Tuition-Free Opportunities: Pledge 4 Success/Garden State Guarantee


William Paterson University is now tuition free for more New Jersey students!

A William Paterson bachelor’s degree is now even more accessible and affordable than ever for New Jersey students with significant financial need. The University’s existing Pledge 4 Success program, augmented by the state’s new Garden State Guarantee, launched fall 2022, now creates a four-year funding path that enables qualifying students to attend William Paterson University tuition free or at a greatly reduced cost.

  • For New Jersey students with a family adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less, these programs will cover the cost of tuition and fees that are not already paid by federal and state financial aid or other scholarships.
  • New Jersey students whose families have an annual AGI between $65,001 and $80,000 will pay a discounted net price of no more than $7,500 for tuition and fees per year (for up to four years).  

Students will be automatically considered (and subsequently enrolled if eligible) in these programs when they’ve completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application (NJAFAA) before the deadline.

For more details, see below or contact our Financial Aid office at 973.720.3945.


Students who meet the following criteria are eligible for Pledge 4 Success/Garden State Guarantee: 

  • New Jersey residents, including NJ Dream Act students.
  • Adjusted Gross Income of $0 to $65,000 for free tuition, or $65,001-$80,000 for assistance lowering the cost for tuition to no more than $7,500 annually.
  • The Adjusted Gross Income figure is based on parent/guardian AGI for dependent students or student/spouse income for independent students. Income eligibility is based on income reported on the FAFSA for the academic year in question.
  • Students must be enrolled full time (at least 12 credits per semester) and working toward their first bachelor’s degree.
  • Continuing students and incoming transfer students are eligible.
  • Student must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Student must have earned no more than 128 credits. Credits include those a student has earned from a different institution and/or while in high school through dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) test credits.

*Please note that housing, books, and other expenses are not covered by Pledge 4 Success or Garden State Guarantee.

How to Apply 

You will be automatically considered for Pledge 4 Success/Garden State Guarantee when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be sure to use William Paterson University’s school code: 002625

If you qualify as an NJ Dreamer, fill out the NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application. 

If you are currently receiving NJ state financial aid, the deadline to apply for academic year 2024-2025 is  May 15, 2024.

Students who are not currently receiving New Jersey state aid must apply by September 15, 2024.

Click to learn more about Garden State Guarantee.

Questions and Answers

  1. How do I determine my AGI?
    For dependent students, only parent(s’)/guardian(s’) AGIs are considered, not the student’s income. For independent students, the AGI of the student and spouse, if applicable, is considered. 
  2. For how long am I eligible for Pledge 4 Success/Garden State Guarantee?
    Students who satisfy all eligibility criteria may receive Pledge 4 Success/Garden State Guarantee for their four-year bachelor’s degree up to 128 credits. On average, awards for first-time, first-year students will be available for up to 8 (eight) consecutive semesters. Garden State Guarantee support is available for up to four (4) semesters during junior year (60-89 total accumulated credits) and senior year (90-128 total accumulated credits)
  3. Will Garden State Guarantee help me if I was never eligible for state aid before?
    Yes. The goal of GSG is to expand equitable and affordable college access to a high-quality degree in New Jersey. If you are not currently receiving state financial aid, apply before September 15, 2024. 
    Note: If you currently receive financial aid, you must reapply and complete the FAFSA or NJ Alternative Financial Aid Application by May 15, 2024. 
  4. Am I required to meet the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy?
    Yes, students must meet William Paterson University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy to be eligible for these programs.