Attending a New Jersey college on the cheap is tough, but achievable! Thanks to generous state financial aid programs like Tuition Aid Grants, you could have the means to afford big University names (e.g. Rutgers), specialist schools (e.g. New Jersey Institute of Technology) and major public players (e.g. Kean). Most state funding is targeted at existing New Jersey residents who want to attend a NJ college, but there are exceptions to this rule (e.g. NJCLASS loans). To offset the high cost of living in areas like Jersey City and Newark, a lot of schools have also developed strong university aid packages for low-income students from any area. The following are low tuition fee universities in New Jersey:
- New Brunswick, New Jersey
Established in 1766 and the eighth-oldest institution of higher learning in the country, Rutgers University is New Jersey’s leading research university with almost 47,000 undergraduates and more than 19,000 graduate students coming from all 50 states and over 115 countries. Academically outstanding students are considered for the Presidential Scholarship, which awards $25,600 per year, including $11,700 in credit for on-campus housing and dining. The James Dickson Carr Scholarship ($10,000/year) and the Scarlet Scholarship ($3,500 per year, with additional $1,500 to $4,000 more per year, depending on Estimated Family Contribution) considers students with excellent academic records and strong financial need. International students may be eligible for the Rutgers International MM ($2,000 to $8,000 per year).
RAMAPO COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY
- Mahwah, New Jersey
Set in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains along the New Jersey/New York border, Ramapo College is a small liberal arts college (approximately 6,000 students) that has 36 academic programs and more than 539 course offerings. Entering freshmen who meet the academic requirements are automatically considered for the following scholarship programs: Presidential Scholarship ($18,000 per year), Provost Scholarship ($10,000 per year), Dean’s Scholarship ($6,000 per year) and the Academic Achievement Award ($3,000 per year). Students majoring in nursing or social work can apply for the Adler Endowed Scholarship. Sophomore and juniors interested in labor studies, social justice or Latin American socio-economic issues may be eligible for the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) Scholarship.
NEW JERSEY UNIVERSITY
- Jersey City, New Jersey
New Jersey City University in Jersey City was founded in 1929 as a teacher’s college. The university currently offers 41 undergraduate degrees, 27 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. Financial aid is provided to 90% of full-time beginning undergraduates, with 9% receiving institutional grants or scholarships. Incoming freshmen are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships, including the full-tuition Presidential Scholarship, the $6,000 University VI Scholarship and the $5,000 University V Scholarship. Transfer students are eligible for similar merit-based awards, which range from full-tuition to $2,000. Students studying music or art are eligible for Music and Art Scholarships, which provide awards up to $3,000. The school also awards more than 300 scholarships from the NJCU Foundation to continuing students each year.
- Galloway, New Jersey
A suburban 2000-acre campus located near the Atlantic Ocean, Stockton University had a 2014 population of 8,570 full-time and part-time undergraduates and graduate students. Incoming freshmen with stellar academic records are automatically considered for the following merit-based scholarships: Presidential Scholarship ($18,000 per year), Provost’s Scholarship ($11,000 per year), Dean’s Scholarship ($7,000 per year) and the Stockton Scholarship ($2,000 per year). Transfer students may be eligible for the Excellence in Academics Award ($1,000 or $2,000 per year, depending on the student’s GPA). Graduates of a NJ community college with an associate’s degree who were NJ Stars recipients can apply for the NJ Stars II program in order to work towards a bachelor’s degree in Stockton.
SAINT PETER’S UNIVERSITY
- Jersey City, New Jersey
One of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the country and the only one in New Jersey, St. Peter’s University occupies 30 acres in Jersey City, the second largest city in the state and is separated from New York City by a 12-minute train ride. Incoming freshmen with exceptional academic records are automatically considered for the following scholarships: Presidential Academic Scholarship (full tuition), Academic Excellence Scholarship ($25,000/year), Dean’s Academic Scholarship ($22,000/year), Ignatian Academic Scholarship ($20,000/year), Pavonia Scholarship ($15,000/year) and the Arrupe Award ($10,000/year). Freshmen who graduate from Catholic high schools may be eligible for the Catholic School Award ($18,000/year). Awards from the Magis Residential Awards for Freshmen are given to help cover a recipient’s on-campus housing cost.
- Union, New Jersey
Kean University in Union, New Jersey is the largest public university in New Jersey, offering more than 48 undergraduate and 35 graduate programs. Institutional aid is provided to 14% of full-time beginning undergraduates, with students receiving an average institutional award of $2,649. Incoming freshmen are automatically considered for five merit scholarships: the full-tuition William Livingston Scholarship, the $4,000 Kean Scholarship, the $3,000 Trustee Scholarship, the $2,500 Presidential Scholarship and the $2,000 Academic Merit Scholarship. Incoming freshmen can also apply for two Distinguished Freshman Scholarships: the NJCSTM Scholarship, which provides awards ranging from 100% in-state tuition to 50% in-state tuition, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship, which provides full-tuition scholarships to students pursuing degrees in the arts.
NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
- Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, is a public research university that ranked 149th in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 list of the best national universities. Institutional grants or scholarships are provided to 47% of full-time beginning undergraduates, with students receiving an average institutional gift award of $11,097. Students are automatically considered for all relevant scholarship awards, including the National Merit Scholarship, which covers tuition, fees, room and board for National Merit Finalists, and the Honors Merit Award, which covers tuition, fees, room and board for students admitted into the school’s Honors College. Academically outstanding freshmen are also eligible for Faculty Scholarships, which provide awards ranging from $5,000 to $9,700 per year.
WILLIAM PATERSON UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY
- Wayne, New Jersey
Located in Wayne, New Jersey, 20 miles from New York City, William Paterson University offers graduate and undergraduate degrees through its colleges of arts and communications, business, education, humanities and social sciences, and science and health. The university grants merit scholarships that do not require a separate application beyond an admission application. Incoming freshmen are eligible for the William Paterson University Trustee Scholarship, which ranges from $1,000 to $6,000 a year and is renewable for up to four years. Transfer students are eligible for the Presidential Scholarship, $1,000 to $2,000 per year and renewable for up to four semesters. Scholarships are also available for transfer students who are members of Phi Theta Kappa or who enroll in the Honours College.
COLLEGE OF SAINT ELIZABETH
- Morristown, New Jersey
Founded in 1899, College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey is the oldest women’s college in New Jersey and the first four-year Catholic college in the U.S. to grant degrees to women. Most students can expect to receive some aid, with 90% of undergraduates receiving aid from institutional, state, federal or private sources. The average full-time undergraduate who is just begining can expect to receive more than $33,000 in aid that does not need to be repaid. The school’s Presidential Scholarship, for example, offers full tuition to academically outstanding incoming students. The college also offers several tuition discounts, including discounts for students older than 62, students with careers in law enforcement or the armed forces and students who are registered nurses.