6 minute read

New Jersey Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Although Princeton University may be the most well-known university in New Jersey, the Garden State is also home to a host of other universities and colleges of all types and sizes. There are public research universities, such as the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers. There are state colleges and universities like Kean University and Montclair State University. And there are several community colleges, such as Gloucester County College and Salem Community College. Finally, New Jersey is also home to a large number of private, independent, and religious educational institutions. Students who attend any of these colleges or universities may be able to get financial assistance to help fund their education.

Narrowing Down New Jersey Scholarships and Financial Aid

New Jersey scholarships and financial aid can be narrowed down to four main groups:

  • Federal financial aid—grants and loans
  • New Jersey financial aid—grants, scholarships, and loans
  • New Jersey individual institution scholarships
  • Other scholarships offered by New Jersey professional groups, foundations, and businesses

Federal Financial Aid for New Jersey Students

New Jersey students may qualify for federal financial aid. To see if you qualify, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA applications are available January 1, the year before you need the aid. The national deadline is June 30 the year you need the aid. New Jersey has a few FAFSA deadlines. Students who received a Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) the year before should file their applications by June 1, and all other applications are due on October 1. If you’re only applying for the spring term, the deadline is March 1. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible because federal programs are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Your school’s financial aid/scholarship office will decide how much assistance you need depending on what you reported in your FAFSA. For more information on federal grants, see the Guide to Federal Grants.

New Jersey State Financial Aid

New Jersey students who are citizens or eligible non-citizens may qualify for state financial aid programs. Here’s a list of available programs:

Tuition Aid Grant
Students with financial need may qualify for this New Jersey financial aid program. Qualified students must be residents of New Jersey for at least 12 months the year before enrolling at a post-secondary institution. File a FAFSA by June 1.

Part-Time Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) for County College Students
Students must be taking 6 to 11 units to qualify for this program, which has similar requirements to the regular TAG program.

Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Grant
This New Jersey financial aid program supports students who are historically disadvantaged and low-income. Qualified students must have been a legal resident for 12 consecutive months the year before enrolling in an institution. Click here to see a list of post-secondary institutions participating in the EOF program. File a FAFSA and contact your school’s EOF office to apply for the program.

NJ Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship
This program was designed to support the state’s highest academic achievers. High school seniors who are planning to attend 2-year institutions and current community college students are eligible. File a FAFSA to apply.

NJ Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship II
This program supports NJ STARS students as they continue their education at a 4-year university.

Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars (DS) Award
Graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated high academic achievement may receive up to $1,000. Students must demonstrate qualifying grades and SAT scores by the end of their 3rd year of high school. Only students who have been residents for at least 12 months before enrolling in a New Jersey institution qualify. To apply, see your counseling office.

Urban Scholars (US) Award
New Jersey high school seniors who have demonstrated high academic achievement and are planning to attend a post-secondary institution in an urban area may qualify for this financial aid program. Students must have been state residents for at least 12 months before enrolling in a New Jersey institution qualify. See your counseling office for application procedures.

New Jersey World Trade Center Scholarship
This scholarship program provides financial assistance to children and spouses of New Jersey residents who died in or as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Full-time students attending a post-secondary school in or outside of New Jersey are eligible to apply. Download the application here. If you are applying for both terms, submit your application by October 1 of the year you need the aid. If you are apply for only the spring term, submit your application by March 1, the year you need the aid.

Survivor Tuition Benefits
Children and spouses of New Jersey police officers, firefighters, and emergency service workers who died in action are eligible to receive funds from this program. Download an application here. See the WTC Scholarship for deadlines.

Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Scholarship
Children of law enforcement officers who were killed in action are eligible for this New Jersey scholarship, renewable up to four times. Students must be enrolled full time at an accredited post-secondary institution. Download an application here. See the WTC Scholarship for deadlines.

Dana Christmas Scholarship for Heroism
This scholarship is awarded in honor of resident advisor Dana Christmas, who risked her life to save her fellow students during a fire in 2001. The scholarship is available to students who have demonstrated acts of heroism. Scholarships are one-time awards of up to $10,000. To qualify, students must have performed their acts of heroism at the age of 21 or under. Students must also have been a resident of New Jersey during that time and during the time of application. Download an application here. Applications are due October 15 for the following year.

New Jersey students are eligible to borrow low-interest loans from the state. Click here for specific information and application procedures.

New Jersey University and College Scholarships

Universities and colleges in New Jersey offer scholarships to students who are accepted into their programs. Scholarships may be based on merit, need, major, special abilities, and a combination of these things. Most merit-based scholarships are administered through the admissions office. You will immediately be considered when you submit an application for admission. Scholarships based on other criteria, such as major or need, may require separate applications. Check with your financial aid/scholarship office for more information.

Other New Jersey Scholarships

Another group of scholarships are those offered be professional groups, foundations, and businesses.

New Jersey Press Foundation (NJPF) Scholarships
Award: $1,000 to $5,000 in scholarships, internships, and stipends
Qualifications: Student attending post-secondary institutions in New Jersey.
Deadline: November 15
Application: Click here for applications.

New Jersey Bankers Education Foundation, Inc.
Dependents of military personnel who died in service, especially during the Afghansitan and Iraq conflicts. Contact the foundation at New Jersey Bankers Education Foundation, Inc., 411 North Avenue, Cranford, NJ, 07016 for application procedures.

New Jersey Association of Realtors (NJAR) Educational Foundation Scholarships
Award: 39 scholarships ($1,000 – $2,500)
Qualifications: High school or current students (undergraduate or graduate) who are members of NJAR or related to members of NJAR.
Deadline: Please refer to the foundation website for current deadline.
Application: Scholarships are available in December.

Community Foundation of New Jersey
The foundation offers several scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Please refer to the foundation website for a current application.

Emergency Nurses Association
Scholarships are offered to nurses who are pursuing higher degrees (bachelors, masters, or Ph.D.).

Three Things to Keep in Mind About New Jersey Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • New Jersey FAFSA deadlines differ depending on whether you received funds from the TAG program, or whether you are applying for both terms or just the spring term. Make sure you know when your deadline is.
  • New Jersey offers a low-interest loan program to its students. Make sure you look into that before taking out private loans.
  • Search within New Jersey and in your local areas for scholarships before pursuing national scholarships.

Additional topics

Financial-Aid Articles