The Hechinger Report: Focus on RU-N’s HLLC and Honors College

Rutgers University – Newark, HLLC, and the Honors College were recently focused in The Hechinger Report, “How one university is luring coveted honors students with social justice.”

Two honors programs at Rutgers University – Newark, the Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC) and the Honors College, offers students from the Newark area a reason to stay in the city. With fewer than 14 percent of Newark’s residents having attained a bachelor’s degree, both programs offer a “competitive honors programs for students with a passion for equality and justice,” hoping they can attract the city’s top performers to stay and help resolve community problems. “Both HLLC and Honors College leaders say they’ve been impressed by the academic abilities and social consciousness of local applicants.”

The Honors College has existed for decades, graduating its first students in 1973. Yet, Brian Murphy, Director since 2016, is trying to re-situate the Honors College as part of Newark’s revival. “What we’re trying to find are people who are curious and interested in taking control of their education,” said Brian Murphy.

While the Honors College maintains a relatively traditional approach, its admissions strategy has improved to attract students with a wider range of academic interests. Meanwhile, the Honors Living-Learning Community is redefining what it means to be an honors student. HLLC admission looks beyond SAT scores and focuses on leadership qualities and community involvement through collaborative and traditional interviews. “We really are sensitive to the need to stop overlooking students from Newark,” said Timothy Eatman, Dean of HLLC.

Since 2013, Rutgers-Newark has attracted “60 percent more students from Newark,” the obvious result of efforts by Rutgers-Newark, its honors programs, and other local groups to increase the percentage of higher education for the city’s residents.

Krupnick, Matt. “How one university is luring coveted honors students with social justice.” The Hechinger Report. 2 May 2018.