NEWARK, NJ - Bank of America has committed $1 million over a four-year period to support transfer students in the Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC)  at Rutgers University–Newark.

Created in 2015, the HLLC has established itself as a transformational college access program by challenging and redefining the notion of “merit.” The initiative provides students with the resources and opportunities to be thought leaders within their fields, positive collaborators within their communities, and change agents in the world.

Presently, there are more than 220 HLLC Scholars enrolled in the program, 33 percent of whom are transfer students with associate’s degrees from New Jersey community colleges. Fifty-one Rutgers-Newark alumni have graduated from the program.

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“Bank of America’s visionary gift will make a critically important impact on the HLLC,” said Rutgers University–Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “A third of HLLC students—and, in fact, a majority of college students in the U.S.—got their first taste of higher education at a two-year institution. Targeting support as this gift does is essential for us to position transfer students to thrive. We are profoundly grateful for Bank of America’s insight and generosity in making that possible.”

As HLLC Scholars, students progress through their studies as a cohort, sharing core learning experiences under the guidance of a specially selected team of faculty and professional staff trained to mentor and advise in an immersive environment with a curriculum that emphasizes the theme “Local Citizenship in a Global World.”

“As part of our commitment to responsible growth, we invest in the communities we serve through programs and partnerships that address complex societal challenges. We’ve had a partnership with Rutgers for decades and our support of the Rutgers-Newark’s Honors Living-Learning Community is a unique initiative that expands our support and also dovetails with our commitment to addressing issues that are fundamentally connected to economic mobility and critical to building more sustainable communities,” said Bob Doherty, New Jersey president, Bank of America.

HLLC applicants are evaluated according to a custom-designed set of criteria that measures student characteristics including critical thinking skills, social and emotional intelligence, leadership skills and academic and artistic potential.