WATCH OUR 2023 FINANCIAL AID NIGHT PRESENTATIONS
Concerned about the cost of attending college or any post-secondary education program?
Here are some links to websites with information about financial aid and scholarships.
TYPES OF AID
Federal Aid is financial aid that comes from the government and is usually disbursed through your college.
Grants, loans and work-study are types of federal aid. You must complete the FAFSA to apply for this aid.
Grants typically are based on financial need and do not need to be paid back. An example is the Pell Grant.
Eligibility often depends on your FAFSA results. Many schools also offer state and institutional grants that may
be awarded to students, including those who may not be eligible for federal student aid.
Scholarships usually are based on achievement or talent and do not to be paid back. Also, your prospective college(s) may offer scholarships based on merit and/or need. Call their financial aid office or visit their website to find out which scholarships are available to you and the application deadline.
Loans: These funds are borrowed money and must be paid back, usually with interest. There are federal
student loans, federal parent loans, and private loans. However, you must demonstrate financial need for
Federal Work-Study: This program provides part-time jobs for students with financial need. Jobs are usually
available on and off campus and listed through the school’s financial aid office.
THE FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - is a form that must be filled out in order to determine eligibility for federal student aid. In addition, most states and colleges use information from the FAFSA to award non-federal aid. The official FAFSA website: https://fafsa.ed.gov/index.htm
If you need additional assistance with filling out the FAFSA, or require technical help, please call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). There is also "Live Help" within the pages of the FAFSA and a contact page on the FAFSA website to submit inquiries
The FAFSA will become available in DECEMBER 2023 (specific date to be announced by the Federal Department of Education)
HESAA, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, is the only New Jersey state agency with the sole mission of providing students and families with financial and informational resources for students to pursue their education beyond high school.
A brief list of our programs and services appears below. For more information, please see our Annual Report.
The New Jersey Tuition Aid Grant (TAG)
Part-time TAG for County College Students
Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG)
The Governor’s Urban Scholarship Program (GUS)
The Governor’s Industry Vocations Scholarship (GIVS)
New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS and NJ STARS II)
New Jersey’s 529 college savings plan
The New Jersey Better Education Savings Trust (NJBEST) Scholarship
NJBEST Matching Grant
New Jersey’s supplemental family loan program
New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students (NJCLASS)
State and federal loan redemption programs
Statewide outreach sessions to raise awareness of financial literacy as well as federal and state financial aid programs
Training sessions for New Jersey school counselors and college financial aid administrators
Publications, including the "State and Federal Financial Aid for Undergraduate and Graduate Students"
Community College Opportunity Grant
Community College Opportunity Grants make community colleges affordable for New Jerseyans. CCOG awards pay for the cost of tuition and approved educational fees for New Jersey residents with an annual adjusted gross income (AGI) between $0 and $65,000. New Jersey residents with AGIs between $65,001 and $80,000 pay reduced tuition costs after up to 50% of the maximum CCOG award available at their community college is applied. The CCOG covers the cost of tuition and fees that are not already covered by federal and state financial aid or scholarships.
To be eligible for the Community College Opportunity Grant, students must:
Be a New Jersey resident with an AGI between $0 - $80,000
Complete the FAFSA or NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application by applicable state deadlines
Enroll in at least six (6) credits per semester at one of New Jersey's community colleges
Have not yet earned a college degree
Make satisfactory academic progress
Garden State Guarantee
What is the Garden State Guarantee?
The Garden State Guarantee (GSG) is New Jersey's promise to make a college degree more accessible and affordable. By reducing out-of-pocket costs for students and families, New Jersey is limiting the amount of debt that residents must borrow to attend an in-state, public college or university. This program further builds on Governor Phil Murphy's commitment to improving college affordability.
Who is Eligible?
New Jersey residents who attend an in-state, public, four-year institution and have an annual adjusted gross income (AGI) between $0 and $65,000 will pay a net price of $0 for tuition and fees during their third and fourth years of study. Students who have AGIs between $65,001 and $80,000 will pay a discounted net price of no more than $7,500 for tuition and fees. GSG covers the cost of tuition and fees that are not already covered by federal and state financial aid or other scholarships. Students must be enrolled full time (at least 12 credits per semester) and must be working toward completing their first Bachelor's degree.
