We hope you’re one of the 1,000+ delegates we’re expecting at Rider University in June 2023.
American Legion Jersey Boys State is open to any high school junior in New Jersey. Applicants who live in New Jersey and go to school in another state and applicants who live in another state and attend school in New Jersey are encourage to apply. Before this year, only those students who were sponsored by a local American Legion post were encouraged to apply. Now, ALJBS attendance is open to any high school junior, regardless of whether their school is covered by an active Legion post.
This year’s session is June 18-23, 2023, mark your calendars!
Please note: for those applicants that are sponsored by an American Legion post, the process has not changed. You can proceed to the Online Application page right now, or refresh yourself with the process below.
Applicants sponsored by NJ American Legion posts:
“Being sponsored by an American Legion post” means that you will be interviewed by members of the post or their designee. Further, you will be appointed as a “Delegate” (one assigned to attend ALJBS) or an “Alternate” (one who is the backup to the Delegate – not all Posts will assign alternates). The sponsoring American Legion post will provide the cost of funds to cover your fees to attend ALJBS in June at Rider University.
Here are two resources for you – you can click to search for either an American Legion post or NJ High School in your area.
Here is a quick overview of the process – register an account on-line with aljbs.org; log in and choose your high school, post and application type; complete the remainder of your application (school participation, GPA, applicant statement); fill out some survey questions; generate your PDF file; print the PDF and sign it; have your parent/guardian sign the printed application; have your HS Principal verify your status as a HS junior and sign it; deliver the completed form to your sponsoring American Legion post – leaving enough time for the completed application to arrive to American Legion Department of New Jersey Headquarters in Trenton by the deadline of June 1, 2023. Also, for those applicants interested in joining the Jersey Boys State Band, the Band Application is available upon generation of your Applicant PDF within the On-line Application System. Once completed and generated, print the PDF and mail to the ALJBS Dean of Music; have your HS Band Director send in his/her recommendation by the start of the ALJBS session.
When you are ready, click to proceed to the Online Application System to begin your application.
Applicants NOT sponsored by NJ American Legion posts:
If there are no active American Legion posts in your area or no posts cover your high school, you can still apply to ALJBS using our Admissions portal. Go to admissions.aljbs.org and follow the instructions there. You will register through our CampDoc registration system, provide a non-refundable $50 application fee, and submit an essay detailing the reasons why you want to attend ALJBS. A team of ALJBS staff will review your essay and reply to you quickly. If your application is accepted, you’ll be notified and sent a link to complete the rest of your registration process. You’ll have to pay the ALJBS tuition cost of $300 as part of this process, which includes food, housing, and your supplies.
To get started, go to admissions.aljbs.org, which has information and a link to our CampDoc system. The deadline to apply is Sunday, May 15, 2023.
How can I obtain funding if not sponsored by a Post?
As mentioned above, the “traditional” way to obtain funding through the years has been through an American Legion post in NJ. Each post will raise funds through various fundraising efforts (hoagie sales, direct contributions from Legion members, contributions from business, etc.). With the new program beginning in 2017, applicants from areas/high schools where no active posts have sponsored delegates since 2014, the applicants and their families are responsible for the delegate fee of $350 (by way of a non-refundable application fee of $50 plus the balance of $300 if selected by the essay review panel.) We realize this can be a challenging task for many families across all areas of NJ. We certainly feel, as evidenced by the stories of our 60,000+ alumni, that you will receive your “return on investment” should you be offered a place at our tremendous program and experience “A Week That Shapes the Future!” (Consider the cost of other similar week-long overnight programs like ours or even sports or activity camps that can cost double the cost of attending ALJBS, or more.)
With that being said, below are some people, groups and organizations you can approach, and other ideas that we can offer you and your family to help off-set the costs of attending our program. This is not an all-inclusive list, and we will do our best to provide you and your family any documentation to assist in your personal fundraising efforts.
- Your school – some schools have room in their budget for sponsoring students to leadership camps like ALJBS
- Your local American Legion post – even if not able to sponsor your full cost, perhaps they would be able to cover a portion
- Other civic-based organizations in and around your town – Rotary, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, etc. have been retained as co-sponsor for some delegates sponsored by American Legion posts
- Churches, Synagogues, Temple and other places of worship
- Small businesses in your area, such as banks, car dealerships, restaurants, etc.
- Large businesses – where your family members work, large retail store chains, etc.
- Extended family – perhaps an aunt or uncle that attended Boys State or Girls State
- Your local PTA or Teacher’s Association
- Your city/town government – mayor/council – those in government are always excited to hear of a program like ours as a way to engage the youth in civic responsibility.
- Other local state representatives – Senator, Assemblymen, Freeholders
- Other private donors in your area
- Fundraise yourself! Hoagie sale? Lemonade stand? Provide services for your neighbors?
Again, this in no way is an inclusive list, but some tips from other American Legion posts and staff members who have raised funds in the past. In addition to the above, the New Jersey Boys State Foundation may be able to provide a number of need-based scholarships. Bottom line, have a plan in place if you are going to attempt to cover the costs by any of these means. You offer them a “face” and a direct connection to this once in a lifetime experience. The ALJBS website can be a useful selling point and provide the “why” for someone interested in donating. Videos from past sessions on our Facebook page which showcase the experience can be another great resource to share with potential donors. Note that the ALJBS program and the New Jersey Boys State Foundation are both 501(c)(3) non-profit corporations. Last but not least, if you DO receive funds from any of these sources, we always recommend sending a thank you note to them after the ALJBS program as a means of providing their “return on investment.” It also lends itself to more generosity for future delegates of this program and others like it. Good luck!
How we use and protect your information:
The New Jersey Boys State Foundation Technology Committee has partnered with American Legion Jersey Boys State and the American Legion Department of New Jersey since 2004 to provide this website and all associated on-line web systems to assist with the implementation and operation of the ALJBS program. The Technology Committee is comprised of professional technologists with an abundance of experience in web development, database, operating system and especially information security. The Technology Committee, all volunteers, work closely with the President & Director of ALJBS, as well as Trenton HQ and their IT staff to safeguard your information. All information submitted through our On-line Application System is done using standard HTTPS encryption (TLS 1.2).
The email address we ask for (and is your logon to the On-line Appication System) will receive system-generated messages as you complete your application. From the time until you apply until the date of the program, you will continue to receive important messages about the preparation for the week-long program. After that time, you may opt out of communications from ALJBS and the New Jersey Boys State program if you wish, or your email address on file will be used to send messages including but not limited to Alumni events and offerings in future years.