Esosa Ruffin


Department: Pell Institute Staff

Esosa Ruffin, a New Jersey native and first-generation college graduate from Monmouth University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and double minors in Statistics and Legal Studies, is deeply committed to equity in higher education. She is an Associate for the Pell Institute at the Council for Opportunity in Education. During high school, she was introduced to college opportunity programs through the Rutgers University Newark TRIO Upward Bound program. In undergrad, Esosa was part of the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund Program (EOF) as a summer Peer Counselor, mentoring first-year EOF students. She wrote her undergraduate honors thesis on a comparative analysis of federal and state educational opportunity programs, demonstrating her passion for the cause.

Esosa’s dedication to equity continued as she launched the Monmouth Pell Recipients for CARES Aid (MPRCA) campaign in response to the inequitable distribution of federal emergency relief funds during the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative secured over $250,000 for approximately 250 low-income students initially denied aid, garnering media coverage at the local, state, and national levels. Her interest in higher education issues led her to a graduate fellowship at the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) and later to her role as a Program Assistant for New Jersey’s Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) project at New Jersey City University.

Contact Esosa

You reach Esosa by phone at (202) 347-7430, ext. 378