Image Credit: Camden County College
Gloucester Township, NJ – Camden County College is one of 13 community colleges in New Jersey where qualifying students can apply for Community College Opportunity Grants (CCOG) beginning this Spring 2019 semester. These “last-dollar” grants cover remaining costs of tuition and approved education fees after all other financial aid grant awards have been applied to a student’s term bill. Many students will breathe a huge sigh of relief at this news, as currently they are having to find other sources of income while they study, such as using questrade to invest and produce a passive income for themselves. While it is sensible to have these additional streams of income, applying for a grant will help to ease the short-term pressure on them.
This first-of-its-kind opportunity is available to qualifying families under the tuition-free community college pilot program known as the Community College Innovation Challenge.
“New Jersey is pioneering a path to financial security for today’s students by positioning itself as a leader in the fight against ballooning student debt,” said Freeholder Ed McDonnell. “Last year, more than 60 percent of New Jersey’s college graduates left school with student loan debt. Of them, the average obligation was $31,000. The Board is excited to take part in this opportunity and offer low-income families a path towards a debt-free higher education.”
New Jersey trying to reduce student debt is a remarkable thing to be doing. In the past, a lot of students have decided to not continue with their education due to the increasing costs. This shouldn’t be the case. More colleges should be trying to fight student debt too. The debt that college leaves on graduates can be overwhelming for some of them who begin to worry about the security of their future. This sort of debt can have an impact on credit ratings, meaning that students may struggle to take out mortgages in the future, for example. Of course, students can always look to build their credit score back up, especially by using credit cards (article here). However, high student debt is one of the reasons why New Jersey is trying to change higher education for students.
Students with adjusted gross incomes between $0 and $45,000 and who are enrolled in at least six credits at Camden County College in Spring 2019 will be eligible to receive CCOG grants. Students will be required to maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible.
In order to qualify, students must still complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), including state-specific questions.
“We want to once again applaud Governor Murphy’s vision and commitment to expanding college access and affordability across the state,” McDonnell said. “Cost should not be a barrier to higher education for those who seek it. The Board shares the governor’s vision that all New Jerseyans have the opportunity to pursue their education as far as they can.”
CCOG Pilot Schools were selected based on proposals that were jointly reviewed by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) and the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). Proposals were evaluated by a standardized rubric following the criteria announced in the Notice of Fund Availability that was posted in July 2018.
HESAA estimates that New Jersey will provide CCOG awards to approximately 13,000 students at the selected pilot schools, in line with the funding level appropriated for this purpose in the state’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget.
All 19 of New Jersey’s community colleges applied to participate in the Community College Innovation Challenge. The selected colleges received a $250,000 grant for student outreach, recruitment, support, and further expansion Although there are grants such as these that are meant to help students, there are some students who find that what they receive doesn’t cover their living expenses. For this reason, students are more likely to take out student loans to help them with their studies, looking to companies similar to SoFi to provide the help they need.
Camden County College Camden County College is one of the largest community colleges in New Jersey and ranks among the top nationwide in terms of associate degree graduates. Thanks to its technology-rich physical resources – located in Gloucester Township, Camden and Cherry Hill – and its highly-qualified, dedicated employees, the college has created a tradition of quality education and a reputation of agile, responsive service.
Camden County College sustains a vibrant academic community characterized by imaginative teaching, caring student services, energetic management and collegial discussion of diverse ideas and opinions. More information can be found at www.camdencc.edu.