Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Office awards funds from federal and state sources in the form of grants, scholarships and employment. Applicant eligibility and program guidelines are determined by federal and state regulations. To learn more about paying for college, see the link below


To receive financial aid, applicants must meet general requirements for receiving aid, be in good academic standing, and must have a high school diploma, GED, or successfully completed homeschooling.

Apply now by following the steps below.

Spring 2020 - Classes have begun!

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Step 1: Apply For Admission to Essex County College

Apply for Admission and complete all admission processes (such as a placement test and registration) before you apply for aid. Click here to apply to ECC.

Step 2: Activate your Essex County College Student Login

Go to to activate your access to the Essex County College Student Portal.

Step 3: Complete the FAFSA online

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed to determine your student aid eligibility based on your personal and family situation.

Apply online at  If you are a dependent first-time student, you and a parent must both create an FSA ID with the Department of Education at

You will use the FSA ID to electronically sign the FAFSA and other federal forms.

To simplify the financial aid application process, we recommend that you use the data retrieval tool while completing the FAFSA to transfer your financial information from the IRS directly into the FAFSA.

Note: Be sure to list Essex County College’s School Code: 007107 on your FAFSA.

Be sure to complete the questions on the FAFSA to qualify for State Aid funds (TAG and EOF) from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). The state questions will appear at the end of the FAFSA, so make sure you answer those questions before you exit your FAFSA application online.

Step 4: Submit all required Financial Aid documents and forms

Once the FAFSA application has been received by Essex County College (3-5 business days), you can login to to view your financial aid status.

You may be required to complete or submit additional documents and/or forms before your financial aid can be processed and awarded. Any required documents or forms will be listed on the Financial Aid tab of your Essex County College Student Portal.

Step 5: Complete the Financial Aid Process

Check the Essex County College Student Portal at for your financial aid status. If you have been awarded aid, the funds awarded and the amounts will be on your Award Letter. At that time, the financial aid process is complete and no further action is necessary.

Financial Aid Application Deadline:
The Priority Processing Deadline for all students is May 1st. Students should complete the financial aid process no later than 30 days before your intended program start date. This deadline also includes submission and approval of any additional required documents by the Financial Aid Office. Failure to complete the process or submit the required documents will result in a delay in funding and may affect having funding in place by your start date. Please review the important deadline dates at


    Federal Student Aid Programs

    • ALL require the FAFSA® ( Applicants must have a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) to sign electronically. Or, download & file the paper version: Submission of the paper version will mean a longer processing timeframe.
    • Applicant must demonstrate financial need for Federal student aid at Essex County College.
    • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen; have a valid Social Security number (except for students from the Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated
    • States of Micronesia, or Republic of Palau); be registered with Selective Service, if male and between ages 18 and 25).
    • Applicant must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program; and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
    • Applicant must sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) stating that you are not in default on a federal student loan
    • and do not owe money on a federal student grant and you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and
    • Applicant must show you are qualified to obtain a college or career school education by having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate; or completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law (or—if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential—completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law); or enrolling in an eligible career pathway program and meeting one of the “ability-to-benefit” alternatives.


    Guidance Resources:




    Federal Pell Grants

    Amount is based on the applicant’s expected family contribution and the number of credits registered for from an annual sliding scale of award levels provided by the US Department of Education.

    • For undergraduates with exceptional financial need who have not earned bachelor’s or professional degrees.
    • Student must be a regular student enrolled in an eligible program.
    • Course(s) cannot be prerequisite to enrollment into an eligible program.
    • Not for courses for a high school diploma or recognized equivalent.
    • Course cannot be below the level needed to successfully complete the degree or certificate program offered after one year in the remedial course.
    • Course cannot be below the secondary level (as determined by a State agency, an accrediting agency, a postsecondary vocational education agency, or the institution).



    Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) (NOTE: this section has a typo in the title, please correct Federal Supplementar Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

    Awarded primarily to students with exceptional financial need, defined as a zero (“0”) expected family contribution, based on annual appropriation from the US Department of Education.

    • Must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
    • Must be pursuing first associate or baccalaureate degree.
    • Must have “exceptional financial need”, which is defined at Essex County College as a zero EFC




    Federal Work Study Program (FWS)

    Awarded to students with need. The amount notes on the student’s financial aid account is the maximum amount eligible to earn. Students work on-campus with ability to earn funds up to the amount of their eligibility.

    • Amount offered Is the maximum amount student is eligible to earn.
    • Work-Study is NOT a grant. It provides compensated work. Earnings assumed to be invested in the student’s educational expenses.



