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Rutgers-Newark Changes Income Eligibility for Scholarship Program

Rutgers University – Newark announced a major expansion of its scholarship program to cover the full cost of annual tuition and mandatory fees for more New Jersey students and cap the cost at $5,000 a year for household incomes of $100,000 or below based on a sliding scale.

Starting fall semester 2022, the new plan, an extension of Rutgers University – Newark Talent & Opportunity Pathways (RU-N to the TOP), will cover  newly admitted  NJ students and allow free tuition and mandatory fees for first-year students and transfers whose  annual adjusted gross income is $65,000 or less. Families in the $65,001 to $80,000 bracket will pay $3,000 and those who fall between $80,001 and $100,000 will pay $5,000. Students who qualify for in-state tuition are eligible.

RU-N to the TOP was one of the first programs of its kind in New Jersey when it was created in 2016. Since, it has increased enrollment of Newark students by 1,500 and made scholarships available to a total of nearly 5,000 students, covering the difference between other aid they received and the full cost of in-state tuition and mandatory fees. It will now be augmented by Garden State Guarantee, a state program announced last spring by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges. Garden State Guarantee, which increases affordability throughout the state, was created by a committee co-chaired by Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor.

Cantor sees the expansion of Rutgers-Newark’s signature financial aid program as a milestone in the university’s legacy of making college accessible and affordable, with a continued special focus on local communities. “Rutgers-Newark has been a place of educational opportunity for generations, and by broadening our eligibility in this way, we want to send a strong signal to families across the state—especially in Newark and Greater Newark,’’ said Cantor. “We recognize the challenges facing so many of our communities today and we’re more serious than ever about paving pathways to and through college and onto rewarding careers.”

While Garden State Guarantee lowers the net cost of tuition and fees to $7,500 for students who have an adjusted gross income between $65,001 and $80,000, RUN-to TOP has reduced the  maximum  cost to $3,000 for families in the same bracket.

At Rutgers-Newark, funds provided by Garden State Guarantee allow the university to deepen its commitment to students in Newark and Greater Newark by using its own resources to support the many part-time students juggling work and family, including those who rely on summer programs to stay on track to graduate.

Combined with the state program, RU-N to the TOP will now allow students to attend tuition-free or at the capped rate for four years.

Rutgers-Newark Dean of Admissions LaToya Battle-Brown knows how much the reorganization of the university’s financial aid program will mean to families planning college expenses. “In addition to expanding the range of families we can serve, we’re also providing the tools to plan,” said Battle-Brown. “As a parent, myself, I know how important that is. Students will know coming in the door what their tuition costs will be.”

Applicants will automatically be considered for RUN to the TOP when they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If they qualify as an NJ Dreamer, they would complete the NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application. The deadline to apply for Academic Year 2022-23 is April 15, 2022. The application can be found here. 

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