ASSEMBLY, No. 4086

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 15, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† GARY S. SCHAER

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman† MILA M. JASEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Assemblywoman† VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Muoio, Assemblyman Eustace, Assemblywomen Jimenez, Lampitt, Assemblymen McKeon, Holley, Benson and Danielsen

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes program to provide free tuition under State Tuition Aid Grant Program to certain students who are accepted to public four-year institutions of higher education and elect to attend county college for first two years.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning the State Tuition Aid Grant Program and supplementing chapter 71B of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† a.†††† There is established, within the State Tuition Aid Grant Program, the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program.† The program shall provide free tuition to eligible students, as defined in subsection b. of this section, who are accepted for admission to a four-year public institution of higher education, qualify for a State tuition aid grant, and elect to complete the first two years of their undergraduate education at a county college. A grant under the program shall cover the full cost of tuition for an eligible full-time undergraduate student for two years of attendance at a county college to complete an associate degree and two years of attendance at a four-year public institution of higher education to complete a baccalaureate degree. The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority shall administer the program.

†††† b.††† To be eligible to participate in the program, a student shall:

†††† (1)†† be accepted for admission as a full-time undergraduate student at a four-year public institution of higher education;

†††† (2)†† be eligible to receive a State tuition aid grant pursuant to N.J.S.18A:71B-18 et seq., and apply for all available State and federal student grants and scholarships for which the student is eligible;

†††† (3)†† elect to complete the first two years of the studentís undergraduate education at the New Jersey county college serving the student's county of residence;

†††† (4)†† defer admission at the four-year public institution of higher education for a period of two years; and

†††† (5)†† have a New Jersey Eligibility Index under the State Tuition Aid Grant Program that does not exceed 2499.

†††† c.†††† Eligible students who wish to participate in the program shall submit an application to the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, on a form and in a manner prescribed by the authority.

†††† d.††† (1)†††† A four-year public institution of higher education shall grant a deferment for two years to a student who has been accepted for admission to the institution and who participates in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program established pursuant to this section.†

†††† (2)†† All academic credits earned at a county college in completing an associate degree by a student who participates in the program shall be fully transferable and credited as the first two years of a baccalaureate degree program at the four-year public institution of higher education to which the student is accepted.

†††† e.†††† In the event that a student who participates in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program takes longer than two years at a county college to complete an associate degree or longer than two years at a four-year public institution of higher education to complete a baccalaureate degree, funding for the additional time period shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of the Tuition Aid Grant Program pursuant to N.J.S.18A:71B-18 et seq.

 

†††† 2.††† a.†† A four-year independent institution of higher education may elect to participate in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program. In the case of a participating four-year independent institution of higher education, a grant under the program shall cover the full cost of tuition for an eligible full-time undergraduate student for two years of attendance at a county college to complete an associate degree.† For two years of subsequent attendance at the independent institution of higher education to complete a baccalaureate degree, the grant amount shall equal the average cost of tuition at the four-year public institutions of higher education in each year of attendance.† If the cost of tuition at the independent institution of higher education exceeds the amount of the grant, the independent institution of higher education may charge the student for the additional cost.

†††† b.††† To be eligible to participate in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program at a four-year independent institution of higher education, a student shall:

†††† (1)†† be accepted for admission as a full-time undergraduate student at a four-year independent institution of higher education that has elected to participate in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program;

†††† (2)†† be eligible to receive a State tuition aid grant pursuant to N.J.S.18A:71B-18 et seq., and apply for all available State and federal student grants and scholarships for which the student is eligible;

†††† (3)†† elect to complete the first two years of the studentís undergraduate education at the New Jersey county college serving the student's county of residence;

†††† (4)†† defer admission at the four-year independent institution of higher education for a period of two years; and

†††† (5)†† have a New Jersey Eligibility Index under the State Tuition Aid Grant Program that does not exceed 2499.

†††† c.†††† A four-year independent institution of higher education that participates in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program shall grant a deferment for two years to a student who has been accepted for admission to the institution and who participates in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program.† The institution shall also agree to fully transfer and accept all academic credits earned by the student at a county college in completing an associate degree.

†††† 3.††† Any monies that the State saves under the Tuition Aid Grant Program as a result of students participating in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program established pursuant to section 2 of this act, shall be reinvested in the Tuition Aid Grant Program in order to expand the population of students who are eligible to participate in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program.

 

†††† 4.††† One year following the establishment of the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program, and annually thereafter, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority shall submit a report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1).† The report shall include information on the total number of students participating in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program; the graduation rate of students participating in the program, once applicable; and any available information on student outcomes for program participants.The report shall also include the amount of any cost savings realized by the State under the Tuition Aid Grant Program as a result of students participating in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program.†

 

†††† 5.††† The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the ďAdministrative Procedure Act,Ē P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

 

†††† 6.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill establishes the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program within the State Tuition Aid Grant Program.† The program will provide free tuition to certain students who are accepted for admission to a four-year public institution of higher education, qualify for tuition aid grants, and elect to attend a county college for the first two years of their undergraduate education.† A grant for an eligible student under the program will cover the full cost of tuition for two years at a county college to complete an associate degree and two years at a four-year public institution of higher education to complete a baccalaureate degree.†

†††† In order to be eligible to participate in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program, a student must meet the following criteria:

†††† (1)†† be accepted for admission as a full-time undergraduate student at a four-year public institution of higher education;

†††† (2)†† be eligible to receive a State tuition aid grant pursuant to N.J.S.18A:71B-18 et seq., and apply for all available State and federal student grants and scholarships for which the student is eligible;

†††† (3)†† elect to complete the first two years of the studentís undergraduate education at the New Jersey county college serving the student's county of residence;

†††† (4)†† defer admission at the four-year public institution of higher education for a period of two years; and

†††† (5)†† have a New Jersey Eligibility Index under the State Tuition Aid Grant Program that does not exceed 2499.

†††† The bill requires a four-year public institution of higher education to grant a deferment for two years to a student who has been accepted for admission to the institution and who participates in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program.† All academic credits earned at the county college by a program participant will be fully transferrable and credited as the first two years of a baccalaureate degree program at the four-year institution.

†††† In addition, the bill allows independent institutions of higher education to elect to participate in the program.† In the case of an eligible student who is accepted to a participating independent institution, the grant will cover the full cost of tuition for two years at a county college, and for the two subsequent years the grant amount will equal the average cost of attendance at the four-year public institutions of higher education in each year of attendance.† The independent institution may charge the student for the cost of tuition in excess of the grant amount.

†††† The bill provides that any monies the State saves under the Tuition Aid Grant Program as a result of students participating in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program will be reinvested in the Tuition Aid Grant Program in order to expand the population of students who are eligible to participate in the Two to Four Tuition Free Students Program.† The bill also requires the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to submit a report annually to the Governor and the Legislature on the program, which will include the number of students participating in the program, the graduation rate of participants, information on student outcomes, and the amount of any cost savings realized by the State as a result of students participating in the program.