Financial aid is available to full- and part-time students. The goal is to provide funds from the federal government, State of New Jersey, and internal sources for students who would not be able to complete their college education without financial assistance.
Student financial aid is not a supplement to the student’s income for meeting normal living expenses, but is available to help the student offset the additional expenses incurred directly by his or her education. Most financial aid awards are based on demonstrated financial need, which is the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution.
Eligibility for Financial Aid
In order to be eligible for any financial aid you must:
- Have a high school diploma or High School Equivalency (formerly GED)
- Be accepted in a program of study leading toward an eligible degree or certificate of at least 24 credits
- Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid
To be eligible for federal financial aid you must also:
- Be a U.S. citizen, national, or eligible non-citizen (this includes students who have a green card)
- Not be in default of a prior student loan or owe a repayment of a federal aid program
- Be registered for Selective Service (if required)
- Not have been convicted for sale or possession of illegal drugs while receiving aid from a federal program
To be eligible for financial aid from the State of New Jersey you must also:
- Be a New Jersey resident for at least one consecutive year;
- Be enrolled for at least six credits per semester; and
- Be able to demonstrate need according to the state’s need analysis system.
Applying for Financial Aid
You must apply for financial aid each academic year.
In order to apply for RVCC Scholarships you must complete the RVCC Scholarship Application. The application is available on the RVCC website. (Students must be enrolled in at least six credits.)
In order to apply for other forms of financial aid you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you already have applied for financial aid but did not list RVCC’s school code, you can add the school code to your already processed FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. RVCC’s federal school code for the FAFSA is 007731.
Deadlines for Applying for Financial Aid
It is recommended that you apply for financial aid at least two months before your payment is due. If you apply for financial aid after that period, you should be prepared to pay for your tuition and you may be able to receive financial aid after the semester begins.
State deadlines for financial aid are June 1, 2016 for continuing students and October 1, 2016 for new students. Once a student’s financial aid award has been processed, it will automatically hold his or her course schedule. All students are responsible for withdrawing from courses.
Satisfactory Academic Progress for Maintaining Financial Aid (SAP)
All students applying for financial aid must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid standards listed below:
The RVCC Financial Aid office determines if you are making the SAP requirements by looking at three factors.
- Grade Point Average (GPA)
- The percentage of all the classes that you have attempted vs. the number you completed with a passing grade. Withdrawals are included in this percentage.
- The amount of time you receive financial aid. You are allowed to receive financial for 150 percent of the actual length of your program. For example, if you are a full-time student pursuing an Associate Degree (which is a two-year program), for SAP you have three years to complete your degree. Two years = 100 %, Three Years = 150%. Once it is determined that a student cannot graduate within the 150% time frame, he or she will no longer be eligible for financial aid.
This chart shows the minimum requirements that a student must meet to be eligible for Financial Aid.
|Number of Credits Attempted
||Percentage of Classes
Completed vs. Attempted
|48 or more
Students who have attempted at least 13 credits and are not meeting the minimum SAP requirements will need to appeal for an Academic Plan. In the Appeal students will explain why they have not been able to meet the SAP requirements and what they plan to do to improve their academic standing. Students will meet with an Academic Advisor in the RVCC Advising and Counseling department. The student and the Advisor will come up with a realistic Academic Plan. Once the Appeal for an Academic Plan is approved, the student can receive financial aid. Students must meet SAP within one year or will risk losing their aid permanently. During the Appeal semester(s), students cannot fail or withdraw from any classes. If this occurs, the student will lose financial aid for the following semesters and beyond.
Federal regulations make no provisions for academic renewal. All courses in a student’s academic history will be reviewed in regards to financial aid eligibility.
SAP will be evaluated each academic year for students pursuing an Associate Degree and each semester for students pursuing a Certificate.
If students do not meet the SAP standards and feel that they have extenuating circumstances, they may appeal for one semester of probationary financial aid.
If an appeal is approved and the student does not meet the terms of an academic plan, financial aid will be canceled and the student must take courses at his or her own expense until the minimum SAP standards are met.
If the student has attempted 150% of the credits required for the program, he or she will no longer be eligible for financial aid.
Withdrawal from Classes and Return of Financial Aid Funds
Students who have financial aid must formally withdraw if they do not plan to attend RVCC. If you receive federal financial aid and you withdraw or stop attending within the first 60% of the term, you may be required to repay all or a portion of your financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will determine how much of your federal aid you have earned and notify you in writing. It is your responsibility to make payment arrangements with the Finance Office for all outstanding charges due to the return calculation. A student’s course schedule will be held automatically once a student’s financial aid has been processed. Students are responsible for withdrawing from courses.
How Financial Aid is Awarded
Financial Aid is awarded first with need-based grants. Need-based grants will not exceed the student’s unmet financial need. RVCC Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis once grades for the prior semester have been calculated and will be awarded until funding is exhausted. Student loans are awarded to eligible students who request them. Due to RVCC’s relatively low tuition and fees, the Financial Aid Office will wait until a student has registered for classes and requests a loan before awarding one. Federal work study is awarded to eligible students once they have been offered a position. Once a student’s financial aid award has been processed, it will automatically hold his or her course schedule. All students are responsible for withdrawing from courses.
