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New Jersey has a new graduation requirement for students in public high schools and charter schools: filling out a financial aid application, or requesting to be exempted. Gov. Phil Murphy recently signed a law that makes the state the latest in the U.S. with such a prerequisite, at least for the next three years.
Beginning with this year’s 11th-grade class and extending to the next two school years after that, students or their guardians must complete and submit either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application to get a diploma—unless they are granted an exemption after submitting a waiver or speaking to a guidance counselor.
That information will then be used to alert students if there is any government-funded financial aid they are eligible for if they go to college or another post-high school institution.