What is the Community College Opportunity Grant?

The Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) is a New Jersey (NJ) State Grant through the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). CCOG is a last-dollar grant available to eligible NJ Community College students that covers tuition and eligible fees for those students whose other aid did not cover their entire bill. CCOG is only eligible for students for the Fall and Spring terms.

You May Be Eligible If You:

  • Register for at least six (6) credits
  • Do not have a prior college degree (AA, BA, MA, etc.)
  • Complete the FAFSA application or NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Have been a legal resident of NJ for at least 12 months
  • Have a total Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) between $0 – $100,000

Questions or Inquiries – Email: [email protected]

What do I need to do?

  • Step 1: Apply to Essex County College and go through the admissions process.
  • Step 2: Complete the FAFSA Application or the NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application if you are a Dreamer/DACA student.
  • Step 3: Check your MYECC Portal and NJFAMS account for your eligibility and submit any missing documentation to the appropriate office if applicable.
  • Step 4: Register for at least 6 credits.

I’m a Dreamer/DACA student. Would I qualify?

  • Dreamer/DACA students are eligible for State Aid. All qualifications and steps listed above must be followed in addition to:
  • You must have attended a NJ High School for at least 3 years and have graduated from a NJ High School or received a GED.
    • You must submit the following documentation to the Financial Aid Office:
    • Official High School Transcript
    • NJ Dreamer Affidavit
    • Selective Service Verification (males only)

More Information: www.hesaa.org/pages/CCOG.aspx

State Aid Portal: www.njfams.hesaa.org/NJFAMS/login.aspx

HESAA Contact: Andre Maglione at 609-5884618 or [email protected]

Financial Aid Contact: Nicole LeePow at 973-877-3171 or [email protected]

NJ Alternative FA Application: www.hesaa.org/Pages/NJAlternativeApplication.aspx

View CCOG Fact Sheet/Flyer  (Eng)  / (Spanish)

Eligibility Information Sheet

A US Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen

Completed the 2022-2023 FAFSA and satisfy all eligibility requirements:

  • Have a valid social security number
  • Enroll in a degree-seeking or certificate program
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Have a high school diploma or GED

Click here  for additional CCOG eligibility requirements. FAQ’s can be downloaded here.

Visit www.fafsa.ed.gov or njfams.hesaa.org for more information

An Undocumented or DACA student

Completed the 2022-2023 NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application and satisfy all eligibility requirements:

  • Have attended a NJ high school for at least 3 years
  • Graduate from a NJ high school or receive the equivalent of a high school diploma in NJ

File an affidavit stating that you have filed or will file an application to legalize your immigration status as soon as you are eligible.

Key Dates

  • Registration for Fall 2022 courses is NOW OPEN
  • 2022-2023 Financial Aid Deadline is April 15, 2022 (Returning Students) 
  • 2022-2023 Financial Aid Deadline is September 15, 2022 (New Students)

New Features for 2022-2023

  • Now covers dependent students who are attending college part-time (typically two classes) in a semester.
  • Now covers fees for nursing, culinary, and other career and technical education programs. (More details to come!)

To Qualify You Must…

  • Have a total household adjusted gross income not exceeding $80,000.
  • Not have a prior college degree.
  • Complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at fafsa.gov, including submission of all required documents.
  • Make satisfactory academic progress.

Your Next Steps

  • Apply for financial aid. We can help you complete the FAFSA form.
  • Complete your ECC admission application.

All students must complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) or the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application to apply for all available forms of federal and state need-based grants and merit scholarships by September 15, 2022. The student must satisfy all requirements to determine his or her eligibility to receive payments of these state and federal grants and scholarships within established state deadlines. The FAFSA can be completed at www.fafsa.gov.  New Jersey Dreamers should complete the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application at https://www.hesaa.org/Pages/NJAlternativeApplication.aspx.

Filing the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA®)

Students must create a federal student aid identification number (FSA ID) at https://fsaid.ed.gov to sign the FAFSA electronically, then complete the application at https://fafsa.gov . The application will be processed within 5 – 7 days. We recommend that the student check the status of the application in the Myecc portal.

Assistance needed with filing the FAFSA® 

Call our financial aid office at (973)877-3200 to setup an appointment for assistance, then after 5 – 7 days visit the Myecc portal to check the application status.

If a student cannot access the Myecc portal, please direct them to Enrollment Services.

Disclaimer: Tuition grants offered through MCCC are limited to Essex County residents. The total amount of funds from the Community College Opportunity Grant is based upon the funding received through your FAFSA application and other tuition assistance monies received. Funding is by the State of New Jersey and is subject to change. All tuition funds are deposited to the college on behalf of each student in the program.

Policy and Procedures