Funding to Provide Financial Assistance for the Brightest Students in New Jersey’s Inner Cities and Urban Communities
“We live in a time when educational attainment and economic success are correlated as never before. A quality education is the key to advancement and an improved livelihood, but the reality is that too many students are not given that choice, not because of a lack of ability but due to financial circumstances. Through the Governor’s Urban Scholarship Program, we will be able to provide some of our brightest students from inner cities and urban communities with access to quality higher learning opportunities at our colleges and universities. I believe educating our most talented students is an investment in both our students and New Jersey’s future. This program will provide another critical gateway for students to realize their full potential,” Governor Chris Christie said.
The Governor’s budget proposal provides more than $393.2 million in funding for student financial assistance, the highest funding level in state history, including:
The new student assistance program will prioritize assistance to those students in need by focusing on fourteen eligible areas identified by the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The program will provide a total commitment of up to $1 million. Grant awards of $1,000 each will be available for as many as 1,000 freshman students in the next academic year. And unlike similar programs in prior years, this program will be open to every high-achieving child in the identified high-need communities who demonstrates a financial need, no matter whether they attend a public or non-public school.
“The Governor’s Urban Scholarship initiative can change lives by empowering students, and our hope is that by staying in our state, they will help rebuild and improve the communities where they live,” said Acting Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks.
To be eligible for the Governor’s Urban Scholarship Program, students must:
The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) will administer the program and high schools in the 14 high-need communities will be notified by HESAA that they are eligible to participate in the coming months. This program will be ready for 2012-13 and efforts are currently underway to ensure all technical aspects of this grant award are in place. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and meet income eligibility requirements under the Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) program.
“The students who qualify for this program had a spark inside them and were determined to excel,” said Gabrielle Charette, Executive Director of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority.