HAMILTON – Gov. Chris Christie today announced more funding for high school students looking to continue their education, particularly students in urban areas.
By providing these grants, Christie said it levels the playing field between students of vastly different socioeconomic backgrounds.
“New Jersey benefits by giving parents options,” he said. “It shouldn’t just be for the well off. It should be for every parent, regardless of how much money they have in the bank.”
To meet that need, Christie said at a press conference at the Trenton Catholic Academy here that he would be putting in $38.8 million in the state’s Equal Opportunity Fund. The fund provides up to $2,500 for economically-disadvantaged students.
Christie said he plans to put in $1 million in the Urban Scholarship Program to help some 1,000 students from urban schools attend college. Incoming freshmen would need to be in the top 5 percent academically of their graduating class, earning at least a 3.0 grade point average.
Some 14 public schools are eligible for the scholarship, including Asbury Park, Lakewood, Millville, Roselle, Vineland, Trenton, Camden, and Irvington, among others.
In addition to those funds, Christie also plans to put in $3 million for technology grants that will be available to non-public schools.
Christie said these grants will provide incentives for students to work at their highest potential, many of whom have parents who are busy working multiple jobs and aren’t able to provide the resources to help their kids excel.
“They literally don’t have the time,” Christie said about the parents.
Higher Education Secretary Rochelle Hendricks praised Christie for making more financial resources available.
“After decades of neglect, Gov. Christie has made higher education a priority,” Hendricks said.
She said getting education beyond high schools will better position students for the working world.
“The option of finding a job without post-secondary training is pretty slim,” she said.