Working to provide additional opportunities for New Jersey women and minority students, Governor Chris Christie today announced a new statewide scholarship program targeting non-degree certificate programs in construction-related fields. The Governor's Industry Vocations Scholarship for Women and Minorities (NJ-GIVS) will pay up to $2,000 per year to women and minority students who reside in New Jersey for the cost of enrollment in a NJ-GIVS eligible certificate program at one of New Jersey's 19 county colleges. The scholarships are renewable for one year after initial award.
"My Administration has been committed to ensuring that all members of the workforce have every possible opportunity available to them, including the tools and training necessary to compete and succeed locally, regionally and globally," said Governor Christie. "The NJ-GIVS scholarship will provide women and minorities with the first steps needed to becoming essential and well skilled members of the construction community."
"Governor Christie's scholarship program puts the money where it is needed most -- to help students get the training they need to secure high-demand, high-skill jobs that can take care of families and help build communities," said Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks. "The half million dollars being spent on scholarships for certificate programs will put minority and women students on a pathway to continue their education."
New Jersey's Schools Development Authority (SDA) must set aside a portion of the value of all its construction contracts for training programs for women and minority group members. The NJ-GIVS scholarship will be funded with these mandated "set-aside" funds administered in partnership with the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA).
"The SDA is committed to ensuring that all New Jerseyans have equal opportunity to succeed in the construction industry and participate in the much important work of rebuilding our schools," said SDA CEO Marc Larkins. "The Governor's Industry Vocations Scholarship for Woman and Minorities will assist these two persistently underrepresented groups in learning the skills needed to thrive in New Jersey's construction community."
"Up until now, state student financial aid has exclusively served students enrolled in degree granting programs. NJ-GIVS fills a void by providing financial support for students in certificate programs in construction related fields," said HESAA Executive Director Gabrielle Charette.
To be eligible for the NJ-GIVS Scholarship, the following criteria must be met:
- Recipient must be female or a member of a pre-defined minority group;
- Male recipients will be required to prove they have registered with the Selective Service System;
- A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed according to state deadlines. FAFSA information will be used to calculate a New Jersey Eligibility Index (NJEI) which determines financial eligibility for the scholarship. Students must have an NJEI below 10,500 to qualify;
- The scholarship is limited to US citizens and eligible non-citizens who have received approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services to remain in the US on a permanent basis; and
- New Jersey grants and scholarships are limited to New Jersey residents. A New Jersey resident must have resided in the State for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to receiving the award.
More detailed information about NJ-GIVS including a fact sheet containing a list of eligible certificate programs, brochure and student application for academic year 2013-2014 will be available at all 19 New Jersey County Colleges shortly. Applications for the 2013-2014 academic year are due October 1, 2013. Applications for only the Spring 2014 semester are due March 1, 2014. All scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
For further information, please contact HESAA's Customer Service Line Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. -- 8:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m. at 609-584-448 or visit www.hesaa.org.