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The New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund contributes to the development of a college-educated public that reflects the diversity of New Jersey. In partnership with New Jersey colleges and universities, the Fund provides access to higher education and support for highly motivated students who exhibit the potential for success, but who come from families/communities disadvantaged by low income and the lack of access to the quality educational preparation necessary to attend college. EOF supports innovative educational initiatives, supplemental instruction, support services, and leadership development activities to improve the student's chance of academic success. In concert with other sources of student financial assistance, the Fund also attempts to make college affordable for those students who find the costs of higher education an impediment to access and student persistence. (New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 9A: Higher Education, Chapter 11)
The New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund was created by law in 1968 to ensure meaningful access to higher education for those who come from backgrounds of economic and educational disadvantage. The Fund assists low-income New Jersey residents who are capable and motivated but lack adequate preparation for college study. The Fund is distinctive in the comprehensiveness of its approach. To ensure the opportunity to attend college, the Fund provides supplemental financial aid to help cover college costs (such as books, fees, room and board) that are not covered by the state's Tuition Aid Grant program. To ensure a viable opportunity to succeed and graduate, the Fund supports a wide array of campus-based outreach and support services at 28 public and 13 independent institutions.
The Fund is governed by a Board of Directors, which is appointed by the Governor. The Board sets policy, approves all necessary regulations for program operation and student eligibility, develops the annual budget request for the statewide program, and supports EOF programs at public and independent colleges and universities.