Community College grant program

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was at Middlesex County College in Edison on Aug. 15 to talk to students about a grant program that can provide free tuition to eligible students attending the two-year institutions. 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and other state officials were in Edison to remind students to take advantage of a grant program that can provide free tuition to attend a community college.

Taking a tour of Middlesex County College in Edison, Murphy talked about the Community College Opportunity Grant with students and educators.

By completing the Free Application for the Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, or the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application for the state’s DREAMers by Sept. 15 students are eligible for the Community College Opportunity Grant for the upcoming year. For eligible students, the grant will cover the full tuition to attend a community college in New Jersey.

“Over 300 Middlesex County College students participated in the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program in the spring 2019 semester, including many who would not have been able to attend if not for CCOG,” said Middlesex County College President Mark McCormick at the Aug. 15 event. “I believe that CCOG is an investment in our students as they earn an associate degree or industry credential that leads to a career with family-supporting wages.” 

Students with “adjusted gross income between $0 and $65,000,” can qualify to attend a New Jersey-based community college for free. The financial program also offers gap tuition coverage to students who need partial financial assistance and will pay for approved education fees.

Students who have submitted a financial aid application are automatically considered for the grant program.

“Everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue his or her dreams — whether you are a recent high school graduate or an older student changing your career,” said Murphy. “Our community colleges play a critical role in helping our students build the skillsets they need to meet the demands of a growing and diverse 21st-century economy. CCOG grants provide a pathway to success for both our students and our state as a whole.”

Full eligibility requirements are available online.

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Christopher Lang is a freelance correspondent for MonroeNow. Previously he was part of The Record-USA Today Network and served as an editor for a decade at NJMG.