NJ STARS Program

Below is information on the NJ STARS program for Academic Year 2016/17.

The New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJSTARS) Program is a scholarship program created by the State of New Jersey that provides New Jersey’s highest achieving students with free tuition at their local community college.

Eligibility and Requirements

Students who graduate in the top 15 percent of their high school class as well as those students in the top 15 percent at the end of their junior year may be eligible.

Students must complete a rigorous series of high school courses as a first step toward eligibility, as determined by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education in consultation with the New Jersey Commissioner of Education.

Students must take at least 12 college-level credits per semester and will be allowed to take up to 18 credits each semester if they are able to handle the course load and wish to accelerate their graduation.

Students will be permitted to take fewer than 12 credits in their final semester if they need fewer than 12 credits to graduate. Students must apply for graduation for that final term.

Students have five (5) semesters of eligibility for NJSTARS.

Students majoring in areas that require an additional 6th semester (for example: nursing and engineering) will self-pay or use other non-STARS funds for the additional semester. However, they will retain their eligibility for NJSTARS II status.

Students will have to take a College Placement Test selected by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges when they receive their conditional eligibility letter from the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. Community colleges will administer the test and may create partnerships with districts to have on-site testing as well.

Students who do not achieve the required Placement Test scores will be notified by the college that they are currently in need of remediation prior to pursuing college coursework through the NJSTARS program. Students will be able to take appropriate courses while still in high school to improve their skills or they can attend remedial courses at the community college while enrolled in high school.

Students who graduate from high school and still need remediation will be given up to one year at their own cost or using other non-STARS funds to gain the skills they need to be college ready. They will not be considered NJSTARS scholars until they meet the requirement, but they will still have five semesters of eligibility upon meeting the requirements during that year.

Students who have earned college credits during high school will be able to submit those credits for consideration to the community college, and upon meeting the established criteria should have those credits applied to their degree. Those students who have earned an associate degree with a 3.25 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) or better while enrolled in high school will be eligible to apply directly to a senior New Jersey public college or university for inclusion in NJ STARS II.

Dependent students of military families assigned to a military base and whose parents have established New Jersey as their state of residence will be eligible for NJ STARS as long as all other conditions are met.

Students must earn a 3.25 Cumulative Grade Point Average upon graduation from community college to be eligible for NJ STARS II.

Students who meet the top 15 percent requirement must first apply for all other federal and state financial aid available to them by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually within New Jersey’s deadline. If a student receives financial aid, NJ STARS will cover the remaining cost of tuition. If a student is not eligible for financial aid, NJ STARS will cover the tuition costs.  Students are responsible for books and fees.

  • NJ STARS students must be enrolled in an associate degree program at a New Jersey community college.
  • NJ STARS students must maintain continuous full-time enrollment at a New Jersey community college.
  • NJ STARS students must have a 3.0 or better grade point average moving from freshmen to sophomore years to be eligible for scholarship renewal for the second year. However, grades earned from courses completed prior to NJ STARS eligibility are not used in calculating the CGPA. Only grades earned while a NJ STARS recipient are used in calculating the CGPA.


Currently enables successful NJ STARS scholars to transfer to any four-year public or private college or university in New Jersey to earn a bachelor’s degree.

– Offer $1,250 per semester to all NJ STARS students who have a family income of less than $250,000.00.

– Open to all TAG 4-year participating colleges and universities

NJ STARS II is a continuation of NJ STARS that provides successful STARS graduates from New Jersey Community Colleges with funding to transfer to a New Jersey four-year public or private institution of higher education that participates in the Tuition Aid Grant program to earn a bachelor’s degree. For more information on NJ STARS II, visit To be eligible for NJ STARS II, graduates must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduate from a county college with at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average
  • Be accepted into a New Jersey State college or university
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 3.25 from the junior to the senior year
  • Complete the baccalaureate degree in four semesters.

Funding for NJ STARS II is fixed at up to $2,500 per year for STARS students who graduated from a county college with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.25 or better. All other merit and need-based aid will be applied before STARS funding is awarded. NJ STARS funding covers tuition only. Students whose family income exceeds $250,000 are not eligible for NJ STARS II funding.

For more information, call our Admissions Office at 973-300–2223 or visit

NJ STARS is subject to New Jersey state appropriations and budget. SCCC is not responsible for New Jersey state changes within the program that may affect student eligibility.