NORWESCAP Awards Legacy Grant to Support RVCC Students in Need

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
four people with check presentation

NORWESCAP, a nonprofit social service agency dedicated to creating "a united community transforming poverty into opportunity," has awarded the Raritan Valley Community College Foundation a $34,000 grant to establish the NORWESCAP Legacy Fund. The fund will provide emergency support for students enrolled at RVCC and help to defray the cost of rent, food, car repairs, child care, or other basic needs. A student may receive a maximum of $500 a year.

“We are very grateful to build on our partnership with NORWESCAP and receive this gift to establish the NORWESCAP Legacy Fund. These funds can make the difference between whether a student drops out or remains in school. Ultimately this temporary infusion of funds can be a turning point in helping students achieve long-term sustainable change in their lives,” said RVCC President Michael J. McDonough.

Approximately 20-25 percent of students enrolled at Raritan Valley Community College receive Pell Grants. The federal grant program is designed for low-income students, as well as students from middle-income families who are eligible to borrow funds.

In addition, RVCC has seen an increase in students from ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households, who are struggling to pay for the basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care and transportation, but don’t live below the poverty line. While Somerset and Hunterdon Counties are recognized as among the wealthiest areas in the country, many families have low-wage jobs and are experiencing economic hardship.

As the cost of living dramatically increases, RVCC has recognized a growing problem of food and housing insecurity among RVCC students that stops students in their track, forcing them to choose between tuition and books, and rent and food. To address these needs, a group of faculty and administrators, led by Professors Alicia Liss, Karen Gutshall-Seidman, and Karen Gaffney, has begun to coordinate advocacy efforts and has spearheaded the creation of a formal Resource Center on campus.

“NORWESCAP is excited to continue this partnership with the College to serve under-resourced students and keep them on a pathway to success,” said Terry Newhard, CEO of NORWESCAP. “We appreciate President McDonough’s commitment to create a Resource Center with the students, faculty, and staff who have worked so hard to make it a reality. Thanks for allowing us to have a role in its success.”

For additional information, contact Alicia Liss at

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development, and adult and youth personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium.

RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses, and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit



February 27, 2018

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

PR #103