In November 1967, in the aftermath of the previous summer's riots in Newark, New Jersey's newly-appointed Chancellor of Higher Education, Ralph A. Dungan, directed a memorandum to the presidents of all of the state's institutions of higher education. In it he outlined a proposed program of special assistance to young men and women from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. The message called for the establishment of a broad range of programs to address the basic conditions the Commission had cited as contributing to the summer's unrest. Among those programs was the Educational Opportunity Fund, established by legislation sponsored by then - freshman legislator Thomas Kean.
In the past 50+, years, EOF has been established on over 55 campuses in the state of New Jersey and sets the pace for many initiatives which today are widely incorporated into college life. Among the many powerful strategies implemented by EOF are pre-college articulation, basic skills testing and remediation, systematic retention efforts, peer counseling and peer tutoring, academic support courses, multicultural curricula and human relations programming, student leadership development, and outcomes-based program evaluation.
The Educational Opportunity Fund is a statewide program represented at most colleges and universities in New Jersey. Montclair State University's EOF Program currently services approximately 700 scholars.
The EOF book fund provides scholarships for highly motivated low income scholars to purchase/rent books for their courses. The average cost of books per semester can range from $200-$600 and continues to rise. Today, the EOF program at Montclair State serves low-income, highly motivated first-generation students who have demonstrated commitment, motivation, and potential for success in every county of the state.