Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Helping Scholars Soar

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Helping Scholars Soar

Article excerpt

A highly motivated group of Rutgers University seniors are hard at work on their final year of college and preparing for life after graduation. These students are attending Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, on full scholarships, an opportunity presented to them in middle school when they were selected for the Rutgers Future Scholars program.

Rutgers does a lot to build pathways for low-income students, says Courtney McAnuff, vice president for enrollment management at Rutgers, who helped create the Future Scholars program in 2008. "We take 200 seventh-graders whose families are low income or on welfare in New Jersey and we offer them full scholarships to Rutgers in seventh grade provided they can gain regular admission.

"We bring them to campus every summer right through high school for four to six weeks for academic work that gets more rigorous as they get older," he adds. "Each of our schools contributes. We're trying to show these kids there are so many opportunities in postsecondary education. ... They take everything from history to expository writing."

McAnuff grew up in Queens, New York, and attended the highly competitive Brooklyn Technical High School. Although he says he doesn't remember an advisor ever speaking to him about college and his parents hadn't attended college, McAnuff says his friends were going so he decided he should also go. With good grades at a highly competitive high school, McAnuff was admitted to City College, part of the CUNY system, where he majored in math and psychology.

After college, McAnuff landed a job at the State University of New York at Farmingdale as a math instructor, but the position didn't have any job security. When the school offered him a fulltime job with benefits in the financial aid office, McAnuff took it, beginning his career in administration.

Then he accepted an offer at Eastern Michigan University to be director of financial aid. He only intended to stay three years but remained there for 25 years and rose to vice president of enrollment management. It was a great place to raise a family and the high quality of the public schools enabled his children to excel, McAnuff relates.

Wanting a new challenge, he accepted the Rutgers position in 2006, when the university reached out, impressed with programs he'd developed at Eastern Michigan. McAnuff s position encompasses undergraduate admissions, student financial aid, academic records, registration, retention programs and early awareness outreach.

The student body at Rutgers is incredibly diverse, McAnuff says, maybe the most diverse school in the country. …

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