TUITION WAIVER PROGRAM
New Jersey State Law provides tuition free enrollment in public institutions of higher education for qualifying members of the New Jersey National Guard and qualifying surviving spouses and children of New Jersey National Guard Soldiers and Airmen. The New Jersey National Guard Tuition Program (NJNGTP) provides Soldiers and Airmen the opportunity for professional development by defraying a major portion of tuition costs while serving in the New Jersey Army or Air National Guard.
The NJNGTP is available at the following institutions
Atlantic Cape Community College
Bergen Community College
Brookdale Community College
Camden County College
The College of New Jersey
Essex County College
Hudson County Community College
Mercer County Community College
Middlesex County College
Montclair State University
County College of Morris
New Jersey City University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Ocean County College
Passaic County Community College
Ramapo College of NJ
Raritan Valley Community College
Rowan College at Burlington County
Rowan College of South Jersey
Salem Community College
Sussex County Community College
Thomas Edison State University
Union County College
Warren County Community College
William Paterson University of NJ
Any member of the New Jersey National Guard shall be permitted to attend regularly scheduled courses at any public institution of higher education in the State of New Jersey and receive up to 16 credits per semester tuition free provided:
- The member has completed Initial Active Duty Training (IADT).
- The member is an active drilling member in good standing with their New Jersey National Guard unit of assignment.
- The member has been accepted to pursue a course of undergraduate or graduate study and is enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student in good standing at that institution.
- Each year the member must apply for Financial Aid, either through the institution’s Financial Aid Office or online at FAFSA to receive all entitled state and federal student grants and scholarships.
Any child or surviving spouse of a deceased member of the New Jersey National Guard, who has completed Initial Active Duty Training and was killed in the performance of his or her duties while on Active Duty or killed in the performance of his or her duties while a member of the New Jersey National Guard, shall be permitted to attend regularly scheduled courses when (3) and (4) apply; and, available classroom space permits and tuition paying students constitute a minimum number required for the course.
When qualifying criteria is met, the service member, or eligible surviving children or spouse, will be permitted to attend regularly scheduled courses at any New Jersey public institution of higher education and receive up to 16 credits per semester tuition free.
Limitations and Termination
a. Once accepted, your tuition will be waived; however, you will be required to pay for all other expenses, including lab fees and books.
b. You must contact the Veterans Representative or Financial Aid Office at your host institution prior to registration because each participating state institution has their own policies and procedures for administering the NJNGTP.
c. If the service member stops drilling, thus becoming an unsatisfactory participant, the commander is to contact the Education Services Office in writing via e-mail and the service member will be dropped from the program. As a result of becoming an unsatisfactory participant, the servicemember then becomes responsible for any tuition costs that were waived at their host institution.
How the NJNGTP works
a. Financial Aid – If financial aid is received by a student in the form of a grant or scholarship, the service member pays for the tuition costs with these funds first.
(1) Example 1: Sergeant P. receives a $1,000 Pell Grant. His tuition for the Spring Semester is $750. Sergeant P. pays for his tuition cost with the Pell Grant money, and retains the balance. $1,000 – $750 = $250, goes towards any additional costs i.e. Books for the upcoming semester.
(2) Example 2: Sergeant P. receives a Pell Grant for $500. His tuition cost for the Spring Semester is $750. Sergeant P. pays for his tuition cost with the Pell Grant money $500-$750 = -$250 and the school uses the NJNGTP to waive the remaining balance that is owed.
b. Academic Standards – Satisfactory academic progress must be maintained. Any student, whether full or part-time, must maintain the grade point average established by their host institution college. These guidelines are published in the Undergraduate Catalog of your host educational institution.
c. Out of County or Out of State Student Residency – If eligible for the NJNGTP, all tuition is waived regardless of residency. Note: No public institution of higher education in New Jersey shall impose a nonresident tuition rate or differential fee on a member of the New Jersey National Guard
d. Additional Degrees – Subsequent undergraduate and or graduate degrees are authorized if the service member meets the eligibility criteria.
e. Dropping Courses – You must follow college procedures for dropping courses.
f. Concurrent Use – You can use this program together with the Montgomery GI Bill (if eligible) or Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA), However Soldiers may not use Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve Chapter 1606 together with FTA for the same course.
Any member of the New Jersey National Guard whose enrollment in a public institution of higher education on a tuition-free basis is interrupted by a deployment to active duty shall be permitted to receive the free tuition benefit after discharge from service under conditions other than dishonorable. In the event of a non-medical discharge or a medical discharge that is not caused by an illness or injury related to the performance of duties for the National Guard, eligibility for the free tuition benefit shall begin from the date of discharge and shall continue for one semester or a period of time equal to the length of the deployment, whichever is longer.In the event of a medical discharge or medical retirement as a result of illness or injury incurred in the combat theater, as a result of terrorist action, or in the response to a natural disaster, eligibility for the free tuition benefit shall begin from the date of discharge or retirement and shall continue until completion of the degree program in which enrolled or for five years, whichever occurs first.
a. Apply to and be accepted by one of the 30 participating state institutions of higher learning.
b. Apply for Financial Aid either through the institution’s Financial Aid Office or online using the FAFSA website: fafsa.ed.gov.
c. Register for classes at accepting institution.
d. Obtain a Commander’s Certificate of Eligibility that contains a valid Control # and signature from your Commander (NJDMAVA Form 621-2) from your unit’s full time administrator.
e. Bring Commander’s Certificate of Eligibility to your institution and follow institutional policies and procedures.
a. NJ Statutes Annotated: 18A:62-24; 18A:62-24.1; 18A:62-25
b. NJDMAVA Form 621-2 Commander’s Certificate of Eligibility
c. NJDMAVA Form 621-1-R NJNGTP Statement of Understanding
d. Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the Renewal Application (FAFSA): fafsa.ed.gov.