William Paterson increasing number of students who will attend tuition-free

Free college in New Jersey?

William Paterson University said recently it is doing its part, announcing a plan that would enable qualifying New Jersey students with significant financial need to attend the institution tuition-free or at a greatly reduced cost.

The university’s existing Pledge 4 Success program, augmented by the state’s new Garden State Guarantee, launching for Fall 2022, will cover the cost of tuition and fees that are not already paid by federal and state financial aid or other scholarships for New Jersey students with a family adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less.

Through these programs, New Jersey students whose families have an annual AGI between $65,001 and $80,000 will pay a discounted net price of no more than $7,500 for tuition and fees per year for up to four years at the Wayne-based school.

School officials said students do not need to fill out a special application for the award. They will be automatically considered and subsequently enrolled if eligible in these programs upon completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (that’s the FAFSA) or the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application. (Click here for more information.)

“At William Paterson University, we are committed to helping our students with significant financial need achieve their dream of a college education,” President Richard Helldobler said.

“By combining our Pledge 4 Success program and New Jersey’s Garden State Guarantee Program, we can provide more students with the financial support they need to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years and reduced student loan debt.”

All New Jersey residents, including NJ Dream Act students, are eligible for the Pledge 4 Success/Garden State Guarantee Program. Students must be enrolled full time, taking at least 12 credits per semester, and working toward their first bachelor’s degree. Continuing students and incoming transfer students are eligible. Student must have earned no more than 126 credits.

Credits include those a student has earned from a different institution and/or while in high school through dual enrollment, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test credits. Housing, books and other expenses are not covered by Pledge 4 Success or Garden State Guarantee.