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Rutgers receives $10 million in donations for student financial support over past year

The University was able to provide 9,189 students with financial support via the Scarlet Promise Grants last year. – Photo by Nick Romanenko /

University President Jonathan Holloway recently announced that throughout the past year, Rutgers has raised more than $10 million in contributions toward the Scarlet Promise Grants, which provide financial support for thousands of Rutgers students, according to a press release.

On his first day as president in July 2020, he discussed the importance of the grants and the need for the Rutgers community to support them, according to the release. He began the campaign by allocating University funds and a personal donation, with it now ultimately surpassing its goal.

“This is a victory for our students and for Rutgers,” Holloway said. “Empowering great students from every point on the economic spectrum to attend a school like ours is a hallmark of excellence in higher education. And this is a victory for the Rutgers community — a wonderful display of unity, principle and character.”

Since the start of the campaign, more than 3,558 individuals have contributed to the Scarlet Promise Grants, with donations ranging from $5 to $1 million, according to the release. Last year, 9,189 students received the grants, with $17.2 million in funds going toward need-based financial aid and $12 million toward short-term emergency financial assistance.

Rutgers has one of the largest percentages of students with significant financial need among the other Big Ten Conference and Association of American Universities institutions, with the average unmet need among students receiving financial aid being more than $11,000 each year, according to the release. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has also had a significant impact on those in need of financial support as well.

The Scarlet Promise Grants and the donors who help fund them make an immediate impact on the lives of Rutgers students, said Lavinia Boxill, interim president of the Rutgers University Foundation.

“Their gifts provide the means for thousands of students to attend Rutgers and to continue their studies when difficulties arise,” she said. “This year, there was new urgency, and the Rutgers community really came through.”

Recipients of the Scarlet Promise Grants said that the financial support they provide makes receiving a college education a reality for people who might otherwise not feel it is feasible, as well as transforms recipients’ experiences at Rutgers, according to the release. 

“My grant took a lot of pressure off of me," said David Zhu, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said according to the article. “With it, I could focus on school and not have to work all the time. Now I feel comfortable thinking about what I can do with my life, even with everything that’s been happening.”

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