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.
- Achieve the required score on the Accuplacer (college placement test) to determine college readiness.
- Students who graduate from high school and do not demonstrate college readiness will be given up to one year following high school graduation to gain the skills necessary to become college ready. NJ STARS does not cover any costs while student is enrolled in remedial/developmental coursework.
- 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.
- 2018-2019 Filing FAFSA deadline:
- September 15, 2018 – Fall/Spring terms for New students
- February 15, 2019 – Spring term only for New students
- April 15, 2018 – for students who received a TAG award during 2017-2018 Academic Year
- Meet the NJ State deadlines below for submission of additional information, such as:
- Applicant Information Requests (AIR)
- Verification documents
- Corrections to ineligible conditions
- 2018-2019 State Deadlines for Submitting Additional Information:
- October 1, 2018 – Fall/Spring terms
- March 1, 2019 – Spring term only
Be sure to meet with your NJ STARS Academic Advisor, Rosy Bido (email@example.com) before you register. She 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.
What do I have to do to stay an NJSTARS 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 NJSTARS 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.
New Jersey State Colleges and Universities
College of Saint Elizabeth
The College of New Jersey
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Georgian Court University
Montclair State University
New Jersey City University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Ramapo College of New Jersey
St. Peter’s University
Seton Hall University
Stevens Institute of Technology
Thomas Edison State College
William Paterson University
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 Brian Birch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have further questions about your academics, please contact Rosy Bido at email@example.com