When Sam Adepoju entered Rutgers University–Camden as a first-year student, he wasn’t sure where tuition money would come from. His family, recent immigrants from Nigeria, had limited resources. But a Rutgers Assistance Grant has allowed him to keep reaching for his dream of attending medical school after he graduates next spring and then becoming a surgeon. “I wouldn’t have been able to go to school without the grant,” says Adepoju.

Every year, about 11,000 undergraduates universitywide who have unmet financial need receive Rutgers Assistance Grants. Beginning in fall 2020, those grants will be known as Scarlet Promise Grants and will get a boost from an initiative to raise a $3 million endowment. 

The initiative grew out of a concern by the Rutgers Board of Trustees that too many students drop out of school because of financial burden or graduate with significant debt. To kick off the endowment campaign, three trustees—Mary DiMartino DC’85, former chair of the board; James Dougherty RC’74, GSNB’75, chair of the board; and Ken Johnson ENG’66—are making gifts of $100,000 each. 

“As an undergraduate, I received many forms of need-based aid and scholarships,” Dougherty says. “Not having debt enabled me to go on to veterinary school, start a practice, and become successful to the point where I can help today’s students.”

Donate to the Scarlet Promise Grants endowment fund at give.rutgers.edu/scarletpromise.