Rutgers to Provide $2 Million in Assistance for Students in Need
The Board of Trustees directs aid to financially struggling students following task force report
The Rutgers University Board of Trustees will provide $2 million in tuition assistance grants, emergency assistance and financial support to student-based food pantries at university locations in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden through 2022.
The board voted to use its spending allocation from eight separate endowed funds to help students struggling to pay tuition or those facing short-term financial emergencies, as well as provide additional funds to help address food insecurity, all of which can impede academic success.
“In addition to our mission to provide Rutgers students with the highest quality of education possible, we are equally committed to working with the university to find financial solutions that will help our most in-need students complete their studies without constant worry,” said Board of Trustees chair Mary DiMartino.
Over the past two years, the board has made a concerted effort to gain a better understanding of the financial burdens some students experience despite the wide array of scholarships and financial assistance programs that are available.
In March, after a nine-month investigation, the Board of Trustees Task Force on Student Aid delivered its report outlining the financial challenges students face amid the increasing cost of a college education despite the university’s commitment to provide students with the highest quality education while keeping tuition and fees to a minimum.
Still, when taking into account the cost of tuition, room and board, books, and fees, the task force said, there is an increasing population of students for which the current financial aid programs fail to cover the cost of those needs, making it difficult for them to complete their studies at the university.
“Many Rutgers students are children of immigrants, the first in their families to go to college who are working and trying to put themselves through school,” said William Best, former board chair who established and served on the task force. “At Rutgers we want to make certain that we do all we can to alleviate financial stress as much as possible.”
For 2018, the Board of Trustees allocated $386,475 for university assistance grants, student affairs emergency need-based student aid funds and student food pantries. The board today voted to allocate $399,790 in 2019 for this financial assistance and made a commitment to continue funding these student aid initiatives through 2022.
Funded by multiple donors to support the university as directed by the Board of Trustees, the board members agreed the endowed funds will be best utilized by funding programs that support accessibility and provide the most benefit to students.