September 25, 2023


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Newark, NJ—September 25, 2023— Mayor Ras J. Baraka joined Saint Elizabeth University President Gary B. Crosby, Ph.D. on campus at the Mahoney Library to mark the first anniversary of the Guaranteed Education Pilot Program. Through this program, the City of Newark’s Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery (OVPTR) and The Brick City Peace Collective (BCPC), in partnership with Saint Elizabeth University, are continuing to support 36 at-risk students by providing a debt-free four-year college education through a $1 million grant from the City of Newark, led by Mayor Baraka.

“With fewer than 16 percent of Newarkers having a bachelor’s degree and the majority of Black and Brown students financing their education through debt, it’s critical that more opportunities are created for students to go to college without crippling burdens of student loans,” said Mayor Baraka. “This program’s value cannot be measured in dollars. It transforms these students in real time, day by day, and changes the arc of their future. By continuing this commitment, we will close the wealth and education gap in Newark, and our city will enjoy a more productive and prosperous tomorrow.”

“We are immensely grateful for this program, which exemplifies the power of collaboration and community support. This program is clearly transforming lives. Of the 40 students who entered the program in fall 2022, 36 have returned. That is an astounding 86% retention rate that speaks to the hard work of the students, faculty and staff involved with the program,” said Dr. Crosby. “SEU is laser focused on advancing student success. The outcomes of this initiative underscore the University’s ability to meet students where they are and prepare them for the future.”

To be eligible for the pilot, students were required to be a Newark resident, with a cumulative grade point average between 1.8 and 2.5, and had to choose an academic focus in social work, psychology, education or nursing. This program is for at-risk students who have an incarcerated parent, have a parent who was recently released from incarceration within the past two years, has lost a parent or sibling to violence, is a victim of violence, or who is a first generation college student.

The BCPC sponsors the cost of the four-year program for the selected students. The grant represents “last dollar” funding that takes into account individual student’s federal, state, and institutional financial assistance. The pilot is administered through Saint Elizabeth University’s Educational Opportunity Fund program.

For photographs of the event, click here. Please credit Saint Elizabeth University.


For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website at

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