Expanded Financial Aid Initiatives to Benefit New Jersey Students in the 2023-24 Academic Year


HESAA Board approves increases in funding and scope for the New Jersey College Promise and Tuition Aid Grant programs.

NEW JERSEY STATE - The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) Board of New Jersey voted unanimously on July 26 to enhance the financial aid program for the 2023-24 academic year. This change includes an expansion to the New Jersey College Promise and Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) programs and the inception of initiatives to tackle workforce shortages.

Eligibility for the state's College Promise programs, namely the Community College Opportunity Grant and the Garden State Guarantee, is broadened to include students from families with annual adjusted gross incomes up to $100,000. This constitutes a significant increase from last year's cap of $80,000. HESAA anticipates over 35,000 students, including an estimated 4,500 previously ineligible for financial aid, will reap the benefits of College Promise programs in the fall of 2023. These policies were authorized following Governor Phil Murphy's approval of the Fiscal Year 2024 budget last month.

Governor Phil Murphy reaffirmed his administration's commitment to affordable education: “All New Jersey students – no matter their age or life circumstances – should have the opportunity to access a high-quality postsecondary education. Our investment in the New Jersey College Promise initiative, Tuition Aid Grants, and other financial aid programs will pay dividends in the years ahead, building on our progress to put higher education within reach for residents across our state.”

The Board also increased the value of TAG awards by six percent for the 2023-24 academic year, targeting students with the most financial need. In addition, they approved additional Summer TAG awards to incentivize students to expedite degree completion by enrolling in April-August 2024 summer terms.

David J. Socolow, Executive Director of HESAA, expressed enthusiasm over the developments. "New Jersey is expanding opportunity for more students than ever before through increases in financial aid in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget,” Socolow stated.

To counter New Jersey's teacher shortage, HESAA will introduce a $10 million program in Fiscal Year 2024, providing $3,000 stipends to undergraduate students undergoing student-teaching experiences. The 2024 budget also extends HESAA’s Teacher Loan Redemption program to cover all types of student loans, thereby amplifying incentives for teachers serving in high-need fields in qualifying schools.

Over $8.5 million was allocated in the FY2024 budget to HESAA’s career-based student loan redemption programs. The program aims to recruit and retain personnel in high-demand fields in New Jersey by offering to pay off portions of student loan balances for eligible candidates in roles such as nursing school faculty, primary healthcare practitioners, behavioral healthcare providers, and employees in high-growth STEM jobs.

For more details on the 2023-24 TAG awards, visit here, and for more information on all of HESAA’s financial aid programs, please visit the HESAA website.

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