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New Jersey scholarships, student loans and grants

Get help covering the costs of tuition and fees in the Garden State.

Updated

Over 60% of students in New Jersey graduate with debt. Fortunately, the Garden State offers a handful of scholarships, grants and state-funded loans to help cover the costs of school — regardless of income.

Top New Jersey college scholarships

New Jersey offers a variety of scholarships to help make tuition more affordable for residents.

New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS)

The New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS) Program helps students obtain associate degrees by providing awards that cover tuition for up to five semesters. You won’t have to jump in right away, either — if you’re not ready for college and need to take remedial courses, you have one year to demonstrate eligibility. And once you’ve completed the STARS program, you may be eligible for STARS II, which covers tuition at a four-year institution.

New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship II (NJ STARS II)

The NJ STARS II Program was created to provided continued funding to students who successfully completed an associate degree at a New Jersey county college. Awards cover up to $1,250 per semester of tuition and fees at eligible four-year colleges and universities in New Jersey, after other state and federal scholarships and grants have been applied.

New Jersey-Governor’s Industry Vocations Scholarship (NJ–GIVS) for Women and Minorities

The New Jersey-Governor’s Industry Vocations Scholarship (NJ–GIVS) was designed to give access to vocational training for minority and female students. It’s renewable for one year, depending on the program you’re enrolled in. However, you won’t receive funding until after the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) receives confirmation of your enrollment and academic progress.

Other New Jersey scholarships

Although New Jersey only has three scholarships available to its general student population, there are a few that service specific groups:

  • World Trade Center (WTC) Scholarship. Children and surviving spouses of New Jersey residents killed by the terrorist attacks on 9/11 may be eligible for this scholarship. Amounts vary by year, but may help cover tuition and other costs of full-time attendance at an eligible institution.
  • Survivor Tuition Benefits Program. If you’re the child or surviving spouse of a New Jersey emergency service worker, firefighter or law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, you could be eligible for free tuition at any public New Jersey institution.
  • Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Scholarship (LEOM). Children of deceased law enforcement officers may be eligible for this scholarship, which covers up to the cost of attendance at an approved New Jersey college, university or degree-granting school.
  • Governor’s Urban Scholarship. If you live in one of New Jersey’s underserved communities and are in the top 5% of your graduating class with a 3.0 GPA or higher, you could qualify for this merit- and need-based scholarship. Award amounts vary by year and financial need.
  • New Jersey Foster Care Scholars (NJFC). This scholarship helps students who’ve been in the foster care system pay for tuition, fees, room and board, transportation and other college expenses. There are several programs available, so check with Foster and Adoptive Family Services to see what you may qualify for.

Top New Jersey grants for school

New Jersey only has two major grants for students, but they offer quite a bit in terms of funding.

Tuition Aid Grant (TAG)

Depending on your financial need and when you complete the FAFSA, you may be eligible for New Jersey’s Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) Program. It covers up to the full cost of tuition, and almost one-third of New Jersey undergraduates receive it.

New Jersey Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG)

The Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) is a new program recently launched by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. It covers the costs of tuition and fees — after other aid has been applied — for students to attend a community college in their county. If you have plans on moving out of county to go to school, you might not qualify.

Do I qualify for New Jersey scholarships and grants if I go to school out of state?

Typically, no. Most New Jersey scholarships and grants are awarded to New Jersey residents staying in state for college. Instead, you should look into university and federal grants and scholarships.

Does New Jersey offer special student loans to residents?

Yes, the NJClass student loan program is available to undergraduate students who are either:

  • New Jersey residents. You can use the funds to attend any eligible college around the world.
  • Non-New Jersey residents. You can use the funds to attend any eligible college in New Jersey.

All undergraduate loans require a cosigner or proof of income, and you must be enrolled at least half time in a degree or certificate program. NJClass offers three fixed interest rates based on your loan term, plus a 3% origination fee that’s included in the APR.

TermStarting APRHow it works
10 years5.5%Immediate repayments of principal and interest while in school.
15 years6% or 6.03% based on repayment planImmediate or interest-only repayments while in school.
20 years7.61%Full deferral — no repayments while in school.

    NJClass also offers refinancing and consolidation for students looking to streamline their student loans into one monthly repayment.

    Other ways to pay for school in New Jersey

    Beyond state scholarships, grants and loans, you may want to consider your federal and private options to finance your education.

    Federal and college scholarships and grants

    There are several federal grants available for those with financial need. In addition, many universities and colleges throughout New Jersey offer their own scholarships and grant programs. For example, Rutgers has multiple merit- and need-based scholarships available to incoming students.

    Federal and private student loans

    When federal and institutional grants and scholarships aren’t enough, you may want to turn to student loans. We recommend starting with the federal Direct Loan Program first — these offer more competitive rates and repayment terms than private student loan providers.

    Compare private student loan providers

    Data indicated here is updated regularly
    Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
    Ascent private student loans
    540
    $200,000
    2.71% to 12.99%
    EDvestinU Private Student Loans
    675
    $200,000
    4.07% to 9%
    Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
    LendKey Private Student Loans
    Varies by lender
    4.99% to 11.06%
    This connection service partners with Sallie Mae and WSFS Bank to offer competitive rates.
     Advantage Education Loan Refinance Loan
    670
    Starting at 3.74%
    Refinance to a more flexible repayment plan with this nonprofit lender.
    Alliant Credit Union Traditional Student Loan
    680
    $60,000
    Starting at 4.56%
    All-purpose personal loans from @pl_product_min_loan_amount@ to @pl_product_max_loan_amount@ with rates that stop at @pl_product_var_rate@.
    ChangEd student loan payment app
    Securely connect all of your student loans and bank accounts to one place for a painless repayment experience.
    Chicago student loans
    None
    Cost of attendance, up to $50,000
    7.53% to 8.85%
    No cosigner needed for this fixed-rate financing option.
    Citizens Bank Private Student Loans
    700
    $295,000
    1.25% to 10.57%
    loading

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Explore scholarships, student loans and grants in other states

    Bottom line

    New Jersey has a few scholarships and grants available to help residents cover the cost of tuition and fees. And its NJClass loan program is quite competitive — even compared to federal Direct Loans.

    Don’t qualify for any of these programs? Explore other ways to pay for college with our guide to student loans.

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