A new financial aid package, which kicks off this fall, could make Rutgers University of New Brunswick free for New Jersey residents who are full-time students with a family income below $ 65,000.
The program also provides a sliding scale that can reduce tuition and tuition fees for students from New Jersey with a family income below $ 100,000.
In total, as noted at the university, the assistance provided through the university will receive about 7,600 students Scarlet guarantee, a “last dollar” program that covers tuition and pay for qualified first- and second-year students. The program also brings together a nationwide program called State guarantee for the gardenwhich offers the same relief to third- and fourth-year students.
The Scarlet Guarantee is only available to students studying in Rutgers-New Brunswick; similar programs, called “Bridging the Gap” and “R-UN to the Top,” already exist at two other university campuses in Camden and Newark, respectively. The New Brunswick campus did not have a program similar to the Scarlet Guarantee, which was deployed to attract and retain high-level students enrolled in campus undergraduate programs, as well as increase income for students receiving $ 100,000, said Vice Chancellor Francine Conway. The state garden guarantee limits the total gross income to $ 80,000.
“The criteria for admission to NB are strong scholars, and those students who have strong sciences were competitive for other universities and would just leave because we didn’t have the opportunity to support them. This gives us the opportunity to retain these students. New Jersey is a very talented place when it comes to students, ”Conway said.
For the 19-year-old Bayonet resident and first-year student Des Walker, the two programs together could mean free education down to the last dollar until she graduates in 2026. Walker said she is a novice playwright majoring in journalism and media studying at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and the first in her family to enroll in a four-year college.
“Honestly, I’m excited because I feel like a lot of students are worried. They want to pursue [higher] education, but they don’t see it as an economic value, ”Walker said.“ I personally don’t want to spend most of my life paying for a degree I got a long time ago, ”she said.
The head of the student’s accounting and registration department at the university where she works, told Walker that she is eligible for the aid package.
“I think it will take a lot of stress away from having to worry about finances. That’s certainly something everyone’s worried about, ”said Walker, who took out a federal loan to pay part of the outstanding bill.“ I feel like college students are going through a lot more. ”Walker has paid for her education so far through government and federal grants, merit-based scholarships, family funds, and money she earned as a student.
Walker said she hopes the Scarlet Guarantee program will release her from the loan she took out.
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The Murphy administration has allocated $ 50 million in the 2022 budget to the State Garden Guarantee as part of a comprehensive college accessibility package that was signed last summer, said Nicole Kirgan, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Minister of Higher Education.
The State Garden Guarantee is a nationwide program that covers tuition and fees for full-time third- and fourth-year students at any of the state’s 11 public universities. It will be implemented for the first time in the 2022-23 academic year.
“GSG is one of the first higher education programs in the country to deliver a statewide promise package that combines two- and four-year promise programs,” Kirgan said. The program also benefits students who transfer to one of the state’s four-year universities from two-year public colleges.
The Scarlet Guarantee program is modeled on the Garden State Guarantee. The income limit for students with a total gross income below $ 65,000 pays zero tuition and fees; students with incomes between $ 65,000 and $ 100,000 can receive a tuition benefit calculated on a sliding scale.
Aggregate gross income refers to taxable income and is calculated after certain deductions, for example, for health savings.
Walker applied for federal aid by filling out Free application for federal student aid, or FAFSA. Students who submit to FAFSA are automatically considered as Scarlet Guarantees, as well as students who qualify as Dreamers and fill out an application for alternative financial assistance to New Jerseywhich is available to some undocumented students who have attended New Jersey High School for at least three years or have a high school diploma and indicate an intention to apply for legal immigration status.
For Walker, black, eccentric and low-income, programs like Scarlet Guarantee are finally “shaping the way” because she and people like her need them.
“People with my identity and the like, we definitely don’t have a lot of resources. And even if we have resources, we can’t afford them because of our identity, so I feel a lot of students can benefit from that, ”Walker said.
“I see this as a way to expand our commitment to make it a little easier for students to get an education,” Conway said, noting that she herself was a first-generation college student and of limited income, unrepresented when she enrolled for a bachelor’s degree. , at Cornell University in 1986.
Combined with the State Guarantee Garden, the Scarlet Guarantee will provide the following coverage for undergraduate students for four years:
- Adjusted gross income of $ 65,000 or less: full annual tuition and mandatory fees.
- Adjusted gross income from $ 65,001 to $ 80,000: Students will pay no more than $ 3,000 per year for tuition and mandatory fees.
- Adjusted gross income from $ 80,001 to $ 100,000: students will pay no more than $ 5,000 per year for tuition and mandatory fees.
The $ 24 million program is a partnership between Rutgers University of New Brunswick and the state, and New Jersey has contributed $ 10 million.
Mary Ann Corut covers education for NorthJersey.com. To get unlimited access to the latest news about New Jersey schools and how it affects your children, sign up or activate your digital account today.