Rowan University, Stockton University and other public New Jersey colleges and universities will offer a program beginning this fall to provide free third- and fourth-year tuition and fees for many in-state residents.
Under the Garden State Guarantee program, students whose parents or guardians have a verified adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less will pay nothing for tuition and fees in their junior and senior years.
The program builds on Gov. Phil Murphy’s commitment to improving college affordability under the Garden State Guarantee, which covers the cost of tuition and fees at public state institutions after all federal, state and institutional aid has been applied. In addition to families whose AGI is $65,000 or less, the program will assist students whose parents or guardians earn between $65,001 and $80,000 per year, ensuring they will pay no more than $7,500 for tuition and fees in their junior and senior years.
Dr. Jeffrey Hand, Rowan University senior vice president for strategic enrollment management, said Garden State Guarantee has the potential to change the lives of New Jersey residents for generations.
“The value of a four-year degree from a top institution like Rowan University cannot be overstated,” Hand said. “That value can be increased many times over for students who do not have to incur debt in order to complete their degree.”
The program will apply to full-time students taking at least 12 credits per semester, but will be limited to four semesters per student.
In order to qualify, students must file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, by April 15. Students who qualify as New Jersey Dreamers may be eligible for Garden State Guarantee funding as well and likewise must file their financial aid application by April 15.
To apply, students must complete the FAFSA or the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application (New Jersey Dreamers only).
“This new state program is ideal for someone who has completed an associate degree and is looking to obtain their bachelor’s degree,” Stockton University Chief Enrollment Management Officer Robert Heinrich said. “It can also help someone who may have left college, and would like to return, or who is interesting in transferring to Stockton.”
“These two programs make it possible for eligible students to earn a four-year college degree debt-free,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said. “No student should have their dream of a college degree limited by their financial means. I encourage interested applicants to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.”