Today, US Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded various institutions of higher education in New Jersey $4,128,469 in funding under the Student Support Services Program, to provide academic and other support to low-income, first-generation, or disabled college students.

“Education is the great equalizer, which is why it is so important to struggling families that their children have access to a quality higher education,” said Menendez. “Students who have to overcome the most to get to college too often fall victim to a lack of support once they are there. This is an investment to ensure that these students reach their potential, which is important for the future of our state and our economy.”

“This funding will help ease financial restraints and level the playing field for students with difficult circumstances that are beyond their control,” Lautenberg said. “With New Jersey being home to so many excellent colleges and universities, this federal funding will help students overcome obstacles, excel in the classroom and earn their degree.”

Funds under the “Student Support Services Program” are awarded to provide eligible students with opportunities for successful academic development, assist them with basic college requirements, and encourage them to successfully complete their postsecondary education. Only low-income, low-income and first-generation college attendees, or disabled college students can participate in the program. The program seeks to support the retention and graduation rates of these students, facilitate their transfer from two-year to four-year colleges, and foster an institutional climate supportive of the circumstances of low income and first generation college students and individuals with disabilities.

A total of  $4,128,469 in funding will be distributed to the following institutions:

Georgian Court University — $293,864

New Jersey Institute of Technology  – $521,688

Passaic Community College — $238,468

Essex County College – Regular — $422,297

Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing Main Campus — $301,692

New Jersey City University – $290,516

Rutgers University, New Brunswick – $530,250

Rutgers University, Camden Campus – $220,000

Rutgers University, Newark – $238,496

Rider University, Westminster Choir College Campus – $301,692

Seton Hall University – $294,001

Bloomfield College – $255,505

Ocean County College – $220,000

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