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Letter: Essex County College Defends Actions On Scholarship
This letter is in response to the “Essex County College Won’t Honor VHS Grad’s Scholarship” article that appeared in your publication on September 10, 2013. This headline is inaccurate and the substance of the article misleading. Essex County College honors all designated student scholarships, including scholarships provided through the NJ STARS program. In rare circumstances, when a county college may not have the specific degree that a local student is seeking, a student may be eligible for tuition chargeback assistance to obtain a credit against tuition from Essex County. The eligibility requirements for a chargeback are mandated by New Jersey law. For example, if an Essex County-based NJ STARS student wants to major in Liberals Arts at an out-of-county college, the law mandates that the student is ineligible since the local county college, Essex County College, offers an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Chargeback eligibility is based on the degree sought, not the option.
As a result, some chargebacks are denied because the request does not comply with the law. The article confirmed that the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, which is the state agency with oversight for the program, supports the position taken by Essex County College.
Essex County College offers outstanding academic opportunities for all students at our two campuses, in Newark and West Caldwell. In fact, the Class of 2012 and the Class of 2013 had a total of six Jack Kent Cooke transfer scholars who were each awarded up to $90,000 to transition into 4-year colleges. Essex County College has the most students of any county college in the state of New Jersey whose students have achieved this high honor. We pride ourselves on the outstanding service provided to our students and affordability to all of the residents of Essex County.
Phil Linfante, PhD
Executive Dean, Student Success
Essex County College
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