RFS Program Synopsis

Each year, the Rutgers Future Scholars program introduces 200 first-generation, low-income and academically promising middle school students from school districts in our four Rutgers home communities of New Brunswick, Piscataway, Newark, and Camden to the promise and opportunities of a college education. The program has multiple-year components, each building on the foundation of the previous year. Beginning in summer preceding their 8th grade year, student participants become part of a unique pre-college culture of university programming, events, support, and mentoring that will continue through their high school years, and eventually college.

For students who successfully complete the pre-college part of the program, Rutgers will provide full tuition funding through scholarships and federal grants to students admissible to Rutgers University. In short, the Rutgers Future Scholars offers Hope, Opportunity, and Tuition Scholarship


RFS Program Objectives

The objectives of the Rutgers Future Scholars program are to:

•    Increase the number of low-income academically promising students from Newark, Camden, New Brunswick and Piscataway communities who complete high school and apply to and attend post secondary educational institutions, including Rutgers University.

•    Develop a replicable model to incite peer institutions in-state and nation-wide to partner with school districts to identify, support, prepare and offer tuition scholarships to low income, promising middle school students.


Academic and Development Themes

Over the course of five years of “pre-college” content, the Rutgers Future Scholars will participate in sequenced, active, focused, explicit workshops and events or those that are “safe.” The tutoring and mentoring provided to all Scholars will be executed according to these educationally sound guidelines with the express intention of fostering academic, social and personal development.

Recurring themes throughout each year are designed to facilitate all participants’ identity as a Rutgers Future Scholar, fortifying their capacity to confront and master challenge, develop skill sets required by those who score competitively on college entrance exams, and explore career options linked to undergraduate courses of study. Finally, year five will be focused on achievement and collegiate entry. Program methodology and curriculum is multisensory, interdisciplinary, and holistic Actual tutoring practices, workshops and summer academies will be constructed according to the results of the Scholar’s progress derived through the use of multiple metrics analyzed by a researcher trained in statistical analysis, learning, cognition and development.


Year One: Career Exploration and College Orientation

Year Two: Critical analysis of non-fiction text, constructing arguments and cultivating the habits of mind necessary for collegiate study (including constructing and defending explanations)

Year Three: Study of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, enrollment in credit-bearing courses, SAT preparation

Year Four:
Study of law, business, economics and criminal justice and continued test preparation

Year Five: Study of the humanities, performing arts, and career interests as well as the completion of college essays and applications

Scholars on each campus attend mentoring, college readiness, enrichment, academic support, and team-building seminars throughout the academic year.  During the summer months, Scholars enroll in rigorous enrichment courses for minimally three weeks (some six) and earn early college credit on the campuses of Rutgers University.  Courses are designed in collaboration with the local school district and university faculty and staff.

Welcome Robert L. Barchi

20th President of
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey




"Rutgers, a great university with an outstanding faculty, is well
positioned  to seize the opportunities before us. It’s the right time.
It’s the right place. It’s time for Rutgers to assume the position of leadership.”


Learn about President Barchi (more)