In May 2018, Governor Phil Murphy recently signed legislation granting eligible undocumented students access to NJ State Financial Aid. This bill expands upon the New Jersey Tuition Equality Act, also referred to as the “New Jersey Dream Act” to provide NJ Grants and Scholarships to make college more affordable. Students who qualify can receive funding beginning in the 2018-2019 academic school year.
Eligibility Requirements for DREAMers:
- Attended a New Jersey high school for three or more years;
- Graduated from a New Jersey high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in New Jersey;
- Be an entering student or currently enrolled in an accredited New Jersey College or University;
- In the case of a person without lawful immigration status, file an affidavit each year with the institution of higher education stating that the student has filed an application to legalize the student’s immigration status or will file an application as soon as the student is eligible to do so.
- To receive state aid, you must be enrolled full-time at a four-year institution or at least half time at a two-year institution.
- To apply for NJ financial aid, go to the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (NJ HESAA) website to complete The New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application.
- Once you have completed your application, you will need to create an NJ FAMS account.
- NJ HESAA will contact you to request additional documentation through the NJ FAMS site.
- Required documentation may include, parent(s) Tax Return Transcripts (e.g. 2021 for the current 2023-2024 academic year, 2022 for the upcoming 2024-2025 year) and/or other income information.
- Montclair State University will confirm your transcript and high school diploma, along with Selective Service Registration (if applicable), and affidavit.
- Once your application is reviewed, approved, and certified, you will receive a notification of eligibility. This notification will also be forwarded to the school.
The State of New Jersey adheres to a strict deadline policy.
- Students applying for fall aid who never received a NJ TAG payment MUST complete the Alternative application by September 15.
- Students applying for fall aid who have received NJ TAG before (Renewal Students) must complete the application by April 15.
- Students who are attending in the fall must complete all follow up tasks required by the state by October 1.
- Students applying for spring aid, who are NOT enrolled in the fall, must complete their application by February 15.
- Students who are attending in the spring and who did NOT attend in the fall must complete all follow up tasks by March 1 (or 30 days from initial notification).
Note: Once you have received a TAG payment, the filing deadlines are earlier!
Frequently Asked Questions
I am applying to Montclair State University. What types of aid will I be eligible for under the New Jersey Dream Act? How do I apply?
As a prospective student, you may be eligible for scholarships and state grants (including NJ TAG, EOF, NJ Stars, and Gov. Urban Scholarship). Please see eligibility requirements and application information on our page or as listed above.
I live in another state now, but am planning to move to New Jersey to attend college. Am I eligible for New Jersey Dream Act Aid?
No. You must qualify for the New Jersey Tuition Equality Act, which requires that students have attended at least 3 years of high school in New Jersey and graduated from a New Jersey high school.
I am an international student. Am I eligible for the New Jersey Dream Act?
No. Only students with an undocumented status, including DACA recipients, are eligible if they meet the criteria of the New Jersey Tuition Equality Act. This requires that students attended at least 3 years of high school in New Jersey and graduated from a New Jersey high school.
Is this a one-time award, or can I apply every year?
You must reapply every year. If you transfer to another school, you may need to submit information again for the new school. Please be aware of the stricter deadlines for the subsequent school years.
Does the New Jersey Dream Act affect all undocumented students?
No. The New Jersey Dream Act only affects only students who meet the criteria of the New Jersey Tuition Equality Act, which requires that students must have attended at least 3 years of high school in New Jersey and graduated from a New Jersey high school.