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About the SAC

About the Student Advisory Committee (SAC)

What is the Student Advisory Committee (SAC)?

The SAC was created by the Legislature to foster effective communication between students and the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), the agency responsible for administrative oversight of New Jersey State student financial assistance programs. The committee, comprised of students from all sectors and grade levels of New Jersey higher education, discusses and provides feedback to HESAA staff on policies and regulations governing State student financial aid programs. The officers of the SAC, as elected by the membership, serve as voting student members on the HESAA Board.

Who Serves on the SAC?

There are nine members, all of whom must be full-time undergraduate students. The committee membership, which is governed by regulations and Board policy, provides for broad, balanced representation by students attending New Jersey colleges and universities. All representatives are encouraged to attend meetings, actively participate and speak out on the issues.

Student representation on the committee is comprised of at least one, but no more than three, members from each of the following:

  • Community Colleges
  • State Colleges/Universities
  • Independent Colleges/Universities
  • Rutgers, The State University
  • Public Research Universities

What does the SAC do for the students of New Jersey?

The SAC can be a strong vehicle for New Jersey students to help shape State student financial aid policy. Direct input from the individuals who benefit most from our higher education programs, products and services—the students of New Jersey—is fundamental to making sound public policy decisions. Members of the SAC interact regularly with a variety of constituencies, including fellow students throughout the State, campus officials, board members, and HESAA staff. New Jersey is unique in reserving this special opportunity under law for students to share their views with key decision-makers in an official government capacity. Students on the SAC not only play a significant advisory role, but they also have two representative voting seats on the HESAA Board. In its deliberations, the SAC strives to represent the collective voice and best interests of all students in the State.

Becoming a member of the SAC

Consider becoming a member of HESAA’s Student Advisory Committee - a unique opportunity for interested students to help shape New Jersey’s student assistance programs.

How do I apply for membership?

Interested students are invited to apply annually via a short (two-page) application. The membership term is for one year. Prospective new students, as well as current SAC members seeking reappointment, must complete this annual application process. There is no application fee.

Copies of the application are sent out every year to student government offices, campus financial aid offices, and other campus officials. When applications are available, they can be found on our website, or you can obtain them from your student government association, campus financial aid director, Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) office, institutional president, academic dean, student newspaper or radio station, or any current SAC member.

Complete instructions are included on applications and interested applicants must complete and submit their form by the stated deadline for that round of applications.

When is the deadline?

Applications are no longer open at this time for Academic Year 2024-2025.

How are members selected?

Applications are reviewed by current SAC members and HESAA staff. This generally occurs in May, with the goal of selecting the candidates for potential appointment in July. Candidates well suited to serve as members and alternates are identified from the pool of applicants, with special consideration given to the college the student attends and the year(s) of enrollment. The primary aim is to ensure balanced representation of freshmen and upperclassmen at all types of institutions. General impressions (from the application) on a candidate’s leadership commitment, service orientation, availability, and desire to become an active participant are considered in the selection process. Applicant interviews may be conducted by telephone if additional information is needed. Recommendations are subject to HESAA Board review and approval.

Once the membership appointments have been confirmed, the new SAC will convene a meeting to elect officers.

Serving on the SAC

When and where are SAC meetings held?

The meeting schedule is determined by the members of the SAC, in consultation with HESAA staff advisors. The committee generally meets four times during the academic year, either virtually or at HESAA's office located at Quakerbridge Plaza, in the suburbs of Trenton. In addition, SAC members are always welcome and encouraged to attend meetings of the HESAA Board. SAC members are reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses.

The date and time of committee meetings are chosen to accommodate as many members’ schedules as possible. Historically, Friday mornings tend to be a convenient meeting time for most students. Depending on the agenda and member participation, these student-directed meetings typically last 2-3 hours.

What is expected of SAC members?

The members of the SAC have two primary responsibilities: (1) to advise HESAA on the student perspective regarding college financial aid policies in New Jersey, and (2) to foster communication between HESAA and students. Attendance at committee meetings is expected in order to become informed on issues and help maintain a balanced representation of students’ views. The most important individual contribution is the unique point-of-view each member brings to committee discussions on varying topics, with the goal of making informed decisions that may ultimately affect all students. A student member can become as involved as s/he desires. Leadership opportunities exist for those students seeking a more intensive role.

Additional Information

To learn more about the SAC:

  • Talk to a representative on campus in any of the offices listed above.
  • Email HESAA at
  • Write to the mailing address below:
      Student Advisory Committee- - Jennifer Martin
      NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority
      PO Box 071
      Trenton, NJ 08625-0071