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Garden State Guarantee

What is the Garden State Guarantee (GSG)?

The Garden State Guarantee is a state of NJ financial aid program that will provide up to four semesters of free tuition at four-year New Jersey public institutions of higher education for New Jersey for eligible students enrolled in their third and fourth year of study whose family’s Adjusted Gross Income is between $0 and $65,000 annually. New Jersey students in their third and fourth years with adjusted gross incomes between $65,001 to $80,000 will receive assistance such that their net cost for tuition and fees is no more than $7,500 annually. New Jersey students in their third and fourth years with adjusted gross incomes between $80,001 to $100,000 will receive assistance such that their net cost for tuition and fees is no more than $10,000 annually.

This program is a “last dollar” award. Therefore, all federal, state, institutional, and private grants/scholarships must be awarded first. A student may qualify for Garden State Guarantee funding, based on the Adjusted Gross Income tier, for any gap up to the cost of tuition and required fees.

Please note, GSG awards on your account are subject to final approval from the State of NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority.

Who is eligible for the GSG?

Students who meet the below criteria are eligible for the Garden State Guarantee:

  • NJ residents, including NJ Dream Act students.
  • Students must complete the FAFSA or the NJ Alternative Application for NJ Dreamers by the deadlines established by the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA).
  • Students must have a complete and eligible record with the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA).
  • Students must comply with any verification document requests by either the school or HESAA.
  • Adjusted Gross Income of $0 to $65,000 may qualify for financial assistance making your tuition free or $65,001-$80,000 for assistance lowering the cost for tuition to no more than $7,500 annually or $80,001-100,000 for assistance lowering the cost for tuition to no more than $10,000 annually. The Adjusted Gross Income figure is based on parents’ AGI for dependent students or student/spouse AGI for independent students. The income establishing eligibility will be based on the income reported on the FAFSA for the academic year in question. In the Fall of 2023 it will be based on your 2023-2024 FAFSA form.
  • Students in their third or fourth year at Ramapo, defined as having earned 60-89 credits for third year and 90-128 credits for fourth year (credits include those a student has earned from a different institution and/or while in high school through a dual enrollment, AP or IP test credits).
  • Students must be enrolledfull-time. Full-time status is consider being enrolled 12 credits or more in each semester.
  • Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Students must be working towards their first bachelor’s degree.
  • Students become ineligible once they have earned 128 credits; Continuing students and incoming transfers are both eligible.
  • Incoming freshmen will become eligible in their third year (defined as having 60-89 credits earned) or fourth (90-128 credits earned) provided all other criteria has been met.

I think I am eligible. What do I need to do to receive GSG?

  • Complete your FAFSA for Academic Year 2023-24 (available starting October 1, 2022) and use Ramapo school code: 009344 OR file the NJ Alternative Application (for NJ Dreamers). Students must file the FAFSA or NJ Alternative Application by the state of NJ deadlines. The state deadline April 15th
  • Provide any additional documentation requested by the Ramapo College of NJ Financial Aid Office or from the state of NJ HESAA.
  • Check your Ramapo College e-mail regularly for updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for GSG if I have an Associate’s Degree?

Yes, as long as you meet all other criteria above.

Transfer students are considered in their third year if they have earned 60-89 credits and their fourth year if they have earned 90-128 credits.

What happens to my GSG eligibility if I take a semester off?

The GSG is available to eligible students for up to four semesters total while studying in their third and fourth years (as defined by earned credits). If you take a semester off, as long as you continue to meet program eligibility requirements, including Adjusted Gross Income requirements, you will receive GSG when you return to Ramapo. The four semesters of eligibility includes benefits earned at any New Jersey four-year public university or college. If a student has received the benefit at another institution prior to transferring to Ramapo, benefits received at the other institution will count towards the four semesters of eligibility provided by the program.

Can I transfer to Ramapo College and still be eligible for GSG?

Yes – if you are receiving GSG at another institution and wish to transfer to Ramapo you are still entitled to GSG. There is no requirement that you must stay at one school to receive your GSG, only that you continue to meet the above criteria. Please keep in mind that students are only allowed a maximum of 4 payments of the GSG grant in total.

I attended college several years ago and am considering returning to finish my bachelor’s degree. As a degree completion and/or adult student, am I eligible for GSG?

Returning learners are eligible for GSG as long as, in addition to the above criteria, the student meets Ramapo’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy and definition

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