William Paterson University in Wayne is joining other New Jersey public colleges and universities in participating in the Garden State Guarantee, New Jersey’s new state financial aid program launching in fall 2022 with the aim of making college more accessible and affordable.
The Garden State Guarantee program is designed for New Jersey residents who attend an in-state, public, four-year institution. Under this program, students whose family has an annual adjusted gross income (AGI) up to $65,000 will not have to pay anything for tuition and fees during their third and fourth years of study. Students whose families have an annual AGI between $65,001 and $80,000 will pay a discounted net price of no more than $7,500 for tuition and fees during their third and fourth years of study.
“At William Paterson University, we are committed to serving our low-income students, as evidenced by our pioneering Pledge 4 Success program, which previously supported students through graduation and now will shift focus to support first-year and sophomore students with significant financial need,” says Reginald Ross, vice president for enrollment management. “Now, through the Garden State Guarantee, these students in their third and fourth years can continue on the pathway to a William Paterson University degree at little or no cost to them and their families.”
William Paterson’s Pledge 4 Success program will now provide eligible first-year and sophomore students with the opportunity to earn a degree without having to worry about the cost of tuition and fees. The program makes up the difference between what a student will receive if eligible for New Jersey TAG and federal Pell grants, and what they would owe in tuition and fees. This means that a student who is eligible for New Jersey TAG and federal grant support would not need to pay any additional costs toward tuition. Housing, books, and other expenses are not covered.
The Garden State Guarantee will support third- and fourth-year students and will provide up to four semesters of free tuition. To be eligible, students will need to be enrolled full-time, taking at least 12 credits per semester and working toward completing their first bachelor’s degree, and have completed a FASFA application. The program is a last dollar aid program, funded by the State of New Jersey, that will cover the cost of tuition and fees that are not already covered by federal and state financial aid or other scholarships.
Students in their third or fourth year at William Paterson, defined as having earned 60-89 credits for third year and 90-126 earned credits for fourth year, will be eligible for the program. Credits include those a student has earned from a different institution and/or while in high school through dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) test credits. Continuing students and incoming transfer students are eligible.