TRENTON – Today, the Senate Higher Education Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein allowing students who need to take a reduced number of credits due to a physical or mental health condition to maintain eligibility for the NJ Stars and NJ Stars II scholarship.
This bill, S-888, would allow for a current or future student who is in the NJ STARS or NJSTARS II scholarship program, to take less than 12 credits in a semester, if the student presents to the institution at which the student is enrolled, a written note from a physician or other licensed health care professional indicating the student’s need to take a reduced number of credits due to a physical or mental health condition. A student who receives a medical exemption from the full-time course of study requirement will be eligible for additional semesters in the scholarship program, as necessary.
“Current law does not account for scholarship students who may be suffering from a physical or mental impairment that does not require a full medical leave, but can be addressed with a lessened course load,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This allows for students in these circumstances to continue with their schooling instead of having to resort to a full medical leave or losing the scholarships they so rightfully earned.”
Under current law, a recipient of an NJ STARS or NJ STARS II scholarship must maintain status as a full-time student unless on a medical leave or emergency leave or unless called to partial or full mobilization for State or federal active duty as a member of the National Guard or a Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States.
The bill passed Senate Higher Education Committee with a vote of 5-0. Now the bill heads to the Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.