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Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF)

The Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) is a state funded program designed to assist low-income New Jersey residents who are capable and motivated, but lack adequate preparation for college study. The program supports a wide array of campus-based outreach and support services at 41 participating colleges and universities in New Jersey. Ocean County College is one of 19 participating community colleges.

EOF MISSION: To provide access to higher education

All are welcome to apply, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. EOF enrollment is determined by state funding, apply early. For additional information, contact the EOF Office.

If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, you may be eligible:

  • Are you the first in your family to attend college?
  • Do you or your family have a low annual income?
  • Do you or your family participate in a government assistance program?
  • Will you register for 12 or more credits?
  • Have you registered for ENGL 151/098, MATH 023 or MATH 161/165?
  • Are you eligible for PELL, TAG, or CCOG grants?

For more information or to make an appointment, contact the EOF Office at 732-255-0400, ext. 2026, email: eof@ocean.edu

Or use our convenient: EOF Inquiry Form

APPLY TO EOF

Students are evaluated for admittance based upon a history of poverty, academic readiness, potential, and motivation. An interview is required. Students must register full time (12 credits or more) and also complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

EOF offers:

  • A Community of like learners
  • A network of support
  • Private professional tutoring
  • Academic advising
  • A financial grant
  • Opportunities for growth
  • Continued eligibility at your 4-year NJ university/college destination
  • Comprehensive service and support

Location: Library (LIBR) – Building #3 Room C115
Phone: 732-255-0400 ext. 2026
Hours: Mon. to Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Email: eof@ocean.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

EOF is an academic support program, making access to college possible with funding and guidance to students who have grown up in poverty.

If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, you may be eligible:

  • Are you the first in your family to attend college?
  • Do you or your family have a low annual income?
  • Do you or your family participate in a government assistance program?
  • Will you register for 12 or more credits?
  • Have you registered for ENGL 151/098, MATH 023, MATH 161/165?
  • Are you eligible for PELL, TAG, or CCOG grants?

APPLY TODAY

Yes. EOF will be listed among your other financial aid awards. You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every October to requalify your eligibility for financial aid and EOF.

Through a selective process, we look for motivated students with potential as well as the interest and ability to work with advisors. The interview serves as an important process in making selections. It offers a chance for applicants to be informed and make an active choice in accepting a possible offer to join EOF.

We document applicants’ history of poverty. Did you grow up poor? Did your family receive government assistance such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance (GA), Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), or Work First New Jersey (WFNJ)?

EOF is NOT an entitlement program, applicants are selected. Eligibility does not always result in acceptance and an award.

The interview helps us to review your eligibility. It is a chance for us to meet one-on-one and begin relationship building. Working together with an EOF advisor is at the cornerstone of the work we do.

The interview is from 45 to 60 minutes long. We ask a series of questions. All you need to do is be yourself. We suggest you use the interview to determine if EOF is a good match for you. Does our program support your goals and objectives? Can EOF help you earn your degree? Ask us how we can help.

We are pleased to also offer WebEx videos during this time of social distancing.

Once all supporting documents have been supplied, we review your folder and can make an admission decision quickly. You will need 2 years of income documentation, both taxable and non-taxable, as well as other documents that help us understand the financial/economic history of your family.

Be mindful of all communications from our Financial Aid office as well as the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), documents required by either entity affect our ability to award and process an EOF grant.

No. As long as you remain enrolled, you do not have to reapply. Remember, however, on October 1 to complete your FAFSA for the next academic year. Applying for financial aid is required to maintain EOF eligibility.

If eligible at OCC, you may be EOF eligible at a senior institution. We recommend you check with that institution regarding their admission process. Additionally, you may need to complete an EOF application, interview, etc. This link identifies participating institutions and contact information: https://www.nj.gov/highereducation/EOF/EOF_Eligibility.shtml

Senior institutions will require a Transfer Form. That form identifies you as an EOF recipient and places you higher on the priority funding framework. Once you have completed our exiting process, we will send a transfer form to that institution with a copy to you.

No. Grants are a form of free monies and do not require repayment.

EOF is a vibrant community. We require academic coaching, meeting with your advisor, and being engaged on campus. We want you to grow as a scholar and as an individual. We want you to embrace the concept of lifelong learning.

A course shell in Ocean Connect lists all program requirements. Upon acknowledgment of acceptance, permission to access the course is provided.

Staff

Laura F. Rickards, Director
Educational Opportunity Fund & The Center for Access and Equity
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2400
Email:

Ana P. DeNise, Assistant Director
Educational Opportunity Fund & The Center for Access and Equity
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2103
Email:

Melani Kovacs, PT Advisor/Recruitment Specialist
Educational Opportunity Fund
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2981
Email:

Michele Gioxaris, Program Coordinator & Student Advisor
Educational Opportunity Fund
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2340
Email:

Theresa Skopkowski, Academic Coach, Advisor
Educational Opportunity Fund
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2078
Email: tskopkowski@ocean.edu

Stuart Martinsen, Academic Coach
Educational Opportunity Fund
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2026
Email: smartinsen@ocean.edu

Jonas Weissbrod, Academic Coach
Educational Opportunity Fund
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2026
Email: Jweissbrod@ocean.edu

Rochelle Blum, Academic Advisor
Educational Opportunity Fund
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2026
Email: rblum@ocean.edu

Paul Sutor, Academic Coach
Educational Opportunity Fund
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2026
Email: psutor@ocean.edu

Christine Cassidy, Academic Coach
Educational Opportunity Fund
Phone: 732.255.0400 x2026
Email: Ccassidy@ocean.edu

EOF Office Location & Hours

Email: eof@ocean.edu

Campus Location:

Library (Bldg. #3) Room 124

Monday -Friday: 8:30am – 5:00pm

732.255.0400 ext. 2026 or 732.255.0311

Office Contact Information

Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF)
College Drive, PO Box 2001
Toms River, New Jersey 08754
(732) 255.0311 / eof@ocean.edu
EOF Inquiry Form

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