With our dedication and commitment to providing access to higher education for all, Rutgers is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF).  EOF provides financial assistance and support services, such as counseling and tutoring, to New Jersey students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who attend college in the State of New Jersey.  In 1968, the Fund was created to help those with a history of poverty throughout the state and earning a college degree has gone from dream to reality for 20,000 EOF graduates here at Rutgers since its inception.  And we look forward to another 50 years of growth and progress.

Am I Eligible?

Eligibility Requirements for First-Year Students

To be considered for EOF grants, you must meet academic criteria set by the Rutgers school you selected for undergraduate admission consideration and your and your family’s income and assets must fall within the financial criteria shown on the scale below.

EOF Income Eligibility Scale with Asset Cap Calculation 2019-2020

Household Size (including student) Family Gross Income Does Not Exceed Asset Cap Calculation (Based on Household Size) Not to Exceed
1 $24,280 $4,856
2 $32,920 $6,584
3 $41,560 $8,312
4 $50,200 $10,040
5 $58,840 $11,768
6 $67,480 $13,496
7 $76,120 $15,224
8 $84,760 $16,952
For each additional household member add $8,640 $1,728

Please Note: Families who demonstrate long-term economic hardship, such as the accumulation of assets that do not exceed 20 percent of the EOF Income Eligibility Scale per household size, qualify for financial assistance through the EOF program.

Additional Requirements for Preliminary Eligibility: If your and your family's income fall within the EOF Income Eligibility Scale above, you must also meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrating an educationally and economically disadvantaged background.
  • Being a New Jersey resident for at least 12 consecutive months prior to fall semester enrollment.
  • Graduating from high school with a diploma or receiving the equivalent of a high school diploma by the time you register at Rutgers.


Eligibility Requirements for Transfer Students

Transfer applicants should not complete the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) application. If you are a transfer student who has previously participated in the New Jersey EOF program at another NJ college, please complete the following steps:

  • File your completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application (NJAFAA)
  • Submit your 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 certifying prior participation in their EOF program. This statement should be on your former NJ college's letterhead and mailed to the Office of University Undergraduate Admissions
  • Contact the EOF Director at the Rutgers undergraduate school you plan to attend

How Does It Work?

The New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund was created to ensure meaningful access to higher education for those who come from backgrounds of economic and educational disadvantage.  The Fund's mission is to not only support educational initiatives, but to also provide support services and leadership development activities that will improve student success.

Grants: Eligible students will receive an EOF grant from the State of New Jersey as a part of their financial aid package each semester.  Qualified students are also eligible to receive grant assistance from the federal government and Rutgers.  Financial assistance will vary depending upon your need and eligibility as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application (NJAFAA) and the availability of funds.

Your Contributions: You and your family are asked to contribute toward the educational expenses as determined by a federally mandated formula and/or state needs analysis, which uses information you provide on the FAFSA or NJAFAA to calculate the amount of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and/or New Jersey Eligibility Index (NJEI).

For complete details, visit the Rutgers Office of Financial Aid.

How To Apply

The EOF program is for students whose families have a documented history of educational and economic disadvantage. EOF awards are based on historical family information. Therefore, parental information is required.  This confidential form allows Rutgers to make a preliminary determination of your eligibility for participation in 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.  View complete steps to apply at the link below.

EOF Summer Institute

If you are admitted to one of Rutgers' undergraduate schools as a first-year EOF scholar, you must attend and successfully complete a free, all educational expenses paid, five- to six-week Summer Institute.  Held at the end of June, the program is designed to help you transition to college and sharpen your English, math, and/or science skills.

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, enhance your skills, and define career fields that interest you. This is in addition to all of the university's other resources, which will help you succeed at Rutgers.