College tuition is higher than ever, and if you're worrying about being able to afford it, the Oceanfirst Foundation is again giving high school seniors a head-start.

The Foundation is hosting its fifth annual scholarship ceremony on Wednesday at the Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale. One-hundred-forty graduating high schoolers will receive $200,000 towards college education.

Future freshmen of Brookdale or Ocean County College will receive $1,000 and those attending Georgian Court or Monmouth University will be given $2,500 towards their college education.

"We recognize that for many families it's a struggle to get their son or daughter to college and to afford the tuition and all the things that go along with going to college," said Foundation Executive Director Kathy Durante. "This is a small way that we can help families get their son or daughter off to college."

Scholarship recipients are graduates of schools in the Oceanfirst Bank service areas of Ocean and Monmouth, with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher. They must be entering as full-time freshmen in the fall semester.

After meeting the criteria, each of the four colleges uses the foundation's donation of $50,000 to decide which aspiring students receive the scholarships.

This gives "students that first step toward higher education and then moving into a career path that will help them to fulfill their goals," said Durante.

Since the start of the program, the Oceanfirst Foundation has awarded $1 million to local students.