Governor Visits NJCU for Roundtable on Making Higher Education Affordable

Governor Visits NJCU for Roundtable on Making Higher Education Affordable

NJCU Hosts Governor’s Roundtable on Making College Affordable

Governor Murphy’s Goal Is to Increase Higher Education Assistance
NJCU Students Give Personal Accounts on How EOF/OSP Are Making Their Career Goals a Reality

New Jersey City University (NJCU) hosted a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at which Governor Phil Murphy strongly voiced his commitment to making higher education more affordable for New Jersey students. He noted that NJCU, “…this particular university is giving people a shot at a higher education.”

“Our goal is to keep a college degree within reach for working families and those who come from economically disadvantaged areas,” said Governor Murphy. “These investments will ensure that students can continue to realize their dreams because no one should be deprived from getting an education based on where they’re from, or their background, or current economic status, or their abilities. This is a matter of fairness that will lead to a stronger future for our students and for New Jersey.”

The Governor’s proposed 2019 budget contains $8.5 million for the expansion of Tuition Aid Grants (TAG) and the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), which is known as the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) at NJCU.

Governor Murphy was joined at the roundtable discussion by:

  • Acting Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis
  • Senator Sandra B. Cunningham, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee
  • Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight
  • NJCU President Sue Henderson
  • NJCU student representatives, all of whom are enrolled in the Opportunity Scholarship Program.

Student participants were:

  • Mirna Botros of Jersey City, an NJCU sophomore majoring in global business who is first-generation and the first in her family to pursue higher education
  • DaRon Brown of Neptune, an NJCU alumnus currently enrolled in NJCU’s MBA program with a career goal of becoming a CPA
  • Christian Dowdell of Bellville, an NJCU sophomore majoring in Psychology who, inspired by OSP mentorship and leadership programs, looks forward to a career in public service
  • Spencer Julu of Newark, an NJCU graduate student enrolled in NJCU’s Master’s in Criminal Justice program who has a career goal of becoming a medical examiner
  • Kristie Perez of Jersey City, an NJCU junior majoring in Criminal Justice who benefited greatly by abroad travel experience and participation in campus life
  • Ryan Roche of Jersey City, an NJCU alumnus enrolled in NJCU’s Master’s in Counseling with School Counseling Certification program
  • Alberi Rosario-Capellan of Jersey City, an NJCU senior majoring in Finance who credits OSP’s early tutorial assistance with his collegiate success

NJCU President Henderson opened the program with welcome greetings and thanked Governor Murphy for “holding the roundtable discussion in Jersey City, now the most diverse city in New Jersey.” She encouraged increased assistance for EOF/OSP and wished that all students could have mentors, counselors and streamlined support that make OSP the successful program it is.

“The Governor’s proposed increase in funding for these programs will assist students in need at our New Jersey institutions of higher learning, both two-year and four-year,” said Acting Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis. “This will help to improve affordability and opportunity for those pursuing a higher education.”

Governor Murphy’s college affordability plan strengthens student assistance for Tuition Aid Grants (TAG) and the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) by $7 million and $1.5 million, respectively.

It is projected that Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 TAG funding of $432.9 million will aid more than 67,500 students, which will mean an increase of nearly 3,500 TAG awards over this year.

“I’m excited to be part of a discussion that leads to an increase in educational opportunities for students from economically challenged backgrounds,” said Senator Sandra B. Cunningham, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “Tuition Aid Grants and grants from New Jersey’s Education Opportunity Fund are based on financial need and also take into account the environments from which students are coming from. That’s why we have added $8.5 million in funding for these grants in the proposed budget. TAG and EOF grants don’t just open the door to higher education, they can ensure that once a student is inside, they can stay and learn.”

"I applaud Governor Murphy’s proposed expansion of TAG and EOF funding,” said Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight. “Knowledge is power; by investing in our youth who otherwise may not have been given an opportunity to attend an institution of higher education, we are assuring New Jersey creates an atmosphere for those brilliant minds to flourish.”

 

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