Project Second Chance

Atlantic Cape Community College offers eligible students an opportunity to earn the college credits required to apply for a state diploma through a program titled Project Second Chance.

Students who are accepted to the Project Second Chance Program must complete the required 30 college credits (please note, remedial courses do not meet these credit requirements), take and pass either the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) OR a college admission test including the Accuplacer, SAT or ACT, and then apply to the State for their high school diploma.  A grade C or better is needed in all courses in order for the class to be used in awarding the diploma.

What is a State Issued High School Diploma?

The New Jersey Department of Education offers adults who did not complete high school an opportunity to earn a state-issued high school diploma.

Program Benefits:

Girls outside

Although the GED test is the quickest way for prepared students to obtain a state-issued diploma, students who are not prepared to take the GED test or would prefer to earn up to one year of college credits while working toward a state diploma, may elect to pursue Atlantic Cape’s Project Second Chance Program.

Students are accepted to the college and can participate in campus life while simultaneously completing college credits toward their state-issued high school diploma and degree program. Other benefits of the program include:

  • Financial aid (state aid only) for qualified recipients
  • Attending regular college classes
  • Obtaining one year of college credits
  • Qualifying for a state-issued high school diploma
  • Opportunity to continue and earn an Associate's degree

Who is Eligible?

Eligible applicants are non-high school graduates who are at least 18 years of age.

How to Apply:

Applicants must first be admitted to Atlantic Cape Community College by submitting an Application for Admission and indicating their interest in the program in the High School Information section.  After acceptance to Atlantic Cape, the student must take the College’s Placement Test to determine preparedness for college-level courses.

Applicants who score below college-level English and mathematics on the college’s Placement Test, must enroll and complete any recommended developmental courses prior to entering the Project Second Chance Program. Applicants whose test scores place them in college-level English and mathematics may directly enter the program.

Students can discuss the Project Second Chance Program in person with an academic advisor at any of our three campus locations or by calling the Career and Academic Planning Center, 609-343-5621, (609) 625-1111 or 609-463-4774, ext. 5621.

Financial Aid:

Due to new federal regulations, students who first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012 at Atlantic Cape must have completed their High School Diploma or GED to qualify for Title IV (Federal) funding. Students who have not completed high school or earned a GED may still be eligible for New Jersey State Aid.  See the financial aid site for more information on the types of aid that are available.

New Jersey State Requirements:

To obtain a New Jersey State-Issued High School diploma, students must be New Jersey residents and older than the age of 16 (please note: Atlantic Cape's program requires the student to be at least 18 years of age).  Students are required to complete 30 general education college-level credits before they may apply for a state-issued diploma. Students must complete the following courses:

  3 credits in English
  3 credits in humanities
  3 credits in mathematics
  3 credits in social science
  3 credits in lab science
  15 credits in chosen major (college level)
Total: 30 college level credits

Steps to Applying for a State Issued Diploma:

  • Upon successful completion of the required college-level credits, students can apply for a New Jersey State-Issued High School Diploma by submitting the following to the New Jersey State Department of Education:

Forms to apply for a state-issued diploma may be obtained from the Career and Academic Planning Center in the “J” building, Mays Landing campus or the Cape May County campus.