Scholarships for Students from New Jersey

Scholarships for Students from New Jersey

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Scholarships are intended to reward students (based on their grades, personal history, family, income level, etc.) in a way that makes it more feasible for them to attend college. Award amounts vary from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars, but all scholarship money is free money. Students should apply early and apply often to increase their chances of winning scholarships and earning money that can be applied toward tuition. Students from New Jersey have a large number of state-sponsored scholarships to choose from, but there are many private scholarships for residents as well.

State-sponsored scholarships for New Jersey residents:

Governor’s Industry Vocations Scholarship for Women and Minorities

Award Amount: Up to $2,000

Students who are interested in attending a county college (community college), a county vocational or technical school, or a trade school in New Jersey may be eligible for up to $2,000 annually for two years. Applicants must be female or a minority (African American, Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian American, or Hispanic) and have a family income of less than $60,000 annually as demonstrated by filing the FAFSA. Furthermore, applicants must plan on pursuing a credential in a construction-related field, like carpentry, engineering, masonry, plumbing, etc.

Governor’s Urban Scholarship

Award Amount: Varies
Minimum GPA Required: 3.0

Students who demonstrate academic prowess in high school (by maintaining a 3.0 GPA and ranking in the top 5% of their class by their junior year) may be eligible for this scholarship. Students must live in Asbury Park City, Camden City, East Orange City, Irvington Township, Jersey City, Lakewood, Millville City, Newark City, New Brunswick City, Paterson City, Plainfield City, Roselle Borough, Trenton City, or Vineland City to qualify. Eligible students should be notified by their guidance counselors, but it never hurts to ask. To maintain eligibility, students must plan to enroll in a New Jersey institution of higher education and complete the FAFSA each year.

New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund

Award Amount: Up to $2,500

Students who can demonstrate financial need and fall within certain income limits (for a family of four, the limit is $49,200 annually) may be eligible for $200 to $2,500 in grants each year depending on their level of need and their school. Students must file the FAFSA to prove eligibility. These grants are not managed by the state, but individual schools, so contact your financial aid office for more information.

New Jersey Foster Care Scholars

Award Amount: Varies
Application Deadline: March 1, 2018
Letter of Recommendation: Yes
Essay: Yes

High school seniors (or GED recipients) who are currently in foster care or were previously in foster care and are now in adoptive or legal guardianship homes may be eligible for one of many scholarships or grants. Students must submit two letters of recommendation, prove that they’ve been accepted to an accredited institution of higher education, prove they’ve applied for other funding, and create a spending plan for the award. Students must also submit an essay describing “how an influential person or experience in your life has shaped your future goals.”

New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (STARS)

Award Amount: Up to the cost of tuition

Students who are in the top 15% of their class at the end of their junior or senior year of high school may be eligible for free tuition (combined with any other sources of funding) at their local county college. Students may receive this award at another New Jersey county college only if their desired program isn’t available locally. This award is renewable for up to five semesters provided students maintain a 3.0 GPA, register for at least 12 credits (but no more than 18) per semester, and maintain full-time enrollment. Apply by filling out the FAFSA.

New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (STARS) II

Award Amount: Up to $2,500 annually
Minimum GPA Required: 3.25

Students who were previously New Jersey STARS who want to transfer to a four-year institution in New Jersey may be eligible for up to $1,250 per semester for four semesters. Students must submit their county college transcripts proving they meet the GPA requirement and plan on beginning their academic programs within one year of discontinuing county college enrollment. Students will be required to complete the FAFSA annually; those with annual family incomes above $250,000 will lose eligibility.

New Jersey Survivor Tuition Benefits Program and Law Enforcement Memorial Scholarship

Award Amount: Up to the cost of attendance
Application Deadline: October 1, 2018

If you are the child or spouse of a New Jersey firefighter, emergency worker, or law enforcement officer who was killed in the line of duty, you are eligible for free tuition at a public or independent school in New Jersey through the Survivor Tuition Benefits Program. Note that regardless of the school or type of institution you choose, award amounts cannot exceed the cost of tuition at a public institution. You must enroll at least half time.

The Law Enforcement Memorial Scholarship benefits the dependent children of New Jersey law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. Students must enroll full time at an institution of higher education in New Jersey. Awards may cover the cost of attendance minus any other funding that has been received.

Tuition and Grant Program

Award Amount: Up to the cost of tuition
Application Deadline: April 15, 2018 or September 15, 2018

Students who are earning their first two- or four-year degree and can demonstrate financial need by filling out the FAFSA may receive an award to cover tuition (actual award amount depends on level of need, tuition rates, and available funding). Students must be enrolled full time at an approved New Jersey school. First-time applicants must apply by September 15, but renewal applicants must apply by April 15; award is renewable annually. Students pursuing theology or divinity are not eligible.

