2. Eligibility Requirements for New and Transfer Students

In October, 2014, new NJ STARS legislation was signed allowing students who rank in the top 15.0% of their class at the end of either their junior or senior year of high school to be potentially eligible for the NJ STARS Program.  (See proof of eligibility required from New Jersey high schools below.)

Students who graduated from high school and did not take advantage of the NJ STARS Program may still be potentially eligible for NJ STARS scholarships if they enroll in their home county community college within five semesters from high school graduation.

NJ STARS will pay for tuition only for 12-18 college-level credits in fall and spring semesters (currently, funds are not available to cover summer courses), for up to five semesters. Books and fees are not covered by NJ STARS.

In addition, in order to be eligible for NJ STARS scholarships, the following academic, financial aid and residency requirements must also be met.  See NJ STARS Fact Sheets for High School Graduates below for more information:

  • Students must demonstrate college readiness for English, Reading and Math in order to be academically eligible for NJ STARS.
  • NJ STARS is not contingent on displaying financial need.  However, applications for all Federal and State financial aid must be completed by the appropriated deadlines in order to be eligible for NJ STARS.
  • Students and their parents must be U.S. Citizens or eligible non-citizens, and legal New Jersey residents for a minimum of twelve months prior to high school graduation and upon county college enrollment.


Proof of Eligibility Required from New Jersey High Schools

In addition to the above, upon high school graduation, prospective NJ STARS students must provide their final, official signed and sealed high school transcript containing their class rank and class size as required by HESAA as proof of students’ eligibility:

  • If the transcript does not contain the student’s class rank and class size, the student must also provide a letter from the high school on the high school letterhead containing the class rank and class size that was provided to HESAA at the end of the student’s junior year.  See below for important information.*
  • If the student did not appear on the HESAA list for various reasons, or the student did not qualify at the end of their junior year but qualified at the end of the senior year, the letter should contain the class rank and class size at the end of the junior or senior year, as appropriate.  See below for important information.*

High Schools can use one of the following Word documents as a template.  Just fill in the information requested and print an original on high school letterhead.

High School Junior Year Qualification Letter

High School Senior Year Qualification Letter

*Important:  Both the transcript and the letter must be signed by the Director of Guidance, the Principal or the Vice Principal, and both should contain the school seal.

NJ STARS Fact Sheets

The following HESAA  (Higher Education Student Assistance Authority) Fact Sheets for each cohort of NJ STARS students link directly to the HESAA website and contain necessary eligibility information:

**2015 high school graduates are eligible to apply for the NJ STARS program through Fall 2017.

After determining potential eligibility, please visit the NJ STARS How to Apply to the NJ STARS Program webpage.