Community College Opportunity Grant – Earn Your Degree Debt-Free

Everything You Need to Know About CCOG

Frequently Asked Questions

If a student chooses to attend an out‐of‐county college, would that student be eligible for CCOG awards?

Yes, a student may be eligible for a CCOG award at an out‐of‐county college. If a student enrolls at an out‐of‐county college and meets all eligibility requirements for a CCOG award, the student’s CCOG award amount shall be computed based upon the in‐county tuition rate for the student’s home county college. CCOG awards do not cover additional tuition charges attributable to the difference between the tuition rate charged by a student’s home county college tuition and the out‐of‐county college tuition rate charged when that student enrolls at an out‐of‐county college.

Are students eligible for CCOG if they are taking remedial courses?

A student taking remedial courses may be eligible for CCOG if the student meets all other CCOG eligibility requirements, including the institution’s definition of part‐time or full‐time enrollment in accordance with N.J.A.C. 9A:9‐2.10 Verification of Enrollment and Academic Performance.

How does a student apply for CCOG?

To apply for CCOG, all students (renewal and new students) must complete and file the FAFSA or New Jersey Alternative Application according to agency deadlines in order to apply for all other available forms of federal and state need‐based grants and merit scholarships. This includes the student satisfying all requirements to determine his or her eligibility to receive payments of these state and federal grants and scholarships within established state deadlines. https://www.hesaa.org/Pages/StateApplicationDeadlines.aspx
The FAFSA can be completed at www.fafsa.gov or for the NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application at https://www.hesaa.org/Pages/NJAlternativeApplication.aspx.

Are students eligible for CCOG if they are in a dual enrollment program?

Students who are in a dual enrollment program and still in high school would not be eligible for CCOG. They must be matriculated students with a high school diploma or GED.

What are the Adjusted Gross Income requirements?

To receive CCOG award, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) must be no less than $0 to no more than $65,000. For a dependent student the AGI refers to parental AGI as reported on the financial aid application. For an independent student AGI refers to the AGI reported on the financial aid application for the student and, if applicable, the student’s spouse.

Do students have to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements?

To remain eligible for State financial aid, including CCOG, students must meet the minimum standards for academic performance and progress as defined by the college or university in the institution’s catalog. Students must achieve the minimum level of academic success for CCOG, which is defined as either a) meeting the standards for academic performance and satisfactory academic progress that the county college adopts to determine eligibility for Federal student aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and its implementing regulations and rules; or, b) earning a minimum grade point average of 1.8 in the semester immediately prior to receiving a CCOG award. Each institution is required to monitor academic progress at least once a year, prior to the fall semester. Institutions may not credit a student’s account if it has been determined that a student is not making satisfactory progress. Students who fail to meet institutional standards for academic performance and progress are not eligible to receive State financial aid through the programs administered by HESAA until such time as the institution is able to certify they are in good academic standing and are making satisfactory academic progress.

What fees are paid by the CCOG award?

CCOG pays “Required Fees” which, as per the US Department of Education, include all fixed sum charges that are required of such a large proportion of all students that the student who does not pay the charges is an exception.

Additionally, acceptable fees are featured on the initial term bill and include the following:

  • General fees
  • Registration fees
  • Facility fees
  • Technology fees
  • Lab fees
  • Program/ General Course Fees, including fees for coursework in nursing, culinary, and other career and technical education programs
  • Online access fees
  • Student Activity fees

Examples of fees that are excluded from the definition include the following. If you are not sure if a fee at your institution is acceptable, please email ccog@hesaa.org for clarification.

Non‐Educational Fees

  • Books (purchased or rental)
  • Equipment/Supplies/Uniforms (purchase or rental)
  • Insurance/Health Fees
  • Application Fees
  • Library Fees
  • Late Fees or Fines
  • Testing/Portfolio/Audit Fees
  • Licensing/Certification Fees
  • Criminal Background
  • Check Fees
  • Parking Fees
  • Gym/Fitness Fees
  • Aviation/Flight Time Fees
  • Change Fees
  • Graduation/Diploma Fees
  • Transcript Fees
  • International Fees
  • Out‐of‐state or Out‐of‐county Fees
  • Curriculum Review Fees
  • Payment Plan Fees

How will the student be notified of eligibility for the CCOG award?

The New Jersey county college the student attends shall notify the student of eligibility as part of the financial aid award information, as well as any supplemental methods the college determines appropriate. Such notification by the county college will include the amount of the scholarship.

What happens if the student feels they were eligible but did not receive the award?

If, for any reason, a student, his or her family, or an institution feels that the application of these policies results in an unfair determination of eligibility, an appeal shall be filed with the Authority within 60 days of initial notification of eligibility or ineligibility for a CCOG award. All appeals shall be in writing, and if appropriate shall include any supporting documentation. Appeals shall be addressed to the Director of Grants and Scholarships at the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, PO Box 540, Trenton, New Jersey 08625‐0540 or submitted electronically, and shall contain the student's full name, NJHESAA ID number, college of attendance, and a description of the basis for the appeal. The Director of Grants and Scholarship will respond with the Authority's final determination of the appeal

Are You Eligible?

You’re eligible if you:

  • Are a New Jersey resident with total household adjusted gross income between $0 - $65,000
  • Completed the FAFSA or NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application according to deadlines at www.njgrants.org
    Click here for NJ Dreamer eligibility details
  • Are enrolled in at least six (6) credits per semester at any of New Jersey's community colleges during Academic Year 2021-2022
  • Have no prior college degree
  • Make satisfactory academic progress
Photo of student with brand visuals as accents.

NJ Dreamers

NJ Dreamers are vital to our state--New Jersey wants to give back by supporting you on your pathway to success through CCOG. Under a policy signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on May 9, 2018, graduates of New Jersey high schools who do not have documented immigration status, but who meet other qualifying criteria, will be eligible to apply for state-funded financial aid for postsecondary education. The New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application allows NJ Dreamers enrolled in eligible New Jersey colleges and universities to apply for state financial aid. Complete this application if you are not a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen and meet all of the following criteria:

  • Attended a New Jersey high school for at least three (3) years
  • Graduated from a New Jersey high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in New Jersey
  • Registered for Selective Service (male students only)
  • Are able to file an affidavit stating that you have filed an application to legalize your immigration status or will file an application as soon as you are eligible to do so

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