Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Newark City of Learning Collaborative Skip to main content

Q: What types of financial aid are available for Newark high school seniors to attend college?

A: There are four main types of financial aid for college students: grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study funds. Grants are financial aid that does not have to be repaid and are offered by the federal and state government, as well as colleges, based on merit or need. Scholarships also do not require repayment and are offered by colleges and private organizations based on academic performance, athletic ability, religious affiliation, race, and other criteria. Loans are money that you borrow to attend college and are offered by the government and private organizations. Loans are repaid with interest. A work-study program provides students with federally funded jobs on campus or at other approved locations.


Q: How do Newark high school seniors apply for financial aid?

A: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in the financial aid process. Complete the form online. You use it to apply for Federal student financial aid, such as grants, loans, and work-study. If students plan to attend college in New Jersey, they should also complete an application through the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to be eligible for state-based aid.


Q: How do Newark high school seniors complete the FAFSA application for federal aid?

A: Students can fill out the online FAFSA application at beginning October 1, 2019, using their computer or mobile phone. The paper version, known as the PDF FAFSA, can be printed and filled out manually or filled in on the screen prior to printing and mailing. The Newark FAFSA Challenge will be facilitating FAFSA completion events to aid students with the application throughout the city between October 2019 and June 2020.


Q: How do Newark high school seniors complete the HESAA application for state aid?

A: When you complete the FAFSA, HESAA will send an email containing your NJ State/HESAA ID to the email address listed on the FAFSA. You will be instructed to create a New Jersey Financial Aid Management System (NJFAMS) User ID and password to log into your NJFAMS Student Portal. You can find your “To Do List” and “Award and Eligibility” information as well as other functions to assist you with your state aid process.


Q: What financial aid is available for Newark high school seniors without United States (US) citizenship status?

A: Students without established US citizenship or eligible non-citizenship status (as defined on are not allowed to receive any federal student aid.  However, due to legislation passed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy in 2018, these students are eligible for state-based financial aid if they meet the following requirements:

  • Attended a New Jersey high school for at least three (3) years
  • Graduated from a New Jersey high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in New Jersey
  • Registered with Selective Service (male students only)
  • Are able to file an affidavit stating that you have filed an application to legalize your immigration status or will file an application as soon as you are eligible to do so


Q: How do Newark high school seniors apply for state financial aid as a non-citizen?

A: The New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application is used by non-citizen students who meet all the eligibility requirements. HESAA processes the application, and any aid received can only be used at eligible New Jersey institutions. The application deadline is September 15, 2020 for enrollment in fall semester of Academic Year 2020-2021 for both the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application and the FAFSA.


Q: What if Newark high school seniors do not meet the requirements for state financial aid as a non-citizen?

A: Consideration of appeals of ineligibility for all HESAA applicants must be submitted in writing or e-mail within 60 days of your first notification, addressed to the Director of Grants and Scholarships at PO BOX 540, Trenton NJ, 08625-0540, or you can upload your appeal electronically through HESAA’s electronic document collection process. Please be sure to include the student’s NJHESAA ID number and student’s full name.


Q: Where can I find more information about financial aid opportunities as a Newark high school senior?

A: For more information about the types of financial aid available for students, please visit the following websites:


Q: Where can I find out more information about the Newark FAFSA Challenge?

A: Individuals seeking information about the Newark FAFSA Challenge can inquire through the following channels:


Newark FAFSA Challenge Phone Inquiries: (973) 353-5621

Newark FAFSA Challenge E-Mail Inquiries:


Additionally, as of the week of November 4, 2019, the Newark FAFSA Challenge will be launching its designated “hub” sites for FAFSA assistance across the city.  These sites will offer the following resources:

  • FAFSA completion events
  • FAFSA awareness workshops (NPL-NCLC existing partnership)
  • Informational kiosk with free printed materials on various types of financial aid, including financing options for undocumented students


These hub sites can be currently found citywide at the following locations:


South Ward:  Leaders For Life – 84 Clinton Place

South Ward: YMS College Success Center (at Malcolm X. Shabazz High School) – 80 Johnson Avenue

West Ward: Donald M. Payne Sr. School of Technology – 498-544 W. Market Street

East Ward: Van Buren Library Branch – 238 Van Buren Street

East Ward: East Side High School – 140 Van Buren Street

North Ward: Barringer High School – 90 Parker Street

North Ward: Bethlehem Baptist Church – 587 4th Street

Central Ward: KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy – 129 Littleton Avenue

Central Ward: Springfield Branch Library – 50 Hayes Street


Please see the website for additional hubs to be added in coming weeks!