In November 1967, in the aftermath of the previous summer's riots in Newark, New Jersey's newly-appointed Chancellor of Higher Education, Ralph A. Dungan, directed a memorandum to the presidents of all of the state's institutions of higher education. In it he outlined a proposed program of special assistance to young men and women from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. The presidents' responses were immediate, widespread, and overwhelmingly favorable. Enthusiasm was particularly marked at those institutions that were participating in the federally supported Upward Bound Program, which sought to help high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds prepare for entry into college.
The following February, the Select Commission on Civil Disorders (the Lilly Commission, established in response to the events in Newark) made its report to Governor Richard Hughes, who subsequently submitted his Moral Recommitment message to the New Jersey State Legislature. The message called for the establishment of a broad range of programs to address the basic conditions the Commission had cited as contributing to the summer's unrest. Among those programs was the Educational Opportunity Fund, established by legislation sponsored by then—freshman legislator Thomas Kean.
EOF set the pace for many initiatives which today are widely incorporated into college life. Among the many powerful strategies implemented by EOF are precollege articulation, basic skills testing and remediation, systematic retention efforts, peer counseling and peer tutoring, academic support courses, multicultural curricula and human relations programming, student leadership development, and outcomes-based program evaluation.
EOF has also been a leader and a linchpin in the higher education system's effort to increase diversity. While participation is not limited to minority students, EOF sponsors more than one-third of the African American and Latino students at the state colleges and New Jersey's independent institutions, and over one-quarter of the African American and Latino students enrolled at New Jersey colleges and universities participate in the EOF program. EOF enrolls about 12.5% of the first-time, full-time New Jersey freshmen who enter the state's colleges and universities each fall.
We believe strongly in the value of a college education as a path to economic security, responsible citizenship, and personal fulfillment. Our program supports disadvantaged but highly motivated students to help make college an achievable goal. We believe that going to college is not just about earning a degree, but about evolving into a well-informed and well-rounded individual. We seek students who understand that with education comes great responsibility—responsibility to our communities, our world, and ourselves.
The Educational Opportunity Fund Program (EOF) was created by law in 1968, to ensure meaningful access to higher education for students burdened by economic and educational disadvantages. The program assists low-income New Jersey residents who are capable and motivated, and provides them with financial support, as well as academic, career and personal counseling for as long as they maintain their enrollment status and meet other program eligibility requirements. Each student also works closely with a SAS EOF counselor who is deeply committed to their success.
Am I eligibile for the EOF program?
How to Apply
If you believe you may qualify for EOF support, please submit:
All EOF admitted students will be notified by mail. Students admitted through EOF are required to attend the five-week summer program as a condition for their admission.
Counseling and advising support services which include academic advising, personal counseling and specialized counseling in career and financial aid.
You will receive an EOF grant each semester as part of your financial aid package.
You can apply to receive financial assistance for registration in Rutgers Summer Session courses and for study abroad programs during the summer and the academic year.
The Summer Institute a State funded academic residential program for incoming first year students; and financial assistance for upper-class students focusing on enhancing academic progress, educational skills and academic performance.
EOF special course offerings include: Effective Study Strategies, LSAT and GRE preparation test-taking skills.
Tutoring is also available through Student Support Services (SSS) and the Rutgers Learning Centers (RLC).
Student leadership development opportunities provided through participation in the Educational Opportunity Program Student Council (EOPSC). EOPSC promotes peer mentoring, leadership development, legislative advocacy, community service and educating the college/university community about the SAS-EOF program and its students.
Expectations and Guidelines
What you should expect from EOF?
In keeping with the mission of EOF, the program will provide access to higher education for eligible students, help improve EOF students' academic performance, provide the necessary resources to promote student retention, promote student progress toward graduation, as well as provide effective administrative support. More specifically, the Educational Opportunity Fund will provide the following to eligible EOF students:
Students are encouraged to take full advantage of all the resources available to them and should request additional assistance if ever and whenever needed.
What we expect of you as an EOF student?
As an EOF student, you have an opportunity to obtain a Bachelor's degree with the support of people who have your best interest at heart, and access to support services that are available to help you succeed at Rutgers. You will receive invaluable personalized counseling to assist you in exploring and resolving academic, financial aid, career, and personal issues that arise as you take this journey. However, it is up to YOU to take advantage of these opportunities and make the most of them. You have to take the initiative, put in the hard work, and have the drive and persistence to see things through to completion.
Your responsibilities include: