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New legislation in New Jersey lets incarcerated people use state aid to pay for college.

Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, last week signed a law that will let incarcerated people use grant and scholarship money if they were New Jersey residents for at least a year prior to incarceration, according to

Those who take advantage of the new law, which was passed largely along party lines by Democrats, will have to go through the same process as anyone else who applies for state aid.

About 550 incarcerated people in New Jersey take college courses, and 300 more could be eligible under the new law, according to They will need to get approval from the state Department of Corrections to enroll in a college. The options include the College of New Jersey, Princeton University, Rutgers University and Raritan Valley Community College.