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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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,
- File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and
- Meet all "Requirements for Preliminary Eligibility" as listed below including New Jersey residency and citizenship status.
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.
EOF 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 of their choice.
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 your and your family's income falls within the criteria as show on the EOF Income Eligibility Scale above and you wish to be considered for participation in the Rutgers EOF program, you must also meet the following "Requirements for Preliminary Eligibility":
- You must demonstrate an educationally and economically disadvantaged background.
- You must be a New Jersey resident for at least 12 consecutive months prior to fall semester enrollment.
- 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 have received a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma by the time you register at Rutgers.
- You must be a first-generation college student. Your parent(s) are not four-year college graduates.
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The New Jersey EOF program 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 confirmation of eligibility for participation in the Rutgers EOF program and an official offer of financial assistance from Rutgers that includes the EOF grant, TAG, and other need-based aid programs:
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- You must submit your 2016-2017 Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor as soon as possible after January 1, 2016, to meet the Rutgers priority application date of March 15, 2016. To
submit your FAFSA online at fafsa.ed.gov, you and your parent must each create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), which is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents at fsaid.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.
- You and your parents must file your 2015 federal IRS tax returnas soon as possible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to update your FAFSA with IRS tax return information. If you have already submitted a FAFSA and would like to use the IRS DRT, you must Login as a Returning User at fafsa.ed.gov. The IRS DRT 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 Scholars 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 DRT and the IRS federal tax return transcript.
- 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.
- 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 High Education Student Assistance Authority (HESSA), you must also submit all requested documents directly to HESSA to ensure eligibility for both TAG (Tuition Aid Grant) and EOF grants. For additional information about state aid eligibility, you may contact HESSA at 1-800-792-8670 or visit www.hessa.org.
If you are admitted to one of Rutgers’ undergraduate schools as an EOF Scholar, you must attend and successfully complete a free five- to six-week Summer Institute 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. Back to Top 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. Back to Top
Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program Application
The EOF Application is included here as a supplement to the online Undergraduate Admissions Application.
The EOF program is for students whose families have a documented history of academic and financial disadvantage. EOF awards are based on historical family information. Therefore, parental information is required on this form. This confidential form allows Rutgers to make a preliminary determination of your eligibility for participation in the the Educational Opportunity Fund program. Willful omission of information or misrepresentation in any part of this application will be grounds for removal from the EOF program and denial or revocation of admission and cancellation of enrollment.
Transfer applicants should not complete this form
. If you are a transfer student who has previously participated in the New Jersey EOF
program at another New Jersey college, please do not complete the EOF
Application. Transfer students should submit the FAFSA to the federal processor and their family's IRS federal tax return and/or nontaxable income statements to the Rutgers Office of Financial Aid; submit an EOF
Transfer Form from your previous NJ college where you were a recipient of the EOF grant or provide a
statement from your previous EOF Counselor/Director on your former NJ college’s letterhead certifying prior
participation in their EOF program to the Rutgers Office of University Undergraduate Admissions; and contact the EOF Director at the Rutgers undergraduate school where you plan to attend.
The Rutgers EOF Application is designed for first-year applicants only
. The information on the EOF Application is used to make a preliminary determination of your eligibility for the New Jersey EOF program. Please do not leave any items blank on this application. If you and/or your parent(s) reported taxable income on a federal tax return in 2014
, you will need to refer to copies of this tax return in order to complete this application. If you and/or your parent(s) received nontaxable income during 2014
, you will need to refer to copies of those benefits statements to complete this application. Rutgers reserves the right to request copies of these documents with all schedules and worksheets at any time during the preliminary eligibility process. Mail the completed EOF Application and requested documents to: Office of University Undergraduate Admissions Operations Center, 65 Davidson Road, Room 202, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8097.
All students in consideration for the EOF grant must eventually submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which provides more detailed financial information and submit their family’s 2015 IRS federal tax return transcript and/or nontaxable income statements to the Rutgers Office of Financial Aid for the FAFSA verification process. The applicant’s full name and Rutgers University Identification (RUID) number must be written on the income tax documents and nontaxable income statements. Final acceptance into the New Jersey EOF program will be contingent upon the results of the required FAFSA. Students may be disqualified based upon the results of the FAFSA verification process and may be removed from the EOF program and denied admission and/or have their enrollment cancelled.
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