The College is home to one of the best Educational Opportunity Fund programs in New Jersey, according to the College’s Director of the Educational Opportunity Fund Tiffani Warren, and as a result was honored with a $3,000 grant from Investors Bank on Wednesday, Aug. 27.
For 46 years, the EOF program has ensured the academic and personal achievements for students through helpful outlets such as tutoring, financial aid management, student-faculty guidance and more.
The Investors Bank, based in New Jersey, New York City and Long Island, supports unique educational, non-profit organizations that create stimulating and diverse communities.
“The support of Investors Bank allows us to fulfill our mission of providing students the tools to achieve academic and professional success, while ensuring that they have the financial resources necessary to complete their undergraduate educations,” Warren said. “The students are worth the investment, and we are so grateful to have such a strong partnership with Investors Bank.”
The EOF program has created a strong bond between the faculty and its students.
“Simply described, the EOF program is a big family — almost its own community,” said sophomore biology major and EOF student Maria Badilla. “EOF helps its students not only financially, but by providing the support specific to each student that will help us succeed in our personal, academic and professional lives.”
The grant money will be used toward enhancing the benefits the EOF program offers.
“The grant money helps fund programs that assist students with closing the full cost of attendance gap, adjusting to college life and addressing academic preparedness through guided advisement, financial support and innovative academic support services,” Warren said.
Working alongside the College’s Office of Development/Division of College Advancement, the EOF program continually searches for grant and donation opportunities through the EOF Promise Award Program. The success of accepted gifts and donations to the program are due to the efforts of two key players: Charles Wright, Associate Vice President for Development, and Angela Winterrowd, Major Gifts Officer, according to Warren.
“I think the most beneficial part (of EOF) is definitely all the resources the program provides,” said an EOF student who chose to remain anonymous. “The advisors always have their doors open, and I know I can turn to them if I ever need any advice, help with my schedule or if I just need to talk.”
The New Jersey EOF program was founded in 1968 with the objective to allow ambitious and determined, but financially struggling, students to reach higher education.
“The Promise Award ensures improved retention and graduation rates of EOF students,” Warren said.
The Promise Award, a critical part of EOF’s success, was established in 2004. It is calculated to meet the full cost of attending college by providing extra economic services to students and parents.
“Through the EOF program, I have been given the opportunity to attend such a prestigious institution without worrying about the burden that loans and debt can cause one to feel,” the student said. “Also, through the five-week summer program, not only did I make some of my best friends, but I am now ahead in my classes.”
The EOF program is currently running on a new “On Track” model. This new model supports students’ “academic, financial, personal/social and professional success,” according to Warren. The College’s EOF program guides over 370 students annually and has a growing number of students attending graduate school, according to Warren.
“The EOF program is one of the best programs I’ve been a part of on campus,” the student said. “Not only do they ensure student success through tutoring, advisors and student mentors, but this program is also a great network of people from all different backgrounds who bond through the summer program and create everlasting friendships.”