Pre-College Programs

Cooperman College Scholars

Cooperman College Scholars is a program that supports  academically talented, highly motivated students with  financial need from Essex County, New Jersey, in their efforts to attain a four-year college degree. As one of four partner colleges, Rutgers University-Newark AFC-PASS hosted Cooperman Scholars for a three-week college immersion experience for rising high school seniors. The Scholars take courses led by RU-N college faculty, receive mentorship from current RU-N students, devote time to developing college applications, and experienced on-campus living in student dormitories.  Participants of the program will also benefit from a scholarship to attend college, as well as mentoring and other resources to ease the transition to college and support each Scholar’s success.

Rutgers Future Scholars

The Rutgers Future Scholars program introduces first-generation, low-income and academically-talented middle school students from our four Rutgers home communities (New Brunswick, Piscataway, Newark, and Camden) to the promise and opportunities of a college education. The program will have multiple-year components, each building on the foundation of the previous year. Participants in the summer before they enter the eighth grade will become part of a unique pre-college culture of university programming, events, support, and mentoring that will continue through their high school years. Students who successfully complete the pre-college initiative and are admitted to Rutgers will receive a scholarship covering the cost of their tuition for four years funded through a range of grants and donations.


 The Rutgers University-Newark Empowers eXceptional Talent (RU-NEXT) program prepares sixty Newark first generation low-income rising juniors and seniors referred to as NCLC Scholars, for college success. The program will include academic enrichment seminars beginning in the fall of the NCLC Scholar’s junior year through their senior year, and a 3-4 week non residential Summer Institute. RU-NEXT scholars will engage in college readiness seminars, career workshops, academic advisement sessions and test preparation for college. RU-NEXT scholars are recruited from the following Newark Public Schools: Central High School, Malcolm X. Shabazz High School, and Weequahic High School.

Talent Search

The Talent Search program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education. The program publicizes the availability of financial aid and assist participant with the postsecondary application process. Talent Search also encourages persons who have not completed education programs at the secondary or postsecondary level to enter or reenter and complete postsecondary education. The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education.

Upward Bound

The Upward Bound Program at Rutgers University-Newark is a federally funded college preparation program for selected students from the East Orange Public School District. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Education.  The mission is to increase the rates at which participant’s from the East Orange School District complete high school and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.

Upward Bound participants begin the program during the 9th or 10th grade and participate through high school graduation. Services include academic enrichment in mathematics, language arts, laboratory science, academic advisement, exposure to cultural events/programming, and tutorial services. Program services are free to participants. Qualifications for participation in the program include having academic potential, meeting income criteria, and/or coming from a family in which neither parent has earned a Bachelor's degree.