Contact: Catherine Starghill,

Director of Strategy, Outreach & Communications

(609) 392-3434 or cstarghill@njccc.org

 

January 12, 2021

For Immediate Release

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LANDMARK LEGISLATIVE ACTION: Passage of Legislation to Establish the Community College Opportunity Grant as a Permanent Program

Yesterday, the Senate voted 26-6 to establish the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program as a permanent state financial aid program. The Assembly, which passed the legislature late last year, concurred with Senate amendments to the legislation yesterday as well. The legislation (A4410 / S2743) will now go to Governor Murphy for his signature.

 

The Community College Opportunity Grant program provides a last-dollar scholarship to attend a community college for individuals in households earning $65,000 adjusted gross income or less. The CCOG program was first established in the state’s FY 2019 budget and assisted more than 18,000 students last year, including recent high school graduates and working adults. These students enrolled in a community college and embarked on a path toward earning college degrees and credentials. CCOG expands economic opportunity while helping New Jersey build a productive and innovative workforce that enables economic growth and recovery.

 

“It was an important day for the future of our state, our economy, and all who live in our great state” according to Aaron R. Fichtner, President of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

 

When this legislation is signed by the Governor, current and future students will have the certainty to know that this program will be there for them now and into the future.
 

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) was the lead champion of this legislation with the strong support of Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex and Chair of the Assembly Higher Education committee) and Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-Mercer). Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-Hudson and Chair of the Senate Higher Education committee) was the lead Senate sponsor joined by Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex and Chair of the Senate Education committee). Twenty-five (25) other members of the Senate and Assembly joined as co-sponsors. Their efforts will ensure that New Jersey has a more equitable and resilient economy.

 

New Jersey’s 18 community colleges thank Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and the entire Senate and Assembly for their support of this landmark legislation. The colleges thank Governor Murphy for proposing and supporting this program during the past three years and look forward to his signature.Yesterday, the Senate voted 26-6 to establish the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program as a permanent state financial aid program. The Assembly, which passed the legislature late last year, concurred with Senate amendments to the legislation yesterday as well. The legislation (A4410 / S2743) will now go to Governor Murphy for his signature.

About NJCCC:  New Jersey’s 18 agile and innovative Community Colleges are prepared to lead in the response to and recovery from this public health and economic crisis and to secure a brighter future for all New Jerseyans. The New Jersey Council of County Colleges provides statewide leadership for the advancement of New Jersey Community Colleges, performs coordinating responsibilities as required by law, and coordinates statewide efforts to build a skilled workforce and improve student success. We encourage you to visit our website at www.njccc.org.

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