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 credits per semester. Funding for NJ STARS awards is dependent upon annual State appropriations.
- Legal New Jersey resident, at the time of high school graduation and upon county college enrollment. A dependent student’s residency is presumed to be that of his or her parent(s).
- Student must be U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and legal New Jersey resident for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to high school graduation.
- Rank in the top 15.0% of their class at the end of either junior or senior year of high school.
- Student must demonstrate college readiness by meeting one of the following:
- Have an unweighted GPA of a 3.0 or higher and have completed 4 years of High School English and 3 years of High School Math courses. Student must submit appropriate high school transcript(s) to the Admissions office.
- Provide official transcripts from the College Board indicating student scored a 450 or better on the Evidence-based Reading and Writing (ERW) or 500 or better on the Math portions of the SAT.
- Student must be enrolled full-time (12-18 credits), in a degree program, no later than the 5th semester following high school graduation.
- Student 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.
- Apply for admissions to Union County College .
- Meet all admissions and application requirements established by Union County College.
- File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ANNUALLY within established State deadlines.
- After filing the FAFSA, log-on to https://njfams.hesaa.org to review your State grant record.
- **Provide Joel Berke (NJ STARS Advisor) with your Official Transcript**
- 2020-2021 Filing FAFSA deadline
- To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, click here
- September 15, 2020 – Fall/Spring terms for New students
- February 15, 2021 – Spring term only for New students
- June 1, 2020 – for students who received a TAG award during 2019-2020 Academic Year
- Check your 2020-2021 HESAA/NJFAMS file:
- Visit https://njfams.hesaa.org/NJFAMS/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=/NJFAMS/int/FinAid/index.aspx
- Create an account and log-in
- Check to see if you’ve been selected for verification. If so,
- Gather the information requested by the state
- Submit the information to the state via Mapping Xpress
- 2020-2021 State Deadlines for Submitting Additional Information:
- November 1, 2020 – Fall/Spring terms
- March 1, 2021 – Spring term only
Be sure to meet with your NJ STARS Academic Advisor, Joel Berke (Joel.Berke@ucc.edu) before you register. He will help you make sure that you are selecting the courses that allow you to graduate within 5 semesters so that you won’t lose eligibility for the NJ STARS II program.
- Students who postpone college attendance must be enrolled full time at their home county college by the fifth semester after high school graduation to retain eligibility. Note for example: 2007 high school graduates had to enroll full time at a New Jersey county college by Fall 2009 semester.
- Students who have attended one semester at another post secondary institution may be eligible for a NJ STARS award provided they enroll full time in a degree program at their home county college the following semester.
- Students and parent(s) must be permanent New Jersey residents pursuant to regulations established by HESAA.
- Students must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and legal New Jersey residents for a minimum of twelve consecutive months prior to high school graduation.
If you have further questions about what NJ STARS is, please refer to HESAA’s website at www.hesaa.org, keyword NJ STARS
What do I have to do to stay an NJ STARS student?
- Students must achieve a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher prior to the start of the third semester of enrollment in the NJ STARS program. Summer courses are included in determining the GPA.
- Students must maintain continuous full-time enrollment unless on a medical leave, approved by Union County College, due to the illness of the student, a member of the student’s immediate family, or a family emergency. The only other exception applies to NJ STARS students called to partial or full mobilization for State or federal active duty as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States.
- Students may receive the scholarship for up to five semesters.
What’s NJ STARS II?
NJ STARS II allows students who graduate while in the NJ STARS program to receive the NJ STARS II scholarship at an approved New Jersey State College or University. If you graduate with at least a 3.25 GPA, have a family income less than $250,000, and meet all other program eligibility requirements, you may be eligible to receive an NJ STARS II award.
|Four-Year Colleges & Universities Participating In NJ STARS II|
|Berkeley College||Kean University|
|Bloomfield College||Montclair State University|
|Caldwell College||New Jersey City University|
|Centenary College||New Jersey Institute of Technology|
|College of Saint Elizabeth||Ramapo College of New Jersey|
|DeVry University||Rowan University|
|Drew University||Rutgers University|
|Fairleigh Dickinson University||Stockton University|
|Felician College||The College of New Jersey|
|Georgian Court University||Thomas Edison State University|
|Monmouth University||William Paterson University of New Jersey|
|Saint Peter’s University|
|Seton Hall University|
|Stevens Institute of Technology|
To view your financial aid award at Union County College, log into Web Services. Click here
If you have further questions about applying for financial aid, please contact Sarah at Sarah.Carrero@ucc.edu
If you have further questions about your academics, please contact Joel at