Determining Financial Need
Financial need is determined by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), as determined by the FAFSA, from the Cost of Attendance (COA), which is determined by the College. Your financial aid will be awarded based on the enrollment status you select on the FAFSA. After the 10th day of the semester, the student’s COA will be adjusted if his or her actual enrollment status is different from the status listed on the FAFSA.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
When awarding aid to students, the Financial Aid Office uses budgets that reflect those expenses normally incurred by a student during a traditional nine-month academic year. Please note that these budgets are not the actual charges that appear on the student’s semester bill. The estimated Cost of Attendance for a typical full-time in-county resident for the 2016-2017 academic year is:
||*Living with Parents
|Tuition & Fees
|Books & Supplies
|Room & Board
Tuition and Fees - Tuition and fees are per-credit charges based on the current rate structure, including tuition and general registration fee.
Books and Supplies - Books and supplies costs are estimated based on the number of credits the student is enrolled in each semester.
Room, Board and Travel - Room, Board and Travel are based on estimated charges students may incur while living with their parents or out of the home. RVCC does not have on-campus housing.
Students who wish to have their Cost of Attendance adjusted based on other charges must submit an appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Office.
* The College reserves the right to change tuition, fees and deposit schedules herein stated at any time by action of the Board of Trustees of Raritan Valley Community College.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The information you report on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Schools use the EFC to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.
The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year.
Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.
Financial Aid Rights and Responsibilities
As an RVCC student who is receiving financial aid, you are responsible:
- For being aware of deadlines and the consequences for not meeting the deadlines or reading, understanding, and maintaining copies of all documents sent to you via e-mail or postal mail
- For using the financial aid that you are awarded for educationally related expenses only
- For maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- For notifying the Financial Aid Office of sources of financial aid not listed on your Financial Aid award letter
- For providing all documents requested by the Financial Aid Office within the published deadlines
- For knowing and complying with the RVCC Refund and Withdrawal Schedule and Return of Financial Aid policy
- For being enrolled in an eligible degree program
- For notifying the Registrar’s office of any changes in your personal information
- For arranging payment in full for any outstanding charges on your student account
As an RVCC student who is receiving financial aid, you have the right:
- To be informed of the amount and type of financial aid that you are eligible for
- To decline all or a portion of your financial aid
- To appeal decisions made about your financial aid eligibility
- To know the conditions and terms of all loans you apply for
- To view contents of your financial aid file in accordance with FERPA
- To have your information covered under FERPA protected
- To know how and when financial aid eligibility is determined, distributed and disbursed
- To be made aware of the financial aid application process
- To know the terms and conditions of employment that you receive Federal Work Study for
- To be informed about the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy and appeals process
- To obtain loan entrance and exit counseling
Types of Financial Aid Available
You do not need to be enrolled full-time for most forms of financial aid. The only forms of financial aid that require a full-time course load are the NJ STARS program, the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) and certain Galileo Scholarships.
Grants are awarded based on demonstration of financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
Federal Pell Grant (Pell)
Pell awards range from $583-$5,815 for the 2016-2017 academic year. Students who possess a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
SEOG is a federal need-based grant. Limited funding is available for this program.
State of New Jersey Tuition Aid Grant (TAG)
TAG awards currently range from $283-$1,274 but are adjusted each academic year. You must be enrolled for at least six credits, meet the state residency requirements and submit all requested documentation to the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA).
State of New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF)
EOF awards currently range from $294 to $850 per year. You must be eligible for TAG and be accepted into the EOF program. See the College website for more details.
Federal Work Study
The Federal Work Study program employs students on campus. You will have the opportunity to earn work experience as well as a paycheck, and you may work up to 20 hours per week. You must have unmet financial need in order to be eligible for federal work study and you may apply for any position listed on the Student Employment Opportunities page of the Financial Aid website. (Students must be enrolled in and maintain a minimum of six credits.)
New Jersey State Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS)****
The NJ STARS Program enables students who rank in the top 15 percent of their high school class to receive a scholarship to attend RVCC. Students must be residents of either Somerset or Hunterdon County and rank in the top 15 percent of their high school class at the end of either their junior or senior year.
Students must submit a final High School Transcript showing they graduated in the top 15% of their class to qualify. The NJ STARS scholarship covers tuition (up to 18 credits per semester) for up to five semesters of continuous enrollment to students pursuing an associate degree program at a New Jersey community college. Eligible students must first apply for all need-based federal and state financial aid grants (completing the FAFSA application). NJ STARS will pay for any remaining tuition costs not covered by these financial aid programs. Students are responsible for paying for their fees and books.
