The campus of Rutgers University, which is referenced in the article.

While most states provide less financial aid than federal programs, New Jersey is setting itself apart by offering low-income college students more aid than the United States government.

Attending college in the Garden State isn’t cheap. In fact, one of the most popular in-state schools, Rutgers, leaves the average 2015 graduate owing more than $25,000 according to Collegedata. The rest of the state is faring better, but the situation still isn’t ideal. On average, graduates leave school with about $20,000 in student debt according to The Student Loan Report.

In an effort to help low-income students pay for school, Rutgers University—along with its home state—provides a variety of programs including the Tuition Assistance Grant Program and the Education Opportunity Fund. In addition, some residents can quality for tuition-free community college through the N.J. Stars Program according to a UC Berkeley study referenced by the Washington Post.

While federal government aid can help, it’s not going to cover much of the tuition costs. In fact, the full amount awarded through the Federal Pell Grant Program for the upcoming school year will be $5,920. The current annual tuition for Rutgers is $31,733 for in-state student and $47,384 for out-of-state according to Collegedata.

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Sources at the school say more than 30 percent of undergraduates qualify for Federal Pell Grants, and about 26 percent qualify for a New Jersey Tuition Aid Grant with the latter doling out more money than the former.

The bottom line is that without assistance on both the state and federal level, many low and middle-income students would either not be able to attend university or be forced to take on massive amounts of debt in order to earn their degrees. With this in mind, Rutgers offers a variety of financial aid resources on its website to educate and assist students with the financial aid process.

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