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Union County College Admissions

NJ Stars

“You do the work, you make the grades, and the NJ STARS Program will cover the cost.”
How do I apply for NJ STARS?


You must begin as a full time (at least 12 credits) student no later than the 5th semester following high school graduation.

If you have or will graduate in the top 15% of your high school class you have already done most of the work. Although new legislation for the NJ STARS program requires that students complete an academically rigorous high school program, the State of New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (NJ HESAA) has waived this eligibility requirement pending the definition of an academically rigorous high school program.

Now all you need to do is complete the FAFSA for the upcoming year. For the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters, please complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA.


Be sure to meet with your NJ STARS Academic Advisor, Rosarita Bido (rosarita.bido@ucc.edu) before you register. She will help you make sure that you are selecting the courses that allow you to graduate within 5 semesters so that you won’t lose eligibility for the NJ STARS II program.

Since students are now required to be “college ready” if you place into developmental courses, you will have up to one full academic year after graduation to complete all developmental courses before you begin your NJ STARS program.

Special Circumstances

Students who postpone college attendance must be enrolled full time at their home county college by the fifth semester after high school graduation to retain eligibility. Note for example: 2007 high school graduates had to enroll full time at a New Jersey county college by Fall 2009 semester.

Students who have attended one semester at another postsecondary institution may be eligible for a NJ STARS award provided they enroll full time in a degree program at their home county college the following semester.

Students and parent(s) must be permanent New Jersey residents pursuant to regulations established by HESAA.

Students must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and legal New Jersey residents for a minimum of twelve consecutive months prior to high school graduation.
If you have further questions about what NJ STARS is, please refer to HESAA’s website at www.hesaa.org, keyword NJ STARS, or click here.

What do I have to do to stay an NJ STARS student?

Students must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher prior to the third semester of enrollment. Summer courses are included in determining the GPA.

Students must maintain continuous full-time enrollment unless on a medical leave, approved by the county college, due to the illness of the student, a member of the student’s immediate family, or a family emergency. The only other exception applies to NJ STARS students called to partial or full mobilization for State or federal active duty as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Students may receive the scholarship for up to five semesters.


NJ STARS II allows students who graduate while in the NJ STARS I program to receive the NJ STARS II scholarship at a New Jersey State College or University. If you graduate with at least a 3.25 GPA, have a family income less than $250,000, and meet all other program eligibility requirements, you may be eligible to receive an NJ STARS II award.

You must complete your FAFSA each academic year by October 1st for Fall and Spring terms, or by March 1st for the Spring term only. If you received a TAG award you must complete your FAFSA by April 15th.

New Jersey State Colleges and Universities

The College of New Jersey

Kean University

Montclair State University

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey City University

Ramapo College of New Jersey

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Rowan University

Rutgers University

Thomas Edison State College

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

William Paterson University of New Jersey

For more information on the NJ STARS I or the NJ STARS II Programs, please visit the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (NJ HESAA) at HESAA’s website at www.hesaa.org, keyword NJ STARS II, or click here.

To view your financial aid award at UCC, log into e-services.

If you have further questions about applying for financial aid, please contact Brian Birch at brian.birch@ucc.edu. If you have further questions about your academics, please contact Rosarita Bido at rosarita.bido@ucc.edu.