans for outreach and support for students, how cost projections fit within statewide funding constraints, and geographic diversity.

Information about the CCOG program will be available by contacting admissions@hccc.edu or by calling (201) 714 – 7200. The College’s multilingual Financial Aid staff will assist prospective students in applying for CCOG grants.