SENATE, No. 989

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 4, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  SANDRA B. CUNNINGHAM

District 31 (Hudson)

Senator  STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes “Einstein Scholars Program.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act establishing the Einstein Scholars Program and supplementing chapter 71B of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    There is hereby established the “Einstein Scholars Program.”  Under the program, a scholarship shall annually be awarded to 25 students who graduate in the top 5.0% of the student’s high school class and have been accepted for enrollment in a New Jersey four-year public institution of higher education.  It shall be the duty of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to administer the program, establish criteria, methodology, and guidelines for selecting the Einstein Scholars, adopt rules and regulations, and prescribe and provide appropriate forms of application for a scholarship.

 

     2.  a.  A scholarship under the Einstein Scholars Program shall cover the full cost of tuition and fees, subject to the prior application of other grants and scholarships against those costs, for an eligible student enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program of study at a New Jersey four-year public institution of higher education. 

     b.    Each scholarship awarded shall be renewable annually for up to four years except that, in the case of a scholarship recipient who is enrolled in an undergraduate program of study required by the institution to cover five years, the period of the scholarship shall be the length of time regularly required for the completion of the undergraduate program of study.  Each scholarship shall remain in effect only during such period as the Einstein Scholar achieves satisfactory academic progress as defined by the institution, continues to meet the eligibility criteria established by the authority, and is regularly enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at the institution.

     c.     A student shall be eligible to apply for a scholarship under the Einstein Scholars Program if the student:

     (1)   graduates high school in the top 5.0% of the student’s high school class, provided that in the case of students graduating from high schools that do not calculate the class rank of their students, the student’s ranking at the completion of the 12th grade shall be determined by the high school in consultation with the authority; and

     (2)   applies for the scholarship in accordance with the guidelines established by the authority. 

 

     3.    In September of each school year, the board of education of a school district or the chief school administrator of a nonpublic school shall notify each student in the 12th grade who is ranked in the top 10.0% of the class of the potential to qualify for the Einstein Scholars Program if the student’s class rank at the completion of the 12th grade is within the top 5.0% of the class. The notification shall be communicated via regular or electronic mail or sent home with the student and include a brief description of the Einstein Scholars Program and the requirements for eligibility for the program.

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall first be applicable to the 2017-2018 academic year.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes the “Einstein Scholars Program.”  Under the program, a scholarship will annually be awarded to 25 students who graduate in the top 5.0% of the student’s high school class and have been accepted for enrollment in a New Jersey four-year public institution of higher education. 

     A scholarship under the Einstein Scholars Program will cover the full cost of tuition and fees, subject to the prior application of other grants and scholarships against those costs, for an eligible student enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program of study at a New Jersey four-year public institution of higher education.

      Under the bill, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority will administer the program, establish criteria, methodology, and guidelines for selecting the Einstein Scholars, adopt rules and regulations, and prescribe and provide appropriate forms of application for a scholarship. 

     The bill also provides that, in September of each school year, the board of education of a school district or the chief school administrator of a nonpublic school will notify each student in the 12th grade who is ranked in the top 10.0% of the class of the potential to qualify for the Einstein Scholars Program if the student’s class rank at the completion of the 12th grade is within the top 5.0% of the class.