All NJ County Colleges Eligible for ‘Community College Opportunity Grant’

Rowan College at Gloucester County is one of the six schools that were added to the Community College Opportunity Grant program. – Photo courtesy of Follow Local News.

SOUTH JERSEY – The Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program is being expanded to cover eligible students in all of the states 19 county colleges in the current spring semester.

Thirteen county colleges began piloting the CCOG program in January of this year, while all 19 county colleges showed interest through the Community College Innovation Challenge last summer.

“We initially pursued a pilot approach at 13 community colleges to ensure that the program costs did not exceed the funds appropriated. Throughout the pilot, all 19 county colleges have been working to build capacity for the program expansion and to share learnings and best practices during implementation with the goal of expanding in the fall,” Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis said. “We are delighted to announce that we now have room to expand this opportunity even earlier than anticipated to benefit all eligible students statewide.”

Students are eligible for CCOG if they are enrolled with at least six credits this spring, “making satisfactory academic progress,” if their families have an adjusted gross income of $0 to $45,000, and have completed applications for federal and state financial aid.

CCOG is a “last-dollar” grant that covers any gaps that remain between students tuition and covered educational fees and all other financial aid grants they receive.

Students enrolled in the six colleges added to CCOG will be processed for potential CCOG eligibility within the next few weeks, students do not need to complete additional applications to be considered for eligibility.

“With this expansion, students in need at all 19 of our community colleges will have access to an education that is within financial reach and allows them to worry about their grades instead of how they will pay for school,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “We know that if our students can obtain a higher education, our communities become more prosperous, their employers become more competitive, and the state economy becomes more innovative and attractive to businesses. I look forward to providing this critical opportunity to students at all 19 community colleges for the upcoming Fall and Spring semester.”