How to Apply
You will automatically be considered for the GSG when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or, if you qualify as a NJ Dreamer, the NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application.
New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund
The New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund provides financial assistance and support services (e.g. counseling, tutoring, and developmental course work) to students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who attend institutions of higher education in the State of New Jersey. Undergraduate grants range from $200 annually to $2,600 annually depending on the type of institution and financial need. These grants are renewable based upon continued eligibility.
Forty-two of New Jersey’s community colleges and public and private four-year colleges and universities participate in the EOF program. However, the actual number of available spaces at each college or university is limited. Because EOF is a campus-based program, each campus is responsible for student recruitment, selection, program services, and its own specific criteria for EOF admission and program participation.
More information can be obtained at: https://www.nj.gov/highereducation/EOF/EOF_Eligibility.shtml
The New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS) Program is an initiative created by the State of New Jersey that provides New Jersey’s highest achieving students with free tuition at their home county college. NJ STARS Benefits The NJ STARS award covers the cost of tuition, less any State and/or Federal grants and scholarships, for up to five semesters. The award covers these charges for up to 18 credit hours per semester. Funding for NJ STARS awards is dependent upon annual State appropriations.
Student Eligibility New Jersey residents, who rank in the top 15.0% of their class at the end of either junior or senior year of high school are potentially eligible for the NJ STARS Program. Students must also complete a rigorous high school course of study. (Note: All courses of study are considered “rigorous” for 2022 high school graduates.) The New Jersey Council of County Colleges has determined that students who are in the top 15.0% of their high school class are ready for college-level coursework. NJ STARS does not cover costs for remedial coursework.
All students must enroll in a full-time course of study no later than the fifth semester following high school graduation. Students must enroll full-time in a degree program at their home county college, unless the student demonstrates that the home county college does not offer the desired program of study or the program is oversubscribed for at least one year.
Except in limited situations defined by statute, students must take a minimum of 12 college level credits per semester. NJ STARS covers up to 18 college-level credits per semester. Students must meet residency requirements that can be found at: https://www.hesaa.org/Pages/StateAidEligibilityFAQs.aspx.
Students must apply for all forms of State and Federal need-based grants and merit scholarships and submit any requested documentation to complete and verify application data within established State deadlines.
The FSA ID is a username and password combination you use to log in to U.S. Department of Education (ED) online systems. The FSA ID is your legal signature and shouldn’t be created or used by anyone other than you—not even your parent, your child, a school official, or a loan company representative. You’ll use your FSA ID every year you fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and for the lifetime of your federal student loans.
FAFSA is the free application for federal student aid. Every student should file a FAFSA. This one application is used by colleges, career colleges, and technical/trade schools to apply for all forms of financial aid. The FAFSA provides family with than expected family contribution which is used by institutions to determine eligibility for aid. Some scholarship programs will ask for your EFC to determine eligibility for scholarship monies as well. The FAFSA is filed after October 1 of the student’s senior year.
College Goal Sunday is an annual event designed to assist low income and first generation students in completing the national application for college financial aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and providing information on available financial aid resources.
The CSS profile is used by almost 400 colleges, universities, and scholarship programs. It is an application for nonfederal financial aid. The website contains the application, list of participating schools/programs, and other helpful information.
Federal Student Aid
This is the website from the Federal Student Aid office of the US Department of Education. The website is packed with information organized into 5 areas: preparing for college, types of aid, qualifying for aid, applying for aid, and managing my loans. The website is available in English and Spanish.
This is a service provided by the US Dept. of Education to help parents/students better understand college costs and be able to make comparisons to help make financially sound decisions. The website contains resources including college net price calculators, college scorecards, the college affordability and transparency list, state spending charts, and information about 90/10 institutions (commonly known as proprietary or “for profit” schools)