Governor Christie to Increase State Tuition Aid Grants in 2015

NAACP Keynote

Gov. Christie at the 2015 Fiscal Budget Address

By Sade Cox

New Jersey’s Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) financial assistance program is expected to receive an increase that will benefit many Kean University students. Governor Chris Christie is increasing New Jersey’s Tuition Aid Grants (TAG) again for students who need aid the most.

After increasing funding by nearly $47 million in the last two years, the fiscal year 2015 budget continues to expand resources for students.

With an additional $14 million to support a two percent across the board increase in award amounts for TAG recipients, it will benefit the 78 percentage of students who receive a tuition aid grant each year.

“This comes on top of the $47 million increase in TAG grants that we have provided over the past two years to expand resources for students in need who want to attend college”, said Christie at the state of New Jersey’s 2015 Fiscal Year Budget Address.

Kean University is one of the many public four-year universities in New Jersey that participates in the program. TAG award grants are need-based financial aids that helps student residents attend college in New Jersey.

Tuition Aid Grant awards at Kean University range from $1,712 to $5,880 and are awarded to students with the greatest financial need.

Recipients (and parents of dependent students) must be a resident of New Jersey and enrolled full time at Kean University in an undergraduate program for this award. The award is renewable for up to 9 semesters. Continuing students must complete their FAFSA prior to June 1st to be considered for TAG for the following academic year.

On the state level, the tuition aid grants annual awards ranges from $574 to $11,958 for full-time students at four-year colleges and universities and $566 to $1,932 for part-time students at community colleges.

TAG is one of the largest financial aid programs that can cover up to the full cost of tuition. The amount of an individual grant varies based upon the student’s need, the cost of attendance and available funding.

Grants must be applied for annually within the state’s deadlines and applicants must meet all program requirements. TAG awards go to full-time undergraduate students enrolled in an approved degree or certificate program.

On Feb. 25, 2014, Governor Christie delivered his proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget to the New Jersey Legislature.

At the February HESAA Board meeting, the Board adopted a budget policy statement for Fiscal Year 2015 recommending that TAG awards be increased by a flat percentage.

The approval of this proposed budget would eliminate the current model based on tuition levels of two years prior (neediest students) and four years prior (all other students), less a percentage to stay within budget.

The average tuition for an undergraduate full-time student at Kean University taking 12 to 19 credits at a flat rate of $5,621.75 for in-state tuition and $8,826.25 for out-of-state tuition per semester.

“The affordability of higher education has been a top priority of my administration,” said Governor Christie. “TAG awards are instrumental in making higher education possible for thousands of students who qualify for these grants each year.”

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