Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) and Senator Tom Kean (R-Union, Morris, Somerset) to make more students aware of their possible eligibility for the New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Program Scholarship (NJ STARS) passed the New Jersey Senate.
A bill by Sen. Robert Singer and Sen. Tom Kean to increase notification to students about the NJ STARS scholarship program passed the New Jersey Senate. (Flickr)
“The cost of college is only getting higher, and NJ STARS offers students a chance to attend college without weighing them down with debt for years to come,” Senator Singer said. “If we can connect more students with the money available to them, we’ll make college more affordable and keep more of our brightest students in the state.”
The NJ STARS program is a scholarship program that covers the cost of tuition to send a New Jersey student to one of the state’s 19 community colleges. Students who rank in the top 15 percent of their high school class at the end of their junior or senior years are eligible for the program.
Under current law, schools are required to notify each student in the 11th grade who is ranked in the top 25 percent of their potential to qualify for the program. The legislation, S-2182, would also require schools to provide information about the NJ STARS program to students in the 8th grade. They would also be required to notify students in the top 25-percent about their potential eligibility at the start of their sophomore and senior years of high school.
“This will help more students see that tuition assistance is within their reach,” Senator Kean said. “It will show more students that if they keep up with their studies and work hard in high school they will have an even greater chance of succeeding at the next level.”
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