The Pay It Forward Fund

April 26, 2022

Perhaps you remember the most recent edition of the Kean digital newspaper, The Tower. On the front page was the story about a Kean student that struck an all-too-familiar chord. When the student started her college education at Kean University, she did not anticipate that she would not graduate. However, four years and 122 credits into her studies, and only six credits shy of earning a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in public administration, she was forced to drop out. The story quoted her as follows:

“I was out of school for five years. I dropped out due to financial reasons. My parents could no longer afford to pay my tuition.”

Mr. HiltweinMany students have had to endure unexpected challenges in their quest to earn a college degree. While some are able to overcome the obstacles that land in their path, others resign themselves to their fate and never earn a degree in their intended major. Incomes, family background and other events beyond their control have somehow played a role in preventing certain students from realizing their educational goals.

That is where the Pay it Forward Fund at the Kean University Foundation comes in. The Fund was created by generous alumni and has three simple goals: sharing the Kean experience; bringing together key stakeholders to support non-traditional students who are financially struggling; and extending to others the same support that was received when the alumni were students.

The Pay it Forward Fund epitomizes the spirit of giving back while assisting Kean students in reaching greater heights through education. In short, the Pay It Forward Fund works to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations. In return, students who benefit from the Pay It Forward Fund are asked to simply do just that—pay it forward when they can.

Since the Fund’s inception, the Kean University Foundation has provided more than $34,100 in scholarships to 11 students. Giving students the unfettered opportunity to excel is just one more way that the Kean University Foundation supports the next generation and build tomorrow’s leaders today.