Federal Student Aid Programs

  • ALL require the FAFSA® (https://fafsa.gov). Applicants must have a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) to sign electronically.
  • 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 the 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.

Source: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/basic-criteria

Guidance Resources:

Federal Pell Grants

The 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 needs who have not earned bachelor’s or professional degrees.
  • Student must be a regular student enrolled in an eligible program.
  • Course(s) cannot be a 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 Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

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

  • Must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
  • Must be pursuing a 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 noted on the student’s financial aid account is the maximum amount eligible to earn. Students work on-campus with the ability to earn funds up to the amount of their eligibility.

  • The amount offered Is the maximum amount student is eligible to earn.
  • Work-Study is NOT a grant. It provides compensated work. Earnings are 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: