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Passaic County Community College to Offer
Free Tuition and Fees
Next Spring for Qualifying Students
PCCC Receives $250,000 State Planning Grant 


Posted October 2, 2018


Starting next January, Passaic County Community College will offer free college tuition and fees to qualifying students. PCCC is one of 13 community colleges in New Jersey chosen to participate in the state’s $25 million Community College Innovation Challenge Grant the first step toward providing a community college education to all New Jersey residents.

In addition, PCCC will receive a $250,000 state planning grant to fund student outreach, recruitment, and support in readying for the full launch of New Jersey’s free community college initiative.

“This is a game changer for New Jersey’s Community Colleges and for PCCC,” said PCCC president Dr. Steven M. Rose, who announced the grant award on Thursday.
“Now students who were previously unable to afford college may have the opportunity to attend.”

Any Passaic County student from a family below $45,000 adjusted gross income and who takes at least six credits per semester will be eligible to have their tuition and fees paid. They must apply for financial aid to take advantage of the opportunity.

“We have many current students who are either receiving partial financial aid or no financial aid who will qualify,” said Dr. Rose. The president noted that some students who registered for the fall 2018 semester were unable to attend due to finances. “We hope to get many of them back so that they can obtain the postsecondary credentials needed to succeed in New Jersey’s skills-based economy,” he added.

The Community College Innovation Challenge was introduced by Governor Phil Murphy last spring. The opportunity to participate in the pilot program was open to all 19 of New Jersey’s community colleges. 

The colleges were required to submit an application for the grant award and were selected on a host of criteria, including a readiness to implement the plan, a strong location for the qualifying population, and demonstration of current and planned future outreach for the target population.

The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) and the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) jointly reviewed the applications and selected the community colleges for the pilot program.

Speaking on Thursday, Governor Murphy said, “Approximately 13,000 qualifying students will be able to attend one of 13 community colleges free of tuition and educational fees in the spring semester that starts in January 2019.”

“I look forward to working with everyone to make certain that Passaic County residents take full advantage of this opportunity,” said Dr. Rose.

Watch the PCCC website for more information in the coming weeks on the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG).