PARAMUS, N.J. – The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on personal finances has prompted Bergen Community College to deploy numerous strategies at making education more affordable. Among them, the College leveraged nearly $5 million of federal pandemic relief funds to satisfy the outstanding balances of students with past-due tuition bills.
The effort impacted more than 2,000 students. The College also used federal funds to launch tuition-free enrollment at its Child Development Center for 25 student-parents at the College and offered degree-seeking students the opportunity to take up to six credits of 2022 summer classes tuition-free.
The creative tactics caught the eye of the federal government - First Lady Jill Biden, Ed.D., and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Ed.D., visited the College in January to recognize Bergen as a national model for student support.
In the College’s latest initiative, Bergen will incentivize early registration for the fall semester. Students will pay the 2019-20 tuition rate ($146.50 per credit for Bergen County residents) if they register for classes before July 1. The College had frozen tuition rates during the entirety of the pandemic, opting for zero percent increases in 2020-21 and 2021-22 in light of the challenges experienced by students. Tuition and fees vary depending on residency, academic program and other factors - please visit Bergen.edu/bursar for a complete schedule.
“Community colleges need to find creative solutions to eliminate barriers to education,” Bergen President Eric M. Friedman, Ph.D., said.
On July 1, the College will implement an average increase of two percent in tuition and fees for the 2022-23 academic year due to non-discretionary cost increases - including in energy, insurance and maintenance.
Not only can students avoid the increase by registering before July 1, they should consider filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applying for financial aid helps students unlock additional tuition assistance programs that can even make Bergen tuition-free. Students become eligible for many of the programs, including the state’s Community College Opportunity Grant, which offers a tuition-free Bergen experience to students in households earning $65,000 or less, by filing the FAFSA.
Bergen offers more than 130 degree and certificate programs in areas such as aviation, criminal justice, dental hygiene, fashion design and hospitality. For more information, or to apply, visit Bergen.edu.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.
Photo Caption: Students at Bergen Community College’s main campus in Paramus