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NJBEST Scholarship – Frequently Asked Questions

 

How long does the account need to be open?
For students enrolling for the first time in the fall semester of an academic year, the first contribution to NJBEST must have been credited to the contributor's account more than 48 months prior to September 1st of that academic year. For students enrolling for the first time in the spring semester of an academic year, the first contribution to NJBEST must have been credited to the contributor's account more than 48 months prior to February 1st of that academic year.

 

How much needs to be saved?
At least $1,200 needs to be deposited in the first 4 years to qualify for the $500 scholarship. For each additional two years of saving and contributions of $600, the scholarship increases by $250, up to a maximum of $1,500.

Contributions +

Full Years Account Open =

Scholarship Amount

$1,200

4

$500

$1,800

6

$750

$2,400

8

$1,000

$3,000

10

$1,250

$3,600

12

$1,500

 

When will I receive the scholarship money?
The scholarship will be awarded after enrollment can be verified, which will be after the start of the student's first semester. The scholarship will be paid directly to the college, and the check will be sent to the financial aid office of the college. The payment will then be posted to the student’s account. A confirmation letter of payment will also be sent to both the contributor and beneficiary.

 

The NJBEST scholarship is disbursed in one payment to the school. HESAA is not responsible for processing the payment once it has been received by the school. If you have any questions about school disbursement policies, please contact the school.

I contributed over $3,600 to my account. Why did I only receive a $500 scholarship?
The scholarship amount is based on both the amount of the contributions and the length of time the account was open.  If the account has not been open for more than 4 years the scholarship amount will be $500, even if the contribution is greater than $1,200
 

If I have been contributing to my account for 6 years when my beneficiary is a freshmen, can I wait to apply when my beneficiary is a junior to get the year 8 scholarship level amount? 

The scholarship level amount is determined no later than September 1st of the freshmen year of the beneficiary. In this example, the beneficiary is eligible for $750 if the total contribution is greater than $1,800.

Will my beneficiary be eligible for an NJBEST scholarship under the following scenarios?

  • Scenario 1:
    I am a New Jersey resident and have been contributing to an NJBEST account for my son for over 4 years, have made the minimum contributions, have not made a withdrawal and my son did not receive the NJBEST scholarship.  My daughter will be going to a New Jersey school this fall and I would like to make her my new beneficiary.  This will be her first semester in college.  Is she eligible for the NJBEST scholarship?


    Yes.  Your account has met the minimum requirements to receive a scholarship. Because the scholarship has not yet been awarded from this account your daughter will be eligible when you make a qualified withdrawal.

  • Scenario 2:
    I am a New Jersey resident and have been contributing to an NJBEST account for my son for over 4 years, have made the minimum contributions, and have made a qualified withdrawal but my son did not receive the NJBEST scholarship.  My daughter will be going to a New Jersey school this fall and I would like to make her my new beneficiary.  This will be her first semester in college.  Is she eligible for the NJBEST scholarship?


    Yes.  Your account has met the minimum requirements to receive a scholarship. Because the scholarship has not yet been awarded from this account your daughter will be eligible when you make a qualified withdrawal for her.

  • Scenario 3:
    I am a New Jersey resident and have been contributing to an NJBEST account for my son for over 4 years and have made the minimum contributions.  My son received the NJBEST scholarship last year.  My daughter will be going to a New Jersey school this fall and I would like to make her my new beneficiary.  This will be her first semester in college.  Is she eligible for the NJBEST scholarship?


    No.  Because your son received a scholarship based on the contributions to this account the minimum contributions and minimum time period requirements must be met again before a new beneficiary can receive a scholarship based on this account.

  • Scenario 4:
    I am a New Jersey resident and have been contributing to an NJBEST account for my son for over 4 years and have made the minimum contributions.  My son received the NJBEST scholarship four years ago.  My daughter will be going to a New Jersey school this fall and I would like to make her my new beneficiary.  This will be her first semester in college.  Is she eligible for the NJBEST scholarship?


    Yes.  Because you have met the minimum contribution requirement and minimum investment time requirement after your son received his scholarship, your daughter will be eligible when you make a qualified withdrawal for her.

  • Scenario 5:
    I am a New Jersey resident and have been contributing to an NJBEST account for my son for over 4 years, have made the minimum contributions, have not made a withdrawal and my son did not receive the NJBEST scholarship.  My twin daughters will be attending school in New Jersey this fall and I would now like to split my account into two accounts and make them each a beneficiary.  Are they both eligible for NJBEST scholarships?


    No.  Only one daughter will be eligible because both accounts are required to be open for no less than four years.  While both accounts will satisfy the minimum contribution requirement, only one account has been open for more than four years.
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