WEST WINDSOR – Less than 24 hours after the announcement of a new pilot program by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to offer free community college to New Jersey residents, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) has launched a program to maximize outreach to those who may benefit from the innovative initiative.
“I thank Governor Murphy for his vision and foresight to make college more affordable to all New Jerseyans, and for his commitment to invest in New Jersey’s future,” said MCCC President Dr. Jianping Wang. “For us the real work begins now.”
On Sept. 27, Murphy announced that MCCC and 12 other New Jersey community colleges would share in a $25 million Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG), the first step in providing a community college education to all New Jersey residents. This initial grant will be awarded to students with household incomes of less than $45,000. Students must maintain satisfactory grades to remain eligible.
The CCOG is a “last dollar” grant, meaning it will cover remaining costs after all other financial aid has been applied.
Wang said the college has already designated administrative personnel to begin the process, which includes outreach to those who are eligible and the encouragement to act early by filling out the federal Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA), applying for admission, and consulting with advisers and counselors.
“We need to do grassroots outreach to the people who are eligible but may not be aware of this tremendous opportunity,” Wang said. “We have a full team assembled to assist them. This is an opportunity for those who have a dream, but have not been able to advance that dream.
“On behalf of our students, we are grateful for this opportunity. Not only are we grateful, but we are ready.”
CONTACT: Jim Gardner, Public Relations Manager