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Bergen Community College Moves Most Classes Online, Freezes Tuition


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ,  As New Jersey’s largest community college, with approximately 15,000 students, faculty, staff and community members visiting its main campus each day, Bergen Community College has transitioned most of its fall schedule to remote online learning in the interest of health and safety and frozen tuition rates to enhance the College’s renowned affordability. The institution will offer a limited number of practice-based classes, such as those in health professions, in person. No classes will take place at the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and only paramedic science program practicals will take place at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The fall semester begins Sept. 2 and students can register at or email for assistance.

“In working with a taskforce of two-dozen faculty, staff and students, we reviewed the latest guidelines from public health agencies, the state and county before finalizing our plans for safety, instruction and support,” Bergen Interim President Tony Ross, Ed.D., said. “This preparation has positioned the College to offer the same renowned Bergen quality students would receive in a traditional campus environment.”

Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III applauded the decision and said students should explore all the College has to offer.

“The College’s transition to online courses for the fall semester reflects the difficult reality of COVID-19,” he said. “An ever-changing situation, the uncertainty of COVID-19 demands proactive responses. This decision is one that places the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and community members at the forefront. It is the right thing to do and I am confident that the College will continue to provide an exceptional, affordable education in this temporary virtual setting. I thank Interim President Tony Ross and the leadership of the College for their dedication throughout this health crisis. My administration remains steadfast in our commitment to this institution and I will continue to work with the College’s leadership to support the mission of inspiring our community to realize a better future.”

For classes meeting in person at the main campus, the College will deploy numerous safety measures to protect the health and well-being of those in attendance, including reduced class sizes, spaced seating and enhanced cleaning protocols. Still, the majority of Bergen’s fall classes will take place online. For a full list of available classes, visit

With the federal government’s July 6 announcement regarding changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program that bars F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant students from remaining in the country if their classes take place entirely online, Bergen has immediately begun discussions about how to support these students and provide in-person or hybrid-model classes for them. The College will release information on its plans for supporting international students as soon as they become final.

Additionally, the College will provide an operational guide to the fall 2020 semester containing information on procedures, protocols and services – including the availability of on-campus resources/access – for students, faculty, staff and the community.

For families and students unsure of their plans for higher education this fall due to the pandemic, Interim President Ross encourages them to consider Bergen due to its record of quality and affordable tuition. Many general education classes such as English Composition, General Biology and Statistics remain ideal for transfer to many four-year colleges.

“Whether getting back on track this semester means beginning a college education closer to home, embarking on a new career or coming back to finish what you started, we’ll help you get there,” he said. “Bergen represents the intersection of quality and value. Simply, we’re the best deal in higher education.”

While many higher education institutions scrambled to transition online due to the pandemic, Interim President Ross believes Bergen mitigated complications, positioning students for success.

“Bergen has offered online classes for many, many years,” he said. “We were in an advantageous position because of the experience the College and many faculty already possessed when it came to online learning. Our classes have retained their quality, which remains incredibly important to us and the students enrolling in them.”

Bergen offers more than 130 degree and certificate programs in areas such as aviation, criminal justice, dental hygiene, fashion design and hospitality. Students considering enrolling at the College should first file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filing a FAFSA can help students become eligible for programs such as the state’s tuition-free Community College Opportunity Grant, which has now expanded to include households making up to $65,000 per year, and other tuition assistance programs. The College ranks No. 1 in New Jersey for associate degree graduates.

Fall schedule:

*Fall 1 – Sept. 2-Dec. 21

*Fall 2 – Sept. 23-Dec. 21

*Flex 1 – Sept. 2-Oct. 26

*Flex 2 – Oct. 27-Dec. 21


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