Mission & Goals



The New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) was created by law in 1968 to ensure meaningful access to higher education for those who come from backgrounds of economic and educational disadvantage. EOF assists low-income New Jersey residents who are highly motivated and capable, but lack adequate preparation and/or the financial means for college. EOF contributes to the development of a college-educated public that reflects the diversity of New Jersey.

Programs, services, & activities for EOF students include:

  • academic advising;
  • addressing student's developmental needs;
  • assisting individuals in acquiring the necessary skills, knowledge, and attributes to enter and complete a postsecondary education;
  • providing an environment that recognizes the diversity of backgrounds and learning styles of the individuals served;
  • referral to academic support services;
  • leadership development opportunities;
  • assessment of academic needs, skills & individual plans to provide appropriate interventions;
  • monitoring of academic progress;
  • opportunities for national & international study exchange;
  • developing collaborative relationships with institutions, organizations, schools, parents and families, and communities to promote an environment conducive to the completion of a postsecondary degree.


  • Assist the Office of Enrollment Management in recruiting a quality, ethically diverse freshman class with a strong ability to benefit from our summer program.
  • Increase and maintain academic outcomes in the areas of retention rates, graduation rates and graduate school admission.
  • Foster participation of EOF students in the programs that emphasize prospective employment opportunities and career maturation.
  • Develop meaningful collaborations with academic affairs components, programs and initiatives.
  • Create a sense of responsibility and committment to learning.
  • Provide students with mentorship opportunities, academic, career and financial counseling to prepare them for graduation.
  • Expose students through civic engagement opportunities and leadership development skills in order to actively participate in a diverse and global environment.

Program History

In the aftermath of the summer's riots in Newark New Jersey, a memorandum to the presidents of all of the state's institutions of higher education was issued. It outlined a proposed program of special assistance to young men and women from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Lilly Commission made its report to Governor Richard Hughes, who subsequently submitted his Moral Recommitment message to the New Jersey State Legislature. The message called for the establishment of a broad range of programs to address the basic conditions the Commission had cited as contributing to the summer's unrest. Among those programs was the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), established by legislation sponsored by then-freshman legislator Thomas Kean.

EOF set the pace for many initiatives that today are widely incorporated into college life. Among the many powerful strategies implemented by EOF are precollege articulation, basic skills testing and remediation, systematic retention efforts, peer counseling and peer tutoring, academic support courses, multicultural curricula and human relations programming, student leadership development, and outcomes-based program evaluation.


EOF Events