An Act concerning eligibility for State student financial aid, amending P.L.2001, c.41, and repealing N.J.S.18A:71B-6.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 5 of P.L.2001, c.41 (C.18A:71B-24.2) is amended to read as follows:
5. a. There is created the Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Scholarships Program. These scholarships shall be awarded, pursuant to the provisions of this act, to the children of New Jersey law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, in but not of the Department of State, and established pursuant to N.J.S.18A:71A-3, shall administer this program.
b. Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Scholarships shall be awarded annually within the limits of monies in the Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, created pursuant to subsection c. of section 2 of P.L.2001, c.41 (C.39:3-27.123), for undergraduate study leading to a baccalaureate degree or associate degree at any public or private institution of higher education in New Jersey. The amount of any such scholarship shall not exceed an amount equal to the portion of the recipient's cost of attendance at the institution that is not otherwise covered by any other scholarship, tuition aid grant, benefit or other assistance awarded to the recipient under the "Higher Education Student Assistance Authority Law," N.J.S.18A:71A-1 et seq.
c. The scholarships may be renewed annually for up to four years, except that each scholarship shall remain in effect only if the holder of the scholarship remains a full-time student in good standing at the institution and continues to meet the eligibility criteria and guidelines established under this act and regulations promulgated thereto. Selection of recipients may take into account the actual dependency of the recipients, their needs and means, and the pecuniary loss occasioned by reason of the death of their parents.
d. [A student who is subject to the provisions of the "Military Selective Service Act," 50 U.S.C. App.453, shall not be eligible to receive any scholarship without verification of compliance with the requirements of that act.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L. , c. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)
e. For the purposes of this act, "law enforcement officer" means a New Jersey resident employed as a permanent full-time member of any federal, State, county or municipal law enforcement agency, department, or division of those governments who is statutorily empowered to act for the detection, investigation, arrest, conviction, detention, or rehabilitation of persons violating the criminal laws of this State or of the United States and statutorily required to successfully complete a training course approved by the Police Training Commission pursuant to P.L.1961, c.56 (C.52:17B-66 et seq.), or certified by the commission as being substantially equivalent to an approved course.
(cf: P.L.2001, c.41, s.5)
2. N.J.S.18A:71B-6 is repealed.
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill repeals N.J.S.18A:71B-6, which requires a student who is subject to the provisions of the federal “Military Selective Service Act,” to provide verification of compliance in order to be eligible for State-funded loans, grants, or scholarships. This bill also removes the requirement that students comply with the “Military Selective Service Act” in order to be eligible for scholarships offered under the State’s Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Scholarship Program.
In December 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed the “FAFSA Simplification Act,” Pub.L.116-260, legislation that was authored by then-Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and was overwhelmingly approved by Congress on a bipartisan basis. This federal law eliminates the requirement for male students to register with Selective Service in order to be eligible for federal student financial aid, and removes a question on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) regarding whether male students have registered with Selective Service. As of academic year 2021-2022, eligibility procedures for federal student financial aid no longer include verification of Selective Service registration.
The majority of New Jersey students apply for State student financial assistance using the FAFSA without having to complete an additional State questionnaire. Because the Selective Service question will no longer be on the FAFSA, otherwise eligible students will be impeded from receiving State student financial aid if current New Jersey State law is left unchanged. To remove this barrier for eligible students to receive State student financial aid, this bill aligns State student financial aid eligibility requirements with federal financial aid eligibility requirements.
Revises State financial aid requirements to align with simplification of Free Application for Federal Student Aid under federal law.