TRENTON – NJ STARS II, a measure sponsored by Senator Wayne R. Bryant that would allow some of the State’s best students to earn scholarships to attend New Jersey’s public colleges and universities free of charge, received final legislative approval today in the Assembly.
“This measure would allow the top 20% of New Jersey’s students to continue their education one of the State’s exceptional universities, free of cost,” said Senator Bryant, D-Camden and Gloucester, Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.”The goal of this legislation is to allow any student who is willing to put forth the time and effort to study and get good grades to earn a college degree, regardless of his or her financial background.”
Senator Bryant’s bill, S-2905, would establish the “NJ STARS II” program allowing any county college student who has earned an Associate’s degree through the
“NJ STARS” program, and maintained at least a 3.0 GPA to receive a $2,000 per semester scholarship to the public four-year New Jersey college of his or her choice. All county college credits would be fully transferable, allowing the students to begin at the four-year institution with junior status. Students would also be able to receive any State and Federal need-based grants and merit scholarships to which they are entitled.
Signed into law in 2004, the New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS) program enables students who graduate in the top 20% of their high school class to attend any of the State’s community colleges free of charge. The law was amended in August of this year to expand the program to offer the scholarship to “NJ STARS” scholars who finish their first year of college with a GPA of 3.0 or above, not just those in the top 20% of their class.
This measure was approved by the Senate on December 8. It now heads to the Governor’s desk where his signature would make it State law.