March 31, 2022


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Newark, NJ- March 31, 2022—Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Saint Elizabeth University (SEU) today announced a pilot program to guarantee a debt-free four-year college education for 40 at-risk Newark students.

The pilot program, “Guaranteed Education,” will enable the selected students to attend Saint Elizabeth University in Morristown, N.J., for four years through the $1 million grant from the City of Newark, led by Mayor Baraka.

“Less than 16% of Newarkers have a Bachelor’s degree. The majority of Black and Brown students finance their education through debt. To close the wealth and education gap in the State of New Jersey, we must first start by making secondary education free, not just at community colleges, but also at four-year institutions. In Newark, we are providing 40 at-risk students with a chance to obtain a college degree without incurring college debt. Our children deserve it,” said Mayor Baraka.

“Saint Elizabeth University has a longstanding mission of providing an affordable, high-quality education to resolute learners from various backgrounds. We are very excited to partner with the City of Newark and Mayor Baraka in launching this important pilot program that will allow the University to further advance our mission,” said Gary B. Crosby, Ph.D., President of Saint Elizabeth University. “This is particularly important as many of our students return to their communities helping to improve the quality of life for their families and neighbors, as well as the State of New Jersey.”

The City of Newark will bear the cost of the selected students from Newark families for the four-year program. The grant represents “last dollar” funding that takes into account individual student’s federal, state and institutional financial assistance, and will focus on students entering the fields of education, nursing, psychology and social work.

The pilot will be administered through Saint Elizabeth University’s Educational Opportunity Fund program, with the students beginning their college journey at SEU in June 2022.

“On behalf of Saint Elizabeth’s EOF program, we are honored and privileged to support this critical initiative focused on encouraging upward mobility opportunities among Newark residents. It is especially fitting for this innovative pilot to be administered by the City of Newark since the EOF program originated from the challenges Newark faced 55 years ago,” said David Hill, director of SEU’s EOF program.

About Saint Elizabeth University

Saint Elizabeth University, founded by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in 1899, is a community of learning in the Catholic liberal arts tradition. SEU is ranked number one in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Reports for “Top Performers for Social Mobility – Northeast Region” and was recently ranked third in the state for earnings outcomes for students three years after graduation by NJEEDS. SEU has more than 40 undergraduate majors and minors, 14 master’s degree, and two doctoral programs. Visit us at


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