Let's face it college is expensive. However, there are ways to go to college in NJ tuition free or close to it.

Most college students graduate with two pieces of paper. They get their diploma right after graduation and then 6 months later they get their very first student loan bill. A late graduation present if you will.

NJ.com released a list of ways students in New Jersey can go to college tuition free, or close to it.

NJ STARS:

Formed back in 2004, this program is offered to every high school student in New Jersey. How can you take advantage of this program? Just graduate in the top 15% of your class. Known as the New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship, students who do graduate in the top 15% can go to a two year school in New Jersey tuition free. They must complete it in 5 semesters. What happens after the two year college? There is NJ STARS II, where a student can transfer to a 4 year college and receive $2,500 a year.

Give Something Back Foundation:

New Jersey, New York, Illinois and Delaware all have this program. Beginning in 2003, the Give Something Back Scholarship focuses on 4 year schools. This program gives low-income students the opportunity to graduate from a 4 year school debt free. Starting in 9th grade students are given a mentor. In New Jersey the organization is partnered with Montclair State University, Rowan University, The College of New Jersey, and Saint Peter's University. The students also get assistance with applying to these schools.

Of course there are many other scholarships that are not exclusive to New Jersey.

Check out some of the websites that pair students with scholarships they are eligible for:

Some schools in New Jersey offer full ride scholarships based on financial need and academics including Princeton University and Stevens Institute of Technology.

See the full list of programs from NJ.com here.

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