Applying for Aid: Why you Shouldn’t Wait

The State Won't Wait!

Have you applied for financial aid for the 2022-2023 academic year? If you have, give yourself a pat on the back! You’re right on track!

If you haven’t filed, what are you waiting for? Now’s the time! The 22-23 FAFSA has been available since October 1, 2021 and millions of students have already filed. There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t wait! Let’s talk about a few!

  • 1. Free Money!

Pell and TAG and Promise, oh my! Filing the FAFSA offers each applicant the opportunity to be considered for free money from the federal and state governments as well as the university! Enough said, right?

Some of the aid programs that provide free money to students include:

The Federal Pell Grant: Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, is free money from the Federal Government and does not have to be repaid. Students apply by filing a FAFSA and must reapply each year. 

Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.

For more information, visit

The Tuition Aid Grant (TAG): New Jersey residents who are or intend to be full time undergraduates at an approved New Jersey college, university or post-secondary institution may be eligible for the New Jersey State Tuition Aid Grant (TAG). Students apply by filing a FAFSA or NJ Alternative Application (NJ Dreamers only) and must reapply each year.

Applicants must have been legal residents of New Jersey for at least 12 consecutive months before receiving the grant.

Students who have received a baccalaureate degree or are enrolled solely in graduate study or graduate level courses are not eligible.

View eligibility information on For more information, visit or contact the State of New Jersey at 800.792.8670.

The Educational Opportunity Fund Grant (EOF): All applicants must be students from a background of historical poverty, who demonstrate financial need. They must be New Jersey residents for 12 consecutive months prior to applying and must also be enrolled full time and matriculated at a participating New Jersey college or university. EOF is only available to first-time freshman students. The State of New Jersey determines eligibility using the student’s NJEI, which is determined based off of information reported on the FAFSA as well as Income and Asset chart displayed here

To apply, students must file a FAFSA or NJ Alternative Application (NJ Dreamers only), provide the University with Tax Return Transcripts for the student and parents for the tax filing year the FAFSA or NJ Alternative Application is asking for as well as one year prior.

View eligibility information on Applicants interested in EOF must also contact Haashim Smith-Johnson in Admissions at 609.652.4417.

The Garden State Guarantee (GSG): The Garden State Guarantee (GSG) is a last-dollar program created to assist New Jersey residents in affording the cost of their education.

The benefits of the GSG for students include a tuition and fee free guarantee or a sliding scale Net Price of no more than $7,500 for Tuition and Fees for qualifying students.

Learn more about the Garden State Guarantee at

The Stockton Promise Grant: Stockton University is committed to helping students achieve their academic goals while reducing their need for student loans.

The Stockton Promise grant covers 100% of the gap between federal, state and institutional financial aid and the cost of tuition and fees for qualifying students.

Learn more about the Stockton Promise grant at

Institutional Scholarships: At Stockton University, we reward academic success. Stockton offers first-year and transfer scholarships to incoming students.

Prospective first year students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of the scholarship review process. We will be utilizing both academic and extracurricular achievement to determine scholarship eligibility.

Accepted transfer students are considered for scholarships based on previous college performance.

Visit to learn more.

Although free money is a great reason to file the FAFSA, it’s not the only reason. There are plenty of other reasons why student’s shouldn’t wait to file a FAFSA.

  • 2. Deadlines

To be considered for some of the aid programs offered by the federal and state governments as well as the university, students must meet certain deadlines.

In order to be considered for state financial aid programs including the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program and the new Garden State Guarantee (GSG), which guarantees a $0 net price for tuition and fees for qualifying NJ residents with 60-126 earned credits, students must file the FAFSA or NJ Alternative Application (NJ Dreamers only) by April 15 each year.

Students who wish to be considered for the Stockton Promise Grant, which offers a $0 net price for tuition and fees for qualifying NJ residents with 0-59 earned credits must file their FAFSA or NJ Alternative Application (NJ Dreamers only) by April 15 each year.

These programs provide some eligible students thousands of dollars in free money to help pay for the cost of their education, yet each year, there are students who miss out because they do not meet the proper deadlines.

  • 3. Verification

After filing a FAFSA, the federal and state governments can randomly select a student for a process called verification. Through this process, the Office of Financial Aid and/or the State of New Jersey’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, also known as HESAA may need to collect additional documentation from the student to determine their aid eligibility.

The earlier you file, the earlier you can turn in any outstanding documentation and fulfill any outstanding requirements to help ensure all of your aid is in place by the time bills are due!

To learn more about verification, visit

  • 4. Loans

We know what you’re thinking.. loans, really? The fact is, loans account for a large chunk of the ways that college students fund their education. Borrowing to pay for school may have a negative tone to it, but borrowing shouldn’t be scary or thought of as a bad thing! When you borrow, you are building up your credit for the future! The important thing to remember when it comes to borrowing is to be informed: understand interest rates and don’t overborrow.

Students who file the FAFSA are offered Federal Direct Loans through the Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan program. These loans do not require a credit check or a cosigner and typically come at a lower interest rate than most private loans.

In addition to Federal Direct Loans offered to students, Parents of Dependent Undergraduate students (U.S. Citizens only) are only eligible to apply for a Parent Direct PLUS Loan after the student has filed the FAFSA.

This loan is credit based, but if your parents are denied for the PLUS Loan, you will be offered an additional $4,000 (Freshmen and Sophomores) or $5,000 (Juniors and Seniors) unsubsidized loan in your name.

Learn more about Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans and the Parent Direct PLUS loan at

As you can see, there are so many reasons why you shouldn’t wait to apply for financial aid. We want to make sure that your financial aid process is a smooth one. Make sure that you don’t miss out! Apply for aid today!

File the FAFSA:
Complete the NJ Alternative Application:

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