NJBEST Scholarship Award Amounts Doubled;
Applications Now Accepted for Academic Year 2021-22
TRENTON – Eligible students can now receive scholarships that are worth double the previous amount provided through the New Jersey Better Educational Trust (NJBEST) Scholarship. The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) is now accepting applications for the upcoming academic year from students who are beneficiaries of an NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan. The minimum amount of these one-time scholarships is now $1,000 and the maximum award amount is now $3,000, increased from $500 and $1,500, respectively.
The NJBEST Scholarship rewards those who made a minimum level of contributions consistently over several years to an NJBEST account as part of their plan to save for a student's college expenses. Because money invested in an NJBEST account can grow tax-free when the funds are withdrawn to pay for qualifying educational expenses, the NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan offers a tax-advantaged option for families to save for college.
"By doubling the value of NJBEST Scholarships, we have enhanced the incentive for students to attend a postsecondary institution in the Garden State. The increased award amounts will begin with the Fall 2021 semester," said David J. Socolow, Executive Director of HESAA. "I'm grateful for the unanimous approval of the HESAA Board for adopting this final regulation."
The NJBEST scholarship program is funded entirely through the proceeds from investors' NJBEST account fees, with no appropriations from the State budget.
A student who attends a New Jersey institution can receive one of these scholarships if they are a beneficiary of an NJBEST 529 savings account that has been open for at least four years and has had contributions of at least $1,200. The dollar value of the scholarship award increases incrementally as the account is kept open for additional years and incremental additional contributions are made to the account. Last year, more than 500 students received NJBEST Scholarships. By doubling the amount of these scholarships, the program will now offer even greater support to families.
The regulation adopted today also implements a law Governor Phil Murphy signed last fall to make NJBEST Scholarships available in any term that a student enrolls at a New Jersey higher education institution, not only during the student's first term of enrollment. This law, P.L. 2020, c. 81, was sponsored by Senator Sandra Cunningham, Senator Nellie Pou, Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin, Assemblywoman Brittnee Timberlake, and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey.
Establishing an NJBEST 529 College Savings account requires a minimum investment of only $25. To learn more or to start saving now, visit www.njbest.com.
To learn more about NJBEST scholarship eligibility or to complete an application for the 2021-2022 Academic Year, visit https://www.hesaa.org/Pages/njbestscholarship.aspx.
To view today’s adopted regulation, click here.