Getting a college degree is one of the most important investments you'll make. But with the increasingly high costs of tuition, figuring out how to pay for your education can be discouraging -- or just downright scary. This is where government-financed financial aid programs can help.
Along with loans from the U.S. federal government, consider the variety of grant and loan repayment programs New Jersey offers through its Higher Education Assistance Authority (HESSA).
Grants and Scholarships
Tuition Aid Grant (TAG)
New Jersey's Tuition Aid Grant is one of the largest financial aid programs in the country. The grant may cover the full cost of tuition, and is renewable annually. The amount awarded varies based on financial need, cost and available funding.
To be eligible, you must have been a resident of New Jersey for the last 12 months and be enrolled at an approved college, university or degree-granting school in New Jersey. For some schools, the grant is only available for certain programs. Check with the schools and with HESSA for more information.
This grant helps educationally and economically disadvantaged New Jersey students who are enrolled full-time in a participating New Jersey school. You should be pursuing either a bachelor's or associate's degree.
This scholarship is funded by the state of New Jersey, and provides free tuition for high-achieving students at their home county college (a 2-year college).
To be eligible, students must be New Jersey residents, have graduated in the top 15% of their higih school class, and achieved a required score on a college placement exam. If successful at the county college, you can then transfer to a New Jersey four-year public school through the NJ Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship II program.
Annual awards of up to $1,000 that can be renewed annually recognize outstanding academic achievement of graduating New Jersey high school seniors. To be eligible, students must attend a New Jersey approved college or university and be enrolled full-time.
The Urban Scholars Award assists outstanding students who attend high school in the state's urban, economically distressed areas. The award is up to $1,000 per year, and is not based on financial need.
This state scholarship benefits children and surviving spouses of New Jersey residents who were killed in or who died as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.
This scholarship assists children or spouses of New Jersey firefighters, emergency service workers or law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. The award covers the full cost of tuition at a public New Jersey college or university, or will pay the maximum public amount to indepedent, private schools.
This scholarship benefits dependent children of New Jersey law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. It will pay up to the cost of attendance, less other aid received.
This scholarship honors a Seton Hall student who saved lives during a dormitory fire in January 2001. The non-renewable scholarship is worth up to $10,000 and can be used for undergraduate or graduate study.
NJClass Loans from New Jersey are available to students in New Jersey to meet educational expenses after all other resources are sepent. The loans feature the lowest fixed interest rate, flexible repayment options, and a 2% loan fee. There are no annual or aggregate loan limits. NJCLASS loans may be used for school-related expenses including tuition and fees, books, supplies, and room & board.
The loans available are: NJCLASS Fixed Rate, NJCLASS Fixed Rate for Graduate and Professional Students, and NJCLASS Loan for Medical and Dental Students. See the HESSA website for more information.