  • Note: The Part-Time Tuition and Grant Program is open to students who are enrolled less than full time (six to 11 credit hours per semester).

World Trade Center Scholarship

Award Amount: Varies
Application Deadline: October 1, 2018

If you are the child or spouse of a New Jersey resident who was killed during or died as the result of the events of September 11, 2001, a resident who is still missing, or a resident who died after exposure to or illness developed after visiting the attack sites, you may be eligible for tuition assistance. Applicants must be full-time students at a Title IV-eligible institution. You will be required to show that the deceased was a New Jersey resident, provide a death certificate, and submit a cause of death letter from a physician. You must claim the scholarship within eight years of high school graduation (if you are a dependent) or within eight years of the date of death (if you are a spouse).

Private scholarships for New Jersey residents:

AAA South Jersey Scholarship Contest

Award Amount: $2,500
Application Deadline: March 31, 2018
Essay: Yes

The AAA South Jersey Driving School sponsors a scholarship for high school seniors who live in Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, or Salem County and want to attend an accredited two- or four-year institution. You must submit a 500- to 1000-word essay addressing the following prompt: “You’ve seen news stories and commercials about self-driving cars. Would you feel safe riding in a driverless car? If so, what makes you so confident about the car? If not, what could be done to make you feel more secure?” And, if money isn’t enough reason to apply, all applicants will receive one year of AAA Basic Student Membership for free.

Betsy Niles and Missy’s Miracle Scholarships

Award Amount: $5,000
Application Deadline: April 10, 2018
Letter of Recommendation: Yes
Essay: Yes

Applicants must be high school seniors who have been affected by or have a family member who has been affected by organ transplant or tissue donation. Students must submit three letters of recommendation and an essay about how organ transplant and/or tissue donation has affected their life. Furthermore, the New Jersey Sharing Network (which maintains these scholarships) will check that students are in good academic standing and have advocated for donor awareness.

Horticultural Society of South New Jersey Scholarship

Award Amount: $500
Application Deadline: May 1, 2018
Letter of Recommendation: Yes

Students who live in Burlington, Camden, or Gloucester County and plan to pursue a career related to horticulture, floriculture, botany, forestry, etc., are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must be high school seniors who plan to attend an accredited institution following graduation. Students must submit two letters of recommendation.

Janet Logan Daily Foundation Scholarship

Award Amount: $10,000
Application Deadline: April 1, 2018
Minimum GPA Required: 2.5

High school seniors with plans to attend an accredited institution in the United States for college and who have worked at least 30 hours weekly in the summer since the age of 16 are eligible to apply. Students must also show that they’ve actively participated in at least one extracurricular activity throughout high school. The total award ($10,000) will be distributed over four years. Students are expected to maintain summer employment and a 2.5 GPA while in college.

Live Out Loud Educational Scholarship

Award Amount: $10,000
Letter of Recommendation: Yes
Essay: Yes

This scholarship supports LGBT+ students who are residents of Connecticut, New York, or New Jersey and who are planning to attend an accredited institution. Students must submit two letters of recommendation and two essays, and demonstrate leadership and show that they’ve participated in community service. Financial need may be a factor in determining who wins the scholarship.

Melissa’s Hope Foundation Scholarship

Application Deadline: March 15, 2018
Minimum GPA Required: 3.0
Essay: Yes

This scholarship is named for Melissa, a young woman who suffered from dystonia and made it her life’s work to help others who were suffering from the same disease. Applicants must plan to pursue a career in nursing or medicine, have a history of volunteering, and submit a one-page essay on “Why you chose your studies and career and how you will continue to exemplify Melissa’s passion and care for others.”

Species on the Edge 2.0 Social Media Contest

Award Amount: Up to $1,000

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey offers up to $1,000 to students who participate in their social media contest. High school students who wish to participate must create and submit a social media campaign addressing the prompt: “Why wildlife is important to protect in New Jersey.” Whether or not you win a prize, you may win a day with a wildlife biologist!

This list of scholarships isn’t all inclusive, but it should get you started on your scholarship search. Start looking for scholarships when you’re a freshman in high school, and don’t stop applying until you’ve graduated from college. There’s plenty of money out there; you just have to reach out and grab it.

About Megan Clendenon

Megan C. is obsessed with Cincinnati-style chili, Louisville basketball, and Scandinavian crime fiction. She has lived in six different states and held 12 different jobs since beginning her undergraduate degree at Carleton College in 2008. The wanderlust abated somewhat in recent years, as Megan settled in Texas from 2013 to 2016 to finish a master’s degree in geosciences, write a thesis on the future horrors that stem from climate change, and get married. During her free time, you will find Megan sitting on the couch, cheering for her Louisville Cardinals, planning future adventures abroad, and snuggling with her dog, Tiger. She currently lives outside of Washington D.C.

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