Higher Education Committee OKs revisions to STARS scholarship programs

TRENTON – The Senate Higher Education Committee unanimously passed the bill revising a college scholarship program.

S874, which affects the NJSTARS and NJSTARSII programs, was released in the fledgling committee’s first day of business.

Steven Rose, president of Passaic County Community College and a member of the N.J. Presidents Council, told the committee today that the NJSTARS bill has gone through a lot of changes to reach a point that he said all parties hopefully can live with.

Earlier, Rutgers President Richard McCormick had referred to it as one of the unfunded mandates public institutions have had to deal with.

Paula Pando, vice president for student affairs at Hudson County Community College, told the committee that the STARS progam has been  a “godsend for high-performing students.”

But a problem, according to both Pando and Rose, is timing.  Typically, students and parents have not had specifics about the funding until late June as budget season winds down, but it is in the spring when students need to make deposits for their chosen school.

The STARS revisions will give families struggling to afford their children’s college education some certainty moving forward, they said.

Higher Education Committee OKs revisions to STARS scholarship programs