Cooperman College Scholars — a $25-million investment to support academically talented, highly motivated students from Essex County, N.J. — provides financial assistance to students of need in pursuit of a four-year college degree. The program provides more than scholarship, including mentoring and other resources to ease the transition to college and support each Scholar’s success.
The summer after 11th grade, students participate in a free, three-week summer experience hosted on one of our four partner-college campuses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Students take classes taught by college faculty, live on campus, and receive early exposure to college life. Scholars who successfully complete the Summer Academy, graduate from high school, and enroll in a four-year college are eligible to receive a four-year scholarship, which helps pay for tuition, room-and-board, books, and other fees.
The program was established by billionaire Leon Cooperman, a first-generation-to-college student widely known for his prodigious work ethic. He had founded the asset-management business at Goldman, leaving after 25 years to launch his own hedge fund, Omega Advisors, Inc. He and his wife Toby — who retired from a career in special education at the Early Childhood Learning Center of New Jersey — have lived in Essex County, where they raised two sons, for nearly 40 years.