For additional information, contact the Financial Aid Office, (908) 526-1200, extension 8273 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
****NJ STARS is a state program and is subject to change. For updated information, visit www.hesaa.org.
RVCC Academic Scholarships
RVCC Scholarships are available to all RVCC students in eligible degree or certificate programs, including international students and students who are not eligible to complete the FAFSA. Scholarship opportunities are listed at the end of this section. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis once grades have been calculated for the prior semester. Scholarships are awarded until funds are exhausted. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of six credits for all scholarships.
If you receive a scholarship from an outside entity, simply request that the organization mail your scholarship check (including your name and student ID number) to the Finance Office. The Finance Office will process your scholarship check and the Financial Aid Office will notify you that it has been received. You can search for scholarships on scholarship search engines such as www.fastweb.com and www.scholarships.com.
Please note that all loans must be repaid.
All borrowers must complete a Loan Request Form.
Federal Stafford Loans
Stafford loans are established and provided by the federal government. The maximum interest rate for a Stafford loan is fixed at 6.8%. Students will begin repayment on Stafford loans six months after their last date of attendance. Stafford loans are available to all students who meet the financial aid eligibility requirements and are enrolled in a minimum of six credits (half-time).
Subsidized (the government pays the interest while you’re in school) Stafford Loans are available to students who are able to demonstrate financial need. Subsidized annual loan limits are $3,500 for freshman and $4,500 for sophomore students.
Students who do not demonstrate financial need are eligible for an Unsubsidized (you pay all the interest, although you can have the payments deferred until after graduation) Stafford Loan. Unsubsidized annual loan limits are $3,500 for freshman and $4,500 for sophomore students. Independent students and students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan are eligible for an additional $4,000 per year. In addition, dependent and independent students can borrow a $2,000 unsubsidized loan.
First-time borrowers at RVCC must complete federally mandated Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN). For additional information about Stafford loans and how to request one, please see the College website.
Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Parents of dependent students may borrow on behalf of their children using a PLUS loan. Parent loans must be repaid over a 10-year period with a fixed interest rate of 8.5%. Parents enter repayment beginning 60 days after disbursement.
Alternative (Private) Loans
NJCLASS loans are offered through the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). These loans are credit-based loans and may require a co-signer.
Other Alternative Loans
Due to RVCC’s relatively low cost of attendance, students will not often require an alternative loan. These loans are credit-based and often have repayment options that are more restrictive than the Stafford loans. If students would like to borrow an Alternative Loan they will need to contact the lender of their choice to begin the loan process. Once the loan is complete, the Financial Aid Office will send the student a Loan Request Form (LRF). Upon completing and returning the LRF, the Financial Aid Office will certify the loan if the student is eligible.
Raritan Valley Community College Institutional Scholarships
Students may apply for these scholarships using the RVCC Scholarship Application, except where noted with an asterisk (*). In these cases a separate application form is available on the College website. For these scholarships recipients are chosen by the donor and/or committee review. All scholarships require that students be enrolled in at least six credits and that they have completed the FAFSA application.
Nicholas and Jeanne Alesandro Scholarship
ALICE Scholarship (United Way of Northern New Jersey)
Area VII Physicians Nursing Scholarship
Virginia Butkowsky Scholarship
Cento Amici Scholarship
Sophie Sadowsky Chmil Memorial Scholarship
Patricia Critelli Paralegal Scholarship
Frank Denny Memorial Scholarship
Joanna and John Dzitko Scholarship
Augie Eosso Legacy Scholarship
ERS Charitable Fund for General Scholarships
Ethicon Nursing Scholarship
Executive Women’s Forum Information Security, Risk Management & Privacy
Phobe and John Falcone Scholarship
Gibson Family Galileo Scholarship
Shirley Gilbert Nursing Scholarship
Sandy and Karolee Glassman Engineering Scholarship
Karolee Dousa Glassman Scholarship
Lewis Gray Memorial Scholarship
Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship for Advanced Manufacturing
Janssen Nursing Scholarship
A.Bernard Lindemann Science Scholarship
Nancy K. Maulding Scholarship
Rose McConnell Scholarship
Robert Sydney Needham Memorial Scholarship
Christopher Morgan Scholarship
Pellowski Family Scholarship
Ann and Susan Primmer Scholarship
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital-Somerset Nursing Scholarships
RVCC Foundation’s Galileo, Merit, General, and Athletic Scholarships
Sanofi Galileo Scholarship
Arnold Schwartz Foundation Nursing Scholarship
Second Career Scholarship (Food Bank Network of Somerset County)
Nicholas & Xenia Shmaruk Scholarship
Somerset Hills Branch of AAUW
Somerville Fire Police Scholarship
Fabienne Stassen Memorial Scholarship
Walter & Louise Sutcliffe Foundation Nursing Scholarships
Tom Tarnowski Scholarship
Axel Veldon Memorial Scholarship
Anita Ventantonio Scholarship
Watchung International Lions Club Scholarship
Wellbrock Family Scholarship
Richard and Ann Wellbrock FDU Award
Officer David F. Wilson Memorial Scholarship
Mary T. Zanetti Scholarship
For complete descriptions of all of the Institutional Scholarships, visit www.raritanval.edu.