40 at-risk Newark students to attend college for free through pilot program

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, May 9, 2022
Newark pilot program sending 40 at-risk students to college for free
Dozens of at-risk students across Newark will attend Saint Elizabeth University for free thanks to a grant from the city. Toni Yates has the full story.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Dozens of at-risk students across Newark will attend college for free thanks to a grant from the city in collaboration with Saint Elizabeth University.

Mayor Ras Baraka, university President Dr. Gary Crosby and other officials were joined at City Hall Monday by the 40 students selected for the Guaranteed Education Pilot Program.

"With fewer than 16% of Newark (residents) having a Bachelor's Degree and the majority of Black and Brown students financing their education through debt, it's critical that more opportunities are created for students to go to college without crippling burdens of student loans," Baraka said. "We are starting with 40 of our at-risk Newark students for this program and we will continue to make it a priority to help close the wealth and education gap."

The students will have tuition and housing expenses covered for all four years.

The pilot program is funded through the $1 million Saint Elizabeth University's Educational Opportunity Fund grant from the City of Newark, led by Mayor Baraka.

"Saint Elizabeth University is excited to welcome these students and their families through this outstanding partnership with the City of Newark and Mayor Baraka," Dr. Crosby said. "This institution is committed to working closely with our students, providing them with the tools they need to succeed both academically and personally. Following SEU's long-standing mission, our goal is to not only provide these 40 students with engaging educational programs, but to inspire them to effect positive change in their community,"

The students will begin their college journey at Saint Elizabeth this June, majoring in education, nursing, psychology, and social work.

After the announcement, the students and their parents boarded a bus for a tour of Saint Elizabeth's Morristown campus and lunch with Dr. Crosby.

To be eligible, students must be Newark residents, have a cumulative grade point average between 1.8 and 2.5, and must choose an academic focus in one of the four above mentioned fields.

The program is for at-risk students who have an incarcerated parent, have a parent who was recently released from incarceration within the past two years, has lost a parent or sibling to violence, is a victim of violence, or who is a first generation college student.

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