Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Friday to permanently establish the state’s Community College Opportunity Grant Program. “For far too long, higher education has been out of reach for countless New Jerseyans due to its high cost,” Murphy said. More than 50,000 students will benefit from the program each academic year, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
Students with adjusted gross incomes of $65,000 or less will be eligible for the grant for a total of five semesters; the program — administered by the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority — provides last-dollar grants to eligible students for tuition costs and fees not already covered by any other state, federal, and institutional need-based grants and merit scholarships. David Socolow, executive director of the authority, said, “Many students can now consider enrolling in college with full confidence that their entire county college tuition will be covered by the State of New Jersey.”
First enacted two years ago, the grant program initially was funded to the tune of $20 million; the governor’s latest budget, proposed Monday, provides for $27 million in funding.