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Changes to NJ STARS will Affect 2009 High School Graduates

January 9, 2009

Recently, Governor Jon Corzine and the New Jersey State Legislature revised the New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Rewards Scholarship (NJ STARS) and NJ STARS II scholarship programs to ensure their long-term viability.

Students graduating from high school in 2009 in the top 15 percent of their class will be academically eligible for the scholarship in the fall 2009 semester, provided they pass the community college placement test or have an equivalent SAT score.

Students from Atlantic and Cape May counties who meet the NJ STARS criteria will be eligible to have their tuition and fees at Atlantic Cape Community College covered for up to five semesters through this scholarship program.

"Anxious parents have been calling the college asking for NJ STARS update. I'm pleased these changes were made early enough for eligible students to determine if they want to take advantage of this scholarship," said Carmen Royal, dean of students.  "ACCC's Admissions Office is planning an information session for high school students eligible for NJ STARS and their parents at 6 p.m., March 5, to answer all of their questions."

In the fall 2009 semester, community college NJ STARS graduates with a 3.0 or better grade point average will academically qualify for the NJ STARS II scholarship during the junior and senior years at New Jersey's public four-year colleges and universities. However, in future semesters, community college NJ STARS graduates will need at least a 3.25 grade point average to qualify for NJ STARS II.

In addition, NJ STARS II scholarships will be fixed at up to $6,000 a year for students earning their associate degree with up to a 3.49 grade point average; scholarships will be $7,000 a year for students earning their associate degree with a 3.5 to 4.0 grade point average and in both cases other merit- and need-based aid will be applied first. The scholarships will cover tuition only, except in the case of NJ Tuition Aid Grant recipients who can apply the scholarship to fees as well. Non-need based aid students will cover the fees and any remaining tuition amounts. NJ STARS II students must maintain a 3.25 grade point average in their junior year to receive the scholarship in their senior year. The senior year award will be adjusted up or down based on the student's grade point average.

Current NJ STARS freshmen at the community college will be grandfathered for their remaining semesters but will have to meet the new criteria for NJ STARS II.  Current NJ STARS II juniors will receive their current benefit for their senior year.

For a detailed list of all changes to NJ STARS and NJ STARS II, visit