Rider summer STEM program is free to attend – and comes with scholarship money moving forward for community college grads

Interested in STEM – and maybe interested in Rider? The school announced Monday it has a plan for such students.

This summer, community college students who are interested in STEM careers and pursuing their studies at a four-year university can get a head start at Rider University through participation in its STEM Summer Institute.

Held in two sessions — July 7-10 and Aug. 4-7 — the residential program includes hands-on laboratory experiences, field work and research opportunities. There is no cost to attend the program and all meals are covered as part of the experience.

Participants will become familiarized with Rider’s STEM curriculum and receive personalized guidance on a variety of scholarship opportunities and financial aid. Those who complete the program will also receive an additional $2,000 scholarship to Rider, renewable for up to three years.

During the program, participants will live in a residence hall on Rider’s campus in Lawrenceville alongside current Rider STEM students who will serve as their mentors. They will also work directly with Rider faculty during on-campus sessions and field trips. The STEM Summer Institute is limited to 20 potential community college transfers per session. May 1 is the priority deadline, while June 15 is the final deadline to apply.

Danielle Jacobs, associate professor of chemistry at Rider, called the program a win-win. “It’s crucial that community college students make a personal connection with the institution — the campus, their future peers and their future faculty — to which they are transferring,” she said. “At the STEM Summer Institute, participants will quickly see that they’ll be able to pursue their goals in Rider’s supportive, hands-on and close-knit environment.”

Jacobs hopes the introduction will stick. “We want these students to see that Rider is an affordable option when deciding where they would like to complete their four-year degree,” she said. “Rider can be just as affordable as large, public institutions and students will have the benefits of small class sizes and personalized attention.”