During the Board meeting held on July 26, they unanimously approved the parameters for two essential programs the New Jersey College Promise and Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) aimed at assisting students in the upcoming academic year and addressing workforce shortages in the state.
In preparation for the upcoming academic year 2023-24, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) Board in New Jersey has made significant strides to support more students through various financial aid initiatives
To enhance accessibility to higher education in the upcoming academic year, both the Community College Opportunity Grant and the Garden State Guarantee, the two College Promise programs in New Jersey, will now extend their coverage to students from families with annual adjusted gross incomes up to $100,000. This increase from the previous cap of $80,000 is expected to benefit over 35,000 students in the fall semester of 2023. Of these beneficiaries, around 4,500 students who were previously ineligible for financial aid will now have access to support, thanks to the expanded eligibility threshold.
Governor Phil Murphy expressed his commitment to providing affordable pathways to higher education and emphasized the importance of ensuring that all New Jersey students, regardless of age or circumstances, have access to quality postsecondary education in the upcoming academic year. The investment in the New Jersey College Promise initiative, Tuition Aid Grants, and other financial aid programs are expected to yield positive outcomes in the long run, making higher education achievable for many residents across the state.
Additionally, the Board approved a six percent increase in the value of Tuition Aid Grant awards for students with the most financial need in the upcoming academic year. Furthermore, to encourage students to accelerate their degree completion, the Board will offer additional Summer TAG awards to those who take classes during the summer terms in April-August 2024.
HESAA Executive Director, David J. Socolow, highlighted the significant expansion of opportunities for New Jersey students through increased financial aid in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget
He mentioned the affordability of net tuition prices through the College Promise programs and the boost in TAG award amounts to help eligible students graduate faster by providing additional aid for summer enrollment.
In an effort to address the teacher shortage in the state, HESAA will implement a new $10 million program in Fiscal Year 2024 to encourage undergraduate students to pursue careers in education in the upcoming academic year. This program will offer $3,000 stipends during their student-teaching experience in classrooms.
Furthermore, the 2024 budget has extended the Teacher Loan Redemption program to cover all types of student loans, thereby widening the scope of incentives for teachers to serve in high-need fields in qualifying schools.
Overall, the upcoming academic year in New Jersey promises expanded financial support for students, an array of incentives for teachers and professionals in high-demand fields, and a step closer to making higher education more accessible and affordable for thousands of students in the state.