Garden State Guarantee
The Garden State Guarantee (GSG) is New Jersey’s promise to make a college degree more accessible and affordable. By reducing out-of-pocket costs for students and families, New Jersey is limiting the amount of debt that residents must borrow to attend an in-state, public college or university.
Kean is New Jersey's most affordable comprehensive university. We promise equity, access, excellence and affordability in higher education. Kean’s commitment to affordability is supported through its Kean Tuition Promise and Garden State Guarantee. Incoming freshmen students can benefit from the Kean Tuition Promise program, designed to cover up to full tuition and fees for the first two years of study. The Garden State Guarantee is helping us fulfill that promise for students who have 60+ college credits. Together the Kean Tuition Promise and the Garden State Guarantee may provide qualified New Jersey students with a world-class Kean education tuition-free.
To be eligible for the Garden State Guarantee at Kean University, students must meet the following criteria:
- Residency: Be a resident of New Jersey for at least one year before the first day of class
- Citizenship: Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
- Enrollment Status: Students must be enrolled full time (at least 12 credits per semester) and must be working toward completing their first Bachelor’s degree.
- Household adjusted gross income (AGI) is between $0 and $65,000 will pay a net price of $0 for tuition and fees during their third and fourth years of study.
- Household adjusted gross income (AGI) is between $65,001 and $80,000 will pay a discounted net price of no more than $7,500 for tuition and fees.
- Class level: Third-or-fourth year students regardless of the institution(s) at which the qualifying credits were earned (i.e.: accepted transfer credits from another institution of higher education, Advanced Placement courses, dual-enrollment programs, etc.)
- Third-year is defined as having earned 60-89 total accumulated credits.
- Fourth-year students are defined as having earned 90-126 total accumulated credits.
- Students must complete federal/state/institutional verification requirements.
STEP 1: File the FAFSA form and NJ TAG applications at studentaid.gov
File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form or, if you qualify as a NJ Dreamer, the NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application by April 15, 2022. The FAFSA will determines your eligibility for the Garden State Guarantee Program as well as all of financial aid. (Kean school code: 002622)
File the New Jersey TAG (Tuition Aid Grant):
HESAA Financial Aid Hub
For financial aid assistance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (908) 737-3190.
STEP 3: Enroll at Kean for the upcoming fall semester
After you receive your admission decision and estimated award letter, meet with your admissions counselor and submit your tuition deposit. For enrollment assistance, contact email@example.com.
Q. How do I determine my AGI?
A. For dependent students, only parent(s’)/guardian(s’) AGIs are considered, not the student’s income. For independent students, the AGI of the student and spouse, if applicable, is considered.
Q. For how long am I eligible for GSG?
A. Students who satisfy all eligibility criteria may receive GSG up to the overall cap of four (4) semesters.
Q. How many credits must I earn to be considered a third- or fourth-year student?
A.Third-year students are defined as having earned 60-89 total accumulated credits, and fourth-year students are defined as having earned 90-126 total accumulated credits, regardless of the institution(s) at which the qualifying credits were earned (i.e.: accepted transfer credits from another institution of higher education, Advanced Placement courses, dual-enrollment programs, etc.)
Q. Will this new program help me if I was never eligible for state aid before?
A. Yes. Expanding equitable and affordable college access to a high-quality degree in New Jersey is the Garden State Guarantee’s driving force. If you are not currently receiving state financial aid, apply before September 15, 2022. *Note: If you currently receive financial aid, you must reapply and complete the FAFSA or NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application by April 15, 2022.
Q. Do I qualify for this program if I am a first- or second-year student?
A. Garden State Guarantee funding is available only to third- and fourth-year students at in-state, public, four-year institutions. First- and second-year students with an AGI between $0 and $65,000 who attend Kean may be eligible for the Kean Tuition Promise or who attend a New Jersey community college may be eligible for the Community College Opportunity Grant. Together, these complementary programs create a tuition- and fee-free pathway to a Bachelor’s degree. As with all New Jersey state financial aid, students must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain eligible for aid. For more details about SAP and eligibility information, please email or make an appointment with your Kean Financial Aid counselor.