Reduced and Possible Free Tuition Programs for NJ Families at Rutgers-Camden

Last Edited: Aug 04, 2018 3:00 PM

Governor Phil Murphy introduced the Community College Innovation Challenge Tuesday, July 31st, to widen access to higher education by offering free tuition to county college for some New Jersey families.

At Rutgers University-Camden, an innovative program is helping more New Jersey families access a Rutgers degree by reducing tuition, and in some cases, eliminating it altogether.

Bridging the Gap helps to reverse New Jersey’s “brain drain” of college students by reducing tuition based on a family’s adjusted gross income (AGI).  After applying for New Jersey Tuition Assistance Grants (TAG) and federal Pell grants, Rutgers University–Camden reduces tuition as follows:

  • For families with an AGI of $60,000 or less, remaining tuition is covered completely
  • For families with an AGI of $60,001 to $80,000, 75% of remaining tuition is covered
  • For families with an AGI of $80,001 to $100,000, 50% of remaining tuition is covered

Rutgers University–Camden has welcomed two classes of Bridging the Gap students in the fall of 2016 and 2017.  Since then, among incoming first-year undergraduate students, Rutgers–Camden has seen an increase in the number of New Jersey residents choosing to stay in state, including:

  • African-American students (up 114%)
  • Hispanic students (up 70%)
  • First-generation students (up 80%)

Bridging the Gap also is about helping Rutgers–Camden students graduate with little to no student debt and to get into New Jersey’s workforce as quickly as possible.  Bridging the Gap students are expected to take full course loads and to graduate within four years.

Only incoming first-year undergraduate students from New Jersey are eligible for this program, with the exception of students at Camden County College, where the Bridging the Gap program is offered to graduating students who enroll at Rutgers–Camden to complete their bachelor’s degree.  Through this partnership between Camden County College and Rutgers University–Camden, students are positioned to earn their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees for $20,000 or less.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is conducting a survey about the new program. To complete the study, visit

For information about the Bridging the Gap program, visit


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