Rising STARS Tuition Assistance

Rising STARS Tuition Assistance

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Eligibility Requirements for the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program  

To be eligible for funding consideration, applicants must meet all the following requirements as follows:

  1. Pennsylvania resident;
  2. Work in a child care facility that holds a current Child Care License under the Department of Human Services (DHS) and demonstrates continuous employment for at least 12 months;
  3. Work a minimum of twenty (20) hours weekly in a classroom setting or as the director, assistant director or education coordinator;
  4. Work as an Aide, Assistant Teacher, Teacher, or Assistant Director and earn less than $40,000 annually;
  5. Child Care Center Director, Family or Group Child Care Home Owner/Operator who earn less than $50,000 annually;
  6. Agree to continue work in a Keystone STARS facility for two months for every credit supported by the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program with two months beginning at the conclusion of the course for which funding was received. (Total time due will not exceed 24 months following the conclusion of the most recent course completed);
  7. Enroll in credit-bearing courses at an in-state accredited institution; and
  8. Maintain a 3.0 GPA for the classes taken or degree program in which the student is enrolled.

For complete information, please visit the PA Rising STARS Tuition Assistance page


For a Comparison Chart Rising STARS vs TEACH Visit Here

To Determine Eligibility 
(Please allow at least 4 weeks for processing of NCC and RSTA Documents):

Step 1 - Please complete the PA PD Registry information found here

When applying for Rising STARS Tuition Assistance, you will need to apply and enroll at Northampton Community College first and then provide the following documents to the PA Key:

Step 2Apply online at NCC

Step 3 – Locate and then provide the following documents from NCC to RSTA (using NCC’s hyperlinks below)

The following documents must be submitted with your application to Rising STARS Tuition Assistance and the PA Keys in the PA PD Registry. Incomplete applications or those submitted with missing documents may result in delayed or rejected funding.

  • The Name of your Degree, which may be listed on your transcripts, degree audit or other documentation from your institute of higher learning (once you apply, this will be in your admissions packet from NCC, along with your student ID and major)

Step 4 Enroll at Northampton Community College in either a CDA, DC or SAPC credential (each program is 9 credits) or a credential RENEWAL course (worth 3 credits) – Contact ckuker@northampton.edu to help you select your courses. In the email, state your interest and (if applicable) scan your 15 prior ECE credit transcripts for review to enroll in the DC credential. Once guided, you will need to enroll using the  credit registration form (PDF) - this form (paper process, online enrollment not accepted) can be emailed or faxed to admissions to 610-861-4560

Step 5 – Once enrolled, supply RSTA (Pennsylvania Key) with the following documents:

  • Course information including Course Number, Course Title, Begin/End Dates of Course, Number of Credits. http://webapp.northampton.edu/coursesearch/default.aspx
  • A course description is required for courses toward the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, Director Credential, or movement on the Career Lattice. https://northampton.smartcatalogiq.com/en/2019-2020/College-Catalog/Course-Descriptions
  • Itemized Financial Billing Statement showing the cost of tuition for the course.  The Billing Statement must indicate that the applicant has been registered for the course, and must state the course name and the tuition cost for that specific course.   Fees or other costs should not be included in the tuition cost line. (This was mailed to you when you enrolled in a course at NCC).
  • Transcript showing current GPA as of most recent completed semester.  Official transcript with raised seal not required.  (Not required only if this is the first course taken for this degree/certificate). To obtain an unofficial transcript if you have taken at least one course; go to MyNCC, log in, go to Student Home, My Academic Record, and then My Unofficial Transcript – print this screen to scan the document into the PA Portal. If you have not submitted your most current transcript at time of application, you will not be approved and may need to submit transcript again when grades are posted from prior semester.
  • Employer Attestation Form  (PDF) completed by your Director.
  • Certificate of Compliance ("license") from the Department of Human Services (DHS). Typically, a child care center, group child care home, or family child care home must have this certificate. Please communicate with the licensure to locate this document and scan a copy into the portal (if you had not already done so).

Step 6 – Once you receive your approval from RSTA, to calculate your 5%, make sure you use the RSTA Approval document and your bill to know what your portion is. Pay your 5% of the invoice by the tuition due date stamped on your bill by logging into Workday. Payment can be made by credit or debit card.

PLEASE NOTE: Applying for Rising STARS Tuition Assistance does not mean that you are guaranteed approval. If you are not approved, you are responsible for payment in full or dropping the course by the 100% refund date – check academic calendar (and the correct semester) for drop dates.

Step 7: Send the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Approval document directly to  bursar@northampton.edu once you receive that you have been accepted into the RSTA.  

Step 8 – To confirm that you are enrolled in your course(s), go to MyNCC and click My Schedule