DIEGNAN, LAMPITT & VOSS BILL TO ENSURE STUDENTS KNOW NJ STARS ELIGIBILITY NOW LAW

(TRENTON) — Legislation Assembly members Patrick Diegnan, Pamela R. Lampitt and Joan Voss sponsored to ensure high school juniors and seniors are aware that they could be in line for a NJ STARS full-tuition scholarship was signed into law on Monday.

The New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS) program provides full-tuition county college scholarships to students who graduate in the top 15 percent of their high school class.

“No high school student should be left unaware that they could qualify for NJ STARS,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex), the Assembly Higher Education Committee chairman. “NJ STARS is allowing thousands of deserving students who might not have had the means to attend college to work towards a degree that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Every student who has a chance at the same success should know they, too, could have the same opportunity.”

“The potential for a NJ STARS scholarship must be part of the basic conversation kids and parents have when preparing to look at colleges,” said Lampitt (D-Camden). “Knowing that a tuition-free degree could be theirs could be the carrot some students need to push themselves a little harder.”

Under the law (A-2702), schools are required to notify students in their junior year who rank in the top 30 percent of their class of their potential eligibility for the NJ STARS program should they improve their class rank over their final two years of high school. Seniors who are anticipated to finish in the top 15 percent of their class also will receive a notification regarding their potential eligibility the January before their graduation.

“NJ STARS should never be a best-kept secret,” said Voss (D-Bergen). “The rising costs of college across-the-board are luring some excellent students into believing a degree is beyond their means. The more we can do to ensure these students know that a STARS scholarship is within their reach, the better.”

Approximately 4,100 students currently benefit from a NJ STARS scholarship.

The law also requires schools to provide general information on the NJ STARS Program to freshmen students.

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