The Rutgers University Alfredo Santiago Endowed Scholarship was established in 1999 by CLC Director Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago in loving memory of her husband Alfredo Santiago and with the goal to increase the number of children in Camden who attend college.
The Scholarship provides financial assistance to LEAP Academy University Charter School graduates who enroll full-time at one of Rutgers University’s three campuses. In 2002, the Scholarship received a donation from TD Bank (formerly Commerce Bank) to create the TD Bank Alfredo Santiago Scholarship, which also supports students attending colleges outside Rutgers.
Since 2005 the Alfredo Santiago Scholarship has made it possible for over 184 students from Camden to attend college. In a city where only 5.5% of adults hold a bachelor’s or professional degree and only 51% hold a high school diploma, there is an urgent need for greater access to and greater affordability of higher education for Camden youth.
That’s why the scholarship is awarded annually to eligible LEAP graduates based on academic merit and financial need with an emphasis on increasing diversity at Rutgers; preference is given to Latino and African-American students majoring in nontraditional areas of study (business, science, engineering, and pre-medicine). Recipients who remain in good academic standing may renew the scholarship for up to three additional years (four years if they are enrolled in a five-year program).