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Murphy budget would subsidize first 2 years of 4-year degree (updated)

The Murphy administration rolled out a proposal to subsidize college education at four-year institutions for the state’s lowest-income students, a potential step beyond Gov. Phil Murphy’s “community college for all” campaign promise.

Under Murphy’s proposal – part of the nearly $41 billion spending plan for the 2021 fiscal year – the state would pay for the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program at four-year universities.

Like with the tuition-free community college program, the aid would be limited to students with family income of $65,000 a year or less. And, universities would have to show how they are curtailing tuition and other costs for students.

The budget proposal calls for $50 million to this new program, called the Garden State Guarantee. Meanwhile, it calls for $30 million for the Community College Opportunity Grant program—the same amount that was ultimately agreed to in June, but far less than the $58 million that the governor initially sought.

In total, CCOG has covered at least 10,000 students, and this year’s program would reach at least 9,500 students. There are roughly 325,000 community college students across the state, according to the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 7:16 a.m. EST on Feb. 26, 2020 to include additional information about the proposed Garden State Guarantee program.

Daniel J. Munoz
Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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