As COVID-19 cut a swath through New Jersey, many families with children in college wondered if they could afford tuition on top of the other financial challenges they were experiencing.
But Scarlet Promise Grants, a universitywide financial aid and emergency support program for Rutgers undergraduates, is providing relief to thousands of students each year, making up the difference between federal and state sources of aid and what families can afford. The grants, ranging from $500 to $5,000, were given to more than 10,000 students in 2019.
On July 1—his first official day in office—Rutgers president Jonathan Holloway announced a campaign to raise $10 million for the grants. He added that he was making his own gift of $75,000 to the program, calling it “the best vehicle we have to address the financial needs of our most economically at-risk students.” Susan Badia, pictured, a junior at Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick, received a grant that enabled her to stay in school despite financial challenges at home. “I didn’t have to tell the financial aid counselor, ‘My mom is the only provider in the house,’” Badia says. “They knew the situation and she was able to assist me in getting the grant. I just felt cared for.”
Since Holloway launched the fundraising campaign, several alumni donors have kick-started it with gifts totaling $3 million. But Holloway stressed that all gifts, no matter the size, are “a declaration of faith in the transformative power of a Rutgers education. It is my hope that the global network of Rutgers friends and families will come together in this campaign in the spirit of being scarlet forever.”
For more information, visit support.rutgers.edu/scarletpromise.