New Jersey Student Loans
New Jersey is one of the smallest states in America, but as the most populated state (home to a little under 9 million people), it is fertile ground for some of the best-ranked schools in the country.
The Best Colleges and Universities in New Jersey
Owing to its small size (8,722 square miles), the state of New Jersey has only 31 institutes of higher education. Two of those, however, are considered to be among the most reputable schools in the United States: Princeton University and Rutgers University.
Founded in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1746 as the fourth college in the country, Princeton University even predates the American Revolution. Today, however, it is the single best university in the United States (as ranked by US News & World Report), beating out such competition as Harvard University, Yale University, and Columbia University. Internationally, Princeton is the 6th best university in the world, as ranked by Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
From such schools as the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Princeton has educated over 37 Nobel laureates, over 200 Rhodes Scholars, three former Vice Presidents, and four Presidents of the United States, including John F. Kennedy. In addition to its enviable academic claims to fame, Princeton’s “generous financial aid program” (in the words of Forbes magazine) undoubtedly contributes to the school’s reputation.
- The College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey, is one of the best public liberal arts schools in America, offering over 50 disciplines, and well known for its high retention and graduation rates. It is the 5th best university in the region, according to rankings posted by US News & World Report.
- Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken is widely respected for its engineering programs, and most of its students receive financial aid in the form of grants. US News & World Report ranked it the 82nd best national university in America, pointing out its “innovation and entrepreneurship.”
- The New Jersey Institute of Technology offers 48 programs for undergraduates and 78 programs for graduates and PhD students. It is one of the 10 most “ethnically and culturally diverse universities in the country, with 20 percent of its student population of 10,000 hailing from outside the United States. In 2013, PayScale ranked the New Jersey Institute of Technology 15th among engineering schools in the country by salary potential (in terms of annual pay for bachelor’s graduates without higher degrees).
Scholarships and Grants for New Jersey Higher Education
The state of New Jersey awards grants and scholarships through its Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. In addition to the standard federal grants (Pell, Stafford, FAFSA, etc.), there are also financial aid rewards specific to the state, such as the Governor’s Industry Vocations Scholarship for Women and Minorities. It pays up to $2,000 per year to females and minority students who are residents of New Jersey and targets non-degree certification programs in the construction field. Announcing the formation of the scholarship in 2013, Governor Chris Christie said its purpose is to give women and minorities “the first steps needed” to establish themselves in the construction industry.
Governor Christie was also on hand to announce the Governor’s Urban Scholarship, a merit-based award for high school students who graduate in the top 5 percent of their class and finish school with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The scholarship awards $1,000 to 1,000 students over a period of four years, and it can be used to attend any public or private college in New Jersey. The scholarship is only available to students who graduate from participating New Jersey high schools, or who reside in respective cities. As in nearly all cases, residency is defined as having lived in a particular city for the preceding 12 months before applying for admission.
The New Jersey Tuition Aid Grant is a need-based program that awards students based on the financial disclosures in their FAFSA application. It is eligible to full-time students seeking an undergraduate degree in a New Jersey college or university. The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority calls it “one of the most generous need-based” programs in the entire country, covering various degrees of tuition of 33 percent of all full-time undergraduate students in New Jersey schools. There is also a Part-Time TAG program for students who cannot be enrolled full-time in their respective schools.
Specific Student Loans in New Jersey
Public student loans in the state of New Jersey are administered by the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, under the NJCLASS (New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students) program. The loan can be prepaid without penalty, and there are three repayment options, with a maximum timeframe of 20 years.
There are also private student loan options in New Jersey. Through the Credit Union of New Jersey, cuStudent Loans offers students the chance to finance their education through a number of eligible institutions. At Rutgers, for example, you can borrow anywhere from $2,000 right up to the full cost of attendance via cuStudent Loans ($120,000 for undergraduate loans and $160,000 for graduate loans), and then start repayments on the interest or the principal while you are still in school. The funds can be used for any qualified educational expenses, like books, equipment, computers, and room and board (in contrast with most federal loans that limit the application of the loan to just tuition).
cuStudentLoans also allows you to cancel the loan within 30 days of originating it if you find another loan provider you prefer, with no fee. Furthermore, the interest on your loan will be reduced by 1 percent once you repay 10 percent of the loan’s principal.
In-State Tuition and Out-of-State Tuition in New Jersey
According to the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities, the average in state tuition for higher education institutions in the state is $12,203 dollars; the average out-of-state tuition is $20,242. Not mentioned on the list were:
- Rutgers University: $13,499 for in-state students and $27,523 for out-of-state students
- New Jersey Institute of Technology: $15,140 for in-state students and $27,840 for out-of-state students
As a possible incentive for out-of-state students, neither Princeton University nor the Stevens Institute of Technology has different in-state and out-of-state tuitions. Princeton University charges a flat $41,820 for tuition ($58,965 with room, board and miscellaneous expenses).
Similarly, the Stevens Institute of Technology’s tuition is $22,105 (US News & World Report calculates that with other expenses, this amount increased to $43,561) regardless of its students’ residency status.
Financial Aid in New Jersey
New Jersey may be a small state, but its schools are among the best in the world. If you don’t live in the state, your options for financial aid are limited to federal grants and programs. Understanding the ins and outs of student loans and financial aid can be overwhelming; that’s whywe have resources and information on what’s out there for you and how you can apply for the loan that best fits your needs.