Educational Opportunity Fund Program

Established in 1969, the Educational Opportunity Fund at Essex County College facilitates access to higher education for students from low-income, economically and educationally disadvantaged communities.

The program has consistently offered a high quality, comprehensive range of services in order to meet student needs, and has resulted

Major highlights of the program include the Pre-Summer Freshman Program, Counseling Services, Tutorial Services, and EOF Academic Scholarships. More than 1,000 students are currently taking advantage of Essex County College’s EOF Program.

Who is Eligible?

An ECC student who is:

  • Low-income students based on the EOF Income Eligibility Scale – Click here for details
  • NJ Residents for at least one year
  • Has applied for aid via FAFSA and/or HESAA
  • Registered Full time
  • Has earned 40 or less college credits (Institutional Policy)
  • GPA of 2.0 or above (Institutional Policy)
  • Student ready and willing to participate in the programs various activities (Institutional Policy)

Even though EOF students come from some of the lowest income and most challenged communities, they consistently rank higher in retention and graduation rate.

How and When do I apply?

Submit an application via the online form above during the first weeks of the Fall or the Spring semesters. Exact dates will be posted on the website, in the department, and around the college with flyers and posters. You will be informed if you are eligible within several weeks of submitting your application. EOF returning students have the first priority for funding. However, due to many students graduating, transferring, or dropping out, we will have openings. New students will be required to attend EOF orientation and provide requested income verification documents later in the semester.

If you have questions at any time, you may contact:

Michael Cresci, Eligibility Coordinator

[email protected]

973  877-3232

The EOF Program at ECC also sponsors:

  • The National Student Leadership and Success Society (NSLS) – for essential skills and growth – for work and for self

The Pre-Freshman Summer Program

EOF offers brand new college students a six-week program. Earn credits towards your degree, brush up on college-level skills, have daily free lunch with our EOF counselors, and much more!  Apply at the link above if you’re new to college and want to get a great head start on your experience at Essex County College. The 2023 Program will be announced soon.

What Can I Expect?

EOF is a State of New Jersey, Higher Education Department program. It receives a limited amount of funds for students at the beginning of the academic year (September). Therefore, you may well be eligible, yet not funded because the funds have been used up! In the meantime, you are very welcome to use many of the resources of the EOF program.

Contact Us
Joanna RomanoDirector, 973-877-3231
Caroline BerettaAssociate Director, 973-877-3405
Michael Cresci, Program Manager, 973-877-3232

Edyta NiedbalEligibility Coordinator, 973-877-3229


EOF Department
3rd Level, Green Area, Yamba Building

8am to 6pm

West Essex students – see Ms. Walker or Ms. Newton-Banks