Rowan College South Jersey Celebrates 50 Years of Educational Opportunity Fund Program


Arthur Horn

AC JosepH Media

VINELANDThe Rowan College of South Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund program recently held its annual award banquet celebrating its outstanding scholars at The Grove at Centerton, in Pittsgrove in April.

This event was a bit more special because it also gave the college community the opportunity to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of EOF on the Cumberland campus.

Local officials, administrators, the EOF Community Advisory Board, educators, local businesspersons, community members, and students were in attendance for this joyous and historic celebration.

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According to, EOF is a grant-based program that “provide[s] financial assistance and support services (e.g., counseling, tutoring, and developmental course work) to students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who attend participating institutions of higher education in the State of New Jersey.”

“We give holistic services to students,” said Arthur C. Horn, senior EOF counselor, RCSJ. “We assist our students with getting their FAFSA done, their financial aid done, and help guide them on their education and career paths.”

“We are a support system and a home away from home for our students,” said Amanda Sorshek, assistant director, EOF, RCSJ. “The way we support them is to be their advocate, to be their friend if they need one at that moment, and to connect them to the resources that are available on campus. We do everything in our power to help push them towards success.”

Student Praise EOF

Students attest to the positive benefits of being a part of the program.

“EOF has helped me through challenging aspects of my college journey,” said Noor Moosvi, Biological Science/Health Science major. “I struggled with connecting with people and being active in the community. Mr. Horn introduced me to Dr. [Kellie] Slade, who helps run the Student Government Association, and now I’m currently the vice president.” 

The EOF program was instituted in New Jersey in 1968. According to Dr. Carol A. McMillan-Lonesome, New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund Professional Association historian, “To begin the history of EOF, one must trace the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and its struggle for human and economic rights.”

Born From Unrest of 1967

In what became known as “the long, hot summer of 1967,” there were several uprisings in major cities across the United States. These uprisings occurred when Americans of African descent and their allies rebelled against the constraints of inequality and the scourge of police brutality. One of the rebellions took place in Newark, New Jersey. 

Then governor of New Jersey, Richard J. Hughes, knew that Americans of African descent were unjustly “oppressed.” “There exists behind them 100 years of discrimination and cruelty to them, in spite of the efforts of many sincere men to eradicate the cruelty and to bring a day when oppression will no longer be with us. But it still exists,” he said. 

Hughes wanted to bridge the equity gap by eliminating “the causes of social upheaval, those deeply rooted in poverty,” McMillan-Lonesome noted.

The former governor then delivered a message to the New Jersey State Legislature that included the idea of creating EOF. New Jersey politicians were on board with this “commitment to change.” The EOF legislation was passed by the legislature and enacted into law on July 12, 1968. 

“EOF has had a big impact on me being a student here,” said Moosvi, who transferred to RCSJ from Rutgers University. “I wanted to retake classes I didn’t do my best in but wasn’t sure if financial aid would help cover it. EOF was able to provide me with aid.” 

“EOF helps relieve some of the stress students have about their tuition bill and provides the support young students who are just entering the real-world need,” the freshman, who called Horn the coolest advisor, added. 

The program has also been a pivotal component in helping the College’s students achieve their goals and the EOF Annual Award Banquet gave the community a chance to revel in their accomplishments. 

“Seeing the students reap the rewards of all of their hard work and dedication is very uplifting and makes all of our hard work that much more meaningful,” said Sorshek, who also gave a shout-out to Tiffanie Williams, executive director, EOF, and Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Achievement at RCSJ, lauding her for the dedication, time, and effort she puts into the program.

“We are able to see the direct impact we have on students and how important their success is to them, as well.”

The Next 50 Years

Horn is looking forward to what the next 50 years will bring for the program. “I believe EOF has played a vital part in a lot of students’ success,” he said, while also noting that more than 700 students have participated in RCSJ–Cumberland’s EOF program since 2018. 

“It’s a vital program for students, not just because they’re first generation, not just because they may be low-income students … but I think it’s because it gives students the support that the general body doesn’t get. I think that’s the key to the success of EOF programs not only here, but across the state.”

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