Raritan Valley Community College is participating in the New Jersey Community College Opportunity Grant Program, which offers free community college to qualified students.
Who qualifies for Free Tuition?
- You must have a total household adjusted income not exceeding $65,000
- Attend your home community college – RVCC for Somerset & Hunterdon county residents
- Apply to RVCC and complete all admissions requirements
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) including the state questions
- Dreamers must complete the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application
- Enroll in at least 6 credits each semester for Fall and/or Spring
- Do not have a prior college degree
- Make satisfactory academic progress
How does the program work?
Eligible students will receive free tuition and most educational fees for up to 18 credits a semester. The Opportunity Grant will pay for tuition and most educational fee costs not covered by state, federal, institutional or community grants or scholarships. The first step is to complete the FAFSA or New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application.
Is there a limit on how much will be covered under the Opportunity Grant for attending RVCC?
Yes. For the Fall 2022 the maximum amount the Opportunity Grant will cover for tuition is:
- 12 or more credits - $3,114
- 9-11 credits - $1,914
- 6-8 credits -$1,392
- 0-5 credit – not eligible
- The grant will cover up to $1,500 of most fees.
What are the income requirements?
Independent students – those who do not have to report their parent income on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application – must have an Adjusted Gross Income not exceeding $65,000. Dependent students – those who must report their parent information on their FAFSA – must have a parent Adjusted Gross Income not exceeding $65,000. Those with a negative Adjusted Gross Income are not eligible for this program.
Am I eligible if I am taking English as a Second Language classes or remedial classes?
Yes, as long as you take at least 6 credits per semester.
Am I eligible if I am not a citizen or legal US Permanent Resident?
If you are not a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen, you may be eligible for the Opportunity Grant by filling out the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application at njgrants.org. In order to apply you must meet all of the following criteria:
- Attended a New Jersey high school for at least three (3) years
- Graduated from a New Jersey high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in New Jersey
- Registered for Selective Service (male students only)
- Are able to file an affidavit stating that you will file an application to legalize your immigration status or will file an application as soon you are eligible to do so
Can I go to an out-of-county community college and still be eligible for the Opportunity Grant?
You must attend your home community college unless your home college does not offer the program of study you are interested in pursuing. In that case, you must obtain a letter from your home community college stating that the college does not offer the program or the program is unavailable due to lack of available space. Please contact the RVCC Admissions office to begin the process, know as a Charge Back.
If you work in Somerset or Hunterdon counties you may be eligible to attend RVCC at the in-county tuition rate and receive the Opportunity Grant. Contact the RVCC Finance office to request an Employee Affidavit.
RVCC and Middlesex College have an agreement allowing eligible students to not be charged out-of-county fees.
What expenses are covered under the Opportunity Grant?
The grant covers tuition and most educational fees including general fees, registration fees, lab fees, most program fees, technology fees and student activity fees. It does not cover books, computers & other supplies, application fees, graduation fees, transcript fees and late fees.
Are students enrolled in Workforce programs including Auto Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Cosmetology and Esthetics?
Some programs will not be fully covered by CCOG based on their higher costs, such as Automotive Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Cosmetology and Esthetics. The maximum amount that CCOG will cover for tuition is:
- 12 or more credits - $2,809
- 9-11 credits - $2,106
- 6-8 credits -$1,404
- 0-5 credit – not eligible
Am I eligible if I am enrolled in an Academy Program or other Early College Program?
No. To be eligible you must have a high school diploma or high school equivalency (GED).
How do I get started?
Apply to RVCC and fill out the 2020-2021 FAFSA application at fafsa.gov. RVCC’s school code is 007731. If you do not meet the citizenship requirements for FAFSA, go to njgrants.org to determine if you are eligible to fill out the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application. If you have already filled out your 2020-2021 FASFA and are a current RVCC student or have applied to RVCC, you will be automatically considered for the grant.
How do I find out more about the Opportunity Grant program?
Program subject to change