NJ EOF Program
Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF)

Mission of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF)

The New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program contributes to the development of a college-educated public that reflects the diversity of New Jersey, by working in partnership with Rutgers and the K-12 educational system to provide access to higher education for students from families/communities disadvantaged by low income and the lack of access to the quality educational preparation necessary to attend college. The Fund will partner with established pre-college efforts and seek to initiate additional opportunities to identify and prepare students for college at the pre-collegiate level. At the postsecondary level, the access and opportunity provided by the Fund is not limited to simply meeting freshman (or transfer) student enrollment goals but to also focus on student success. In this vein, EOF provides support for educational initiatives, support services, and leadership development activities that assist students to improve their chances of success in specific majors and career fields and prepares them for the changing world of work and to assume leadership in their communities and the state.

Recruitment, Improving Student Success, Developing Partnerships with Pre-College and the K-12 Community, Connecting Education with the World of Work, Initiating a Research Agenda, and Enhancing the Program’s Image are linked Goals related to the EOF Mission and are critical elements established as part of the Rutgers EOF program that will increase students’ opportunities for success.

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Eligibility Requirements

The New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program provides financial assistance and support services (e.g. counseling, tutoring, and developmental course work) to students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who attend institutions of higher education in the State of New Jersey.

To participate in the Rutgers EOF program, students must be New Jersey residents and:

  • Apply for undergraduate admission to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and
  • File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Because EOF is a campus-based program throughout the State of New Jersey, each individual school is responsible for student recruitment, selection, program services, and its own criteria for EOF admission and program participation.

Grants are generally available to students from families with a background of poverty, whose annual income falls within the EOF Income Eligibility Scale as established by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education/EOF Board of Directors. Students must also meet academic criteria set by the Rutgers undergraduate school to which they have applied.

Families who have accumulated assets or have ownership of corporations do not qualify for financial assistance through the EOF program. To be considered, you and your family must have a documented history academic and financial disadvantage and meet the income guidelines listed below.

EOF Income Eligibility Scale 2016-2017
Household Size (including student) Family Gross Income Does Not Exceed
1 $23,540
2 $31,860
3 $40,180
4 $48,500
5 $56,820
6 $65,140
7 $73,460
8 $81,780
** For each additional member of the household, add $8,320.

If you meet the EOF Income Eligibility guidelines above, you also must meet the following requirements to be considered for the EOF program:
  1. You must be U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen with a valid Permanent Resident Card (I-551 or I-551C), I-94 (with refugee status or asylum granted), T-visa (T-1, T-2, T-3, etc.), or other qualified status under Title IV federal aid regulations detailed at studentaid.rutgers.edu, indicating that you have been a permanent resident for at least one year prior to fall semester enrollment. You must also be a New Jersey resident for at least one year prior to fall semester enrollment.
  2. You must be a first-generation college student (i.e. your parents are not four-year college graduates).
  3. You must have received a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma by the time you register at Rutgers.
  4. You must complete the 2016-2017 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority filing date of March 15, 2016. To submit your FAFSA online at fafsa.ed.gov, you and your parent must each obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at pin.ed.gov. Ensure that Rutgers receives your FAFSA from the federal processor by including the Rutgers federal school code 002629 in Step 5 (online) or Step 6 (PDF). The PDF FAFSA is available for you to print and fill out manually or is screen-fillable if you select “FAFSA Filing Options" at fafsa.ed.gov.
  5. You and your parents must file your 2015 federal IRS tax return as soon as possible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The IRS Data Retrieval tool is an easy and secure way to access and transfer tax return information directly onto the FAFSA form, saving time and improving accuracy.  Although the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is an option when completing the FAFSA, you and your parents may be unable or choose not to use it. EOF students must still submit a copy of the 2015 IRS federal tax return transcript to Rutgers. Visit the Rutgers Office of Financial Aid online at studentaid.rutgers.edu for information about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and the IRS federal tax return transcript.
  6. You must submit all requested documents to the Rutgers Office of Financial Aid prior to the start of the EOF Summer Institute to complete the FAFSA verification process. In addition, if you are selected for State Verification by the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), you must also submit all requested documents directly to HESAA to ensure eligibility for both TAG (Tuition Aid Grant) and EOF grants. For additional information about state aid eligibility, you may contact HESAA at 1-800-792-8670 or visit ww.hesaa.org.

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EOF Summer Institute

If you are admitted to one of Rutgers’ undergraduate schools as an EOF student, you must attend and successfully complete a free five- to six-week summer program that is designed to ease your transition from high school to college and sharpen your English, math, and/or science skills. You’ll meet new friends, and your EOF Summer Institute tuition and other educational expenses will be paid for. Your successful completion of the EOF Summer Institute, which begins toward the end of June 2016, is a requirement for fall semester enrollment at Rutgers.

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Advising and Counseling
Before the fall semester begins, your EOF advisers will help you plan an academic program to meet your interests and needs. Your undergraduate school will provide you with tutorial services and a special staff of academic, career and peer counselors. With this support, you’ll be able to identify your academic strengths, overcome any limitations and  define career fields that interest you. In addition, all of the university's other resources are available to help you succeed at Rutgers.

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Financial Assistance
The New Jersey EOF is for students whose families have a documented history of financial disadvantage. Families who have accumulated assets or have ownership of corporations do not qualify for assistance through the EOF program. Although the EOF program can provide financial help, you and your family are asked to contribute toward the educational expenses as determined by a federally mandated formula, which uses information you provide on the FAFSA to calculate the amount of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). EOF students receive both TAG and EOF grants from the State of New Jersey. 
In addition, qualified students are eligible to receive grant assistance from the federal government and Rutgers. Financial assistance will vary depending upon your need as determined by the FAFSA and the availability of funds.

To receive an official offer of financial assistance from Rutgers that includes the EOF grant, TAG, and other need-based aid programs, you should submit your FAFSA to the federal processor as soon 
as possible after January 1, 2016 to meet the Rutgers priority filing date March 15, 2016. Visit the Rutgers Office of Financial Aid online for more information. .

If you are a transfer student who has previously participated in the EOF program at another New Jersey college, please do not complete the EOF Application. Transfer students should submit the FAFSA; complete an EOF Transfer Form available from your former NJ college or provide a statement on your former college’s letterhead certifying prior participation in their EOF program; and contact the EOF Director at the Rutgers University school where you plan to enroll.

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Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program Application

The EOF Application is included here as a supplement to the online Undergraduate Admissions Application. The information applicants provide on the EOF application is used to make a preliminary determination of your eligibility for the New Jersey EOF Program. Final acceptance into the New Jersey EOF program is contingent upon the results of the required Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

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