NJ STARS (New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship) is a State-sponsored program that provides New Jersey’s brightest students with free tuition at their local community college regardless of their financial need. The program covers up to five semesters of approved tuition at the New Jersey Community College in their home county (unless their major is unavailable, in which case a student can attend an out-of-county college). Students must first apply for all need-based federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and merit-based state financial aid grants within established State deadlines. NJ STARS will cover 12-18 college level credits per semester of approved tuition less other need and merit-based aid.

To qualify for NJ STARS Scholarships, students must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status in the State of New Jersey. Students and parents must be residents of the State of New Jersey as per the guidelines established by the State. Students also must have attended their full senior year at a New Jersey high school and have graduated in the top 15 percent of their class. (Students have up to two years to enroll in NJ STARS if they have graduated in the classes of 2009 or 2010).

Other requirements are:

  • NJ STARS students must be enrolled in an associate degree program at their home county’s community college. Students seeking to attend an institution outside of their home county must be enrolled in a degree program not offered at their home county¹s community college. Out-of-county residents MUST complete the Chargeback process EVERY semester.
  • NJ STARS students must maintain continuous full-time enrollment at a New Jersey community college.
  • NJ STARS students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 college-level credits each semester, unless it is their final semester. This must be approved by a NJ STARS Academic Counselor.
  • All remedial coursework must be completed within 1 year, and if not, the student will no longer be eligible for NJ STARS. All semesters containing less than 12 college level credits and remedial coursework will not be funded.
  • NJ STARS students MUST renew their FAFSA by June 1 annually to remain eligible for scholarship renewal.
  • NJ STARS students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average by the beginning of their third semester to be eligible for scholarship renewal for the second year.
  • Students must maintain all requirements of NJ STARS I, and graduate with a minimum GPA of a 3.25 in order to be eligible for NJ STARS II at any of the public 4-year institutions in New Jersey.

Please note that all NJ STARS qualification and funding information is subject to change.