    New Jersey State Aid Programs

    General Eligibility

    For an overview of the various State Aid Programs visit





    Everything starts with the FAFSA®.

    Student financial assistance for enrollment at Essex County primarily comes from the US Department of Education and the State of New Jersey via the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. Both require the filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known by its acronym, FAFSA®, as a basic first step.

    How to file the FAFSA®

    Federal Student Aid

    Go to to file the FAFSA®, or, if you have a smartphone, you can download the myStudentAid app, to file the FAFSA®.

    To file the FAFSA®, an applicant must have a FSA ID. For information on how to obtain a FSA ID, see these resources:


    How to fill out the FAFSA®

    Other video and print resources from the US Department of Education are available here:


    State of New Jersey Student Financial Assistance

    If you are also applying for State of New Jersey student financial assistance, review the various student financial assistance programs administered by the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority: See the tabs at the top of the page for Students and the tab for Parents.

    You should set up a NJ FAMS account. Doing so will allow you to do the following:

    • Answer the specific state questions required by HESAA.
    • Review the status of HESAA processing of NJ-based student financial assistance, including any documentation they may need from you.

    Login or create your account here:

    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 will file an application to legalize your immigration status or will file an application as soon you are eligible to do so

    You can apply for student financial assistance from the State of New Jersey by filing the NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application:

    The Higher Education Act requires a student financial aid office to process student aid based on a “cost of attendance” budget. This is a budget that is constructed using general values for each required category, which includes: tuition and fees, room and board, transportation, and books and supplies, and an allowance for miscellaneous expenses. In short, “Cost of attendance is the total estimated price for one year of college before financial aid is applied: tuition and fees, housing, food, and other additional and personal expenses” (New America/uAspire, 2018, Decoding the Cost of College:

    We construct cost of attendance budgets using actual data for tuition, and average data based on professional reports such as the College Board’s Living Expense Budgets.

    Components In-County (Living w/ Parents) In-County (Living off Campus) Out of-County (Living w/ Parents) Out of-County (Living off Campus)
    Tuition & Fees        
    Room & Board        
    Books & Supplies        

    Federal Student Aid:

    File the FAFSA® between October 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020.

    State of New Jersey Deadlines - New Students:

    • Fall 2019 and Spring 2020: File the FAFSA by September 15, 2019; Complete State Record in NJFAMS by November 1, 2019.
    • Spring 2020: File FAFSA® by February 15, 2019; Complete State record in NJFAMS by March 1, 2019.

    State of New Jersey - Returning Students:

    • Fall 2019 & Spring 2020: File FAFSA® by April 15, 2019; Complete State record in NJFAMS by May 1, 2019.
    • Spring 2020 only: File FAFSA® by February 15, 2019; Complete State record in NJFAMS by March 1, 2019.

    State of New Jersey - “NJ Dreamers”:

    • Fall 2019 & Spring 2020: Complete NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application; Complete State record in NJFAMS by November 1, 2019.
    • Spring 2020 only: Complete NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application; Complete State record in NJFAMS by March 1, 2020.

    Essex County College specific deadlines

    • February 1 – priority processing deadlines for Summer I
    • April through August 15 – Federal Work-Study applications for 2019-2020 available
    • May 1 – priority processing deadline for Summer II and Fall 2019
    • August – Financial aid probation appeals for Fall 2019
    • September – last date for book vouchers
    • December – book vouchers issues for the spring semester and for Winter Intercession.

    Once the FAFSA® has been filed, your application will be evaluated for eligibility for Federal Student Aid by our office, and by HESAA for any State of NJ student financial assistance for which you have applied. In the course of the application review process, you may be asked for additional information to support your application for assistance, either from our office or from HESAA. You should immediately respond to any requests for additional documentation. In some cases, we may require you to provide documentation in person to our Newark office. Documents requested by HESAA should be provided to HESAA.

    Packaging Financial Aid Awards

    The cost of attending Essex remains highly affordable. Yet it is understandable that many students need financial assistance while working toward their degree. The Office of Financial Aid administers several different types of funds for students that include grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. Financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships does not have to be repaid. Work-study must be earned by the student through employment on campus. At Essex, financial aid is awarded to students based on financial need and/or merit. A student may have a combination of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study in their financial aid package. We encourage students to apply for financial aid. Funds are allotted from federal and State sources for this purpose. Information we receive on your application for financial aid is treated with utmost confidentiality.


    Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

     Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an estimate of your family’s financial strength and ability to contribute to your education. The EFC is measured by applying the official federal needs analysis formula to the data you submit on your FAFSA.


    Financial Need

    Financial need refers to the Cost of Attendance (COA) minus the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Financial Need is the COA – EFC.  Financial aid at Essex is awarded based on financial need. If you are eligible for financial assistance based on your financial need, you may receive a combination of gift aid (grants or scholarships) and self-help aid (loans, which must be repaid or part-time employment on campus). Any combination of awards is referred to as your “Financial Aid Package.” Once your Financial Aid Package has been awarded, you can review it at any time on the MYECC Portal at  Eligibility for federal and state grants is based on the information on your FAFSA and the general eligibility requirements of each program. Your financial aid package may also include work-study and private loans.


    Revisions to Student Aid for Which You Are Eligible

    Your award may require revisions due to additional information, changes in enrollment, failure to maintain academic progress, withdrawal from classes or outside aid received. Any revised award overrides all previous offers of aid, which means that you may have to repay funds already received.


    Special Circumstances

     Although the formula to determine financial aid eligibility is standard for all applicants, there is some flexibility in recalculating eligibility in light of special circumstances. These special circumstances may be as a result of your family experiencing an income reduction due to unemployment, disability, divorce, or death.  The Office of Financial Aid can have your financial aid eligibility recalculated using updated information.

    Other special circumstances may include loss of non-taxable income (e.g., child support or social security benefits). In all cases, special circumstances must be fully documented with an IRS Tax Return Transcript, death certificates, court documentation, or letters (from appropriate agencies, individuals, or employers).

    If there are other circumstances that affect the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education, please contact the Office of Financial Aid immediately.   The reasons you report must be sound and you will have to provide adequate proof to support any monetary adjustments.

    Verification is the process in which the Office of Financial Aid compares the information you reported on the FAFSA with your prior year tax return transcript, W-2 forms, and other financial documentation in accordance with based on federal and State regulations. If your application is selected for verification, you will receive an e-mail (through instructing you to submit certain forms and documents to complete verification.  The Office of Financial Aid must receive all requested documentation before federal and State aid can be disbursed. If there are differences between the data you provided on your FAFSA and the verification documentation, corrections may be needed, and your application will be reprocessed.


    If you are a New Jersey resident receiving state aid, the NJ Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) program may select your file for state verification. If you receive an “Applicant Information Request” (AIR) notice from the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), you must forward all requested information and financial documents directly to HESAA in Trenton. In some cases, HESAA may request the same information that was requested by Office of Financial Aid. You must forward this same information and documentation to HESAA to avoid a delay in the disbursement of funds or loss of your State aid.


    IRS Tax Documentation and Data Retrieval

    The IRS Tax Transcript

    The US Department of Education requires the Financial Aid Office to collect an IRS Tax Return Transcript for those selected for federal verification. You can obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript online by following instructions on the IRS website:


    IRS Data Retrieval

     To avoid having to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  The FAFSA® offers you the option of importing your federal tax information directly from the IRS online while completing the FAFSA®.  Your data from IRS should be available within 1-2 weeks of electronically filing your taxes or within 6-8 weeks, if you filed a paper tax return.  Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your and your parents’ (if dependent) tax information into your FAFSA.  It is a safe and convenient way to report your tax information on the FAFSA®.  If your file is selected for verification, Essex can use this information to confirm that you submitted accurate tax information in lieu of submitting an IRS Tax Return Transcript

    The Essex County College Financial Aid Office is located in Room 3220, in the green” section. Our formal address is:

    Office Of Financial Aid
    303 University Avenue,
    Newark NJ 07102-1798
    Phone: (973) 877-3200
    Fax: (973)877-3586
    Room 3220

    Monday & Friday9:00am – 4:30pm
    Last NameFirstTitleOfficer Student Caseload
    (Subject to Change)
    E-mail Address
    BarraganRitaFinancial Aid OfficerM, R, Q &
    CarmichaelGwendolynFront Desk Operations
    KirklandBrendaFinancial Aid OfficerN, O, P &
    Lee PowNicoleCoordinatorG, H & I
    MaloneyKevinFinancial Aid OfficerD, E, S &
    MentureLauraFinancial Aid Officer/FWSW, X, Y & Z and
    ReyesMarioFinancial Aid OfficerA, B, C &
    RodriguesClaudiaAdministrative Assistant Unemployment Waivers
    SingletonTammyStudent Services SpecialistFront Desk
    WalkerPhyllisAssistant DirectorJ. K &