TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Christie signed on Monday legislation protecting college students from losing state tuition assistance because their family took an early withdrawal from a retirement account. Sponsored by Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Kevin J. Rooney, the bill (A4763/S2326) exempts an early retirement withdrawal from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority’s (HESAA) calculation to determine eligibility for TAG grants.
“Assistance should not be jeopardized because of the need to tap into a retirement account,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “When the high cost of college is piled on the backs of families already struggling, their only option may be using some money from a retirement account.”
An early withdrawal from a retirement fund does not automatically exclude a family from the State Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG). All of a family’s income sources are weighted the same in HESAA’s formula.
“TAG grants are need-based, and it is important that the money is used for those who fit eligibility,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “This bill protects the integrity of the program without penalizing families that had no choice but to use their retirement to pay for college-related expenses.”