New Jersey offers a comprehensive package of financial aid support for low-income families in the state. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application (NJFAA). In this qualitative study, a research team from the Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC) and the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies of Rutgers University-Newark explores the implementation and impact of the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) and Garden State Guarantee (GSG), as well as experiences with FAFSA completion in Newark, New Jersey.
The Newark FAFSA Challenge, launched in Fall of 2019, is an initiative to help Newark high school seniors complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application for New Jersey Dreamers. We are committed to ensuring that Newark students and families have the support they need to complete the FAFSA because financial readiness is college readiness.
Nationally, 90% of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA will immediately enroll in college, a key predictor of eventual college completion. Unfortunately, many low-income, first generation students lack the support to successfully navigate the college financial aid process, and as a result, may not enroll in college at all.
Our goal is to help Newark students prepare for college by ensuring they have access to personal assistance to complete the FAFSA or the NJ Alternative Application.