Nationwide Report Highlights Rutgers-New Brunswick’s Support for Lower-Income Students

A new report by a nationwide alliance of leading colleges and universities highlights Rutgers University­-New Brunswick’s efforts to improve opportunity for low- and moderate-income students.

Rutgers-New Brunswick, one of 108 member institutions that make up the American Talent Initiative, is cultivating new pipelines of New Jersey high school students through its Rutgers Future Scholars program. Rutgers Future Scholars has provided academic preparation courses, cultural events, tutoring, and mentoring for more than 2,000 New Jersey high school students, all of whom receive free- or reduced-price lunch and would be first-generation college students, according to A 2018 Report on the Progress of the American Talent Initiative in its First Two Years, released Monday.

Each year, the Rutgers Future Scholars program accepts 215 new first-generation, low-income, academically promising middle school students from New Brunswick, Piscataway, Newark, Camden and Rahway, N.J. The universitywide program provides services to students at each Rutgers location.

Nearly 100 percent of the students involved in the Future Scholars program graduate high school. Of those, 69 percent attend Rutgers, 16 percent attend other four-year institutions and another 16 percent attend community college, many of whom eventually transfer to Rutgers.

More than 30 percent of Rutgers-New Brunswick students receive Pell grants, one of the highest rates amongst ATI public members.

“Participation in the ATI initiative is a natural fit for Rutgers University-New Brunswick. We have a mission of commitment to access to higher education – from our strong access pipelines, like the Rutgers Future Scholars program, to the good work happening on campus to help our low income, first generation students achieve success,” said Courtney McAnuff, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

“ATI has provided a platform to have these discussions nationally and move toward common goals,’’ McAnuff said. “We are proud to work alongside peer institutions in this effort and look forward to continued collaboration in support of deserving students across the country.”

Members of the American Talent Initiative have increased enrollment of students who receive federal Pell grants by 7,291 since the 2015-16 school year. This momentum, according to the report, indicates that ATI is on track to reach its goal to make our nation’s top colleges more accessible for 50,000 additional low- and moderate-income students by 2025. Rutgers joined ATI in the fall of 2017. The initiative is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and co-managed by The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit service that aims is to broaden access to higher education by reducing costs while also improving student outcomes.

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