TAG and EOF: Making an Independent Education Affordable

Two state programs, the Tuition Aid Grant program (TAG) and the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), can make the difference in being able to attend college for thousands of New Jersey students.

All 13 member institutions participate in TAG, one of the most generous need-based financial aid programs in the nation. One third of all full-time undergraduate New Jersey residents attending school in New Jersey receive support through TAG.

The maximum award from TAG for independent colleges and universities can be several thousands of dollars more than for a state school.

Applying for the New Jersey TAG is easy. Once a student has filled out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, he or she can register for an account at the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) and submit the additional New Jersey questions before the deadline. The HESSA web site hosts an online estimator to help estimate a potential TAG awards.

The EOF provides additional financial assistance and support services, including counseling, tutoring and developmental course work, to students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who attend participating institutions of higher education in the State of New Jersey. Undergraduate grants range from $200 to $2,650 annually, depending on the type of institution and financial need. These grants are renewable based upon continued eligibility. Students must apply and be accepted to a New Jersey college or university that participates in the program and is also requires FAFSA application.

The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.