Princeton Resident Donates $1 Million in Scholarships for 50 Students to Attend TCNJ


Fifty high school students will be able to pursue a college education at The College of New Jersey at no cost, thanks to $1 million in support from the Give Something Back Foundation, which was founded by Princeton resident Robert Carr, chairman and CEO of Princeton-based Heartland Payment Systems.

“The Give Something Back Foundation is thrilled to partner with The College of New Jersey to provide maximum access to a four-year college education to qualified students of modest means,” Carr said.  “TCNJ shares our mission of helping students realize their full potential.”

Carr joined TCNJ President Barbara Gitenstein on the campus this week to officially announce the commitment.

“As a public institution, we are committed to serving talented students from all socioeconomic backgrounds,” Gitenstein said. “This gift will help ensure that anyone who is intellectually capable will have access to a high quality TCNJ education.”

Students supported by the foundation are identified in ninth grade, assigned a mentor who advises them and helps prepare them to succeed in college, and provides assistance in assessing career and college choices. Once in college, this program is designed to graduate students in four years free of debt. The first TCNJ students in the program are expected to enroll in the fall of 2019.

Carr’s  foundation has already awarded 250 scholarships to high-striving students who don’t have the financial resources to attend college. Carr began offering the scholarships in his hometown, Lockport, Illinois. This year the foundation expanded to New Jersey.

The Give Something Back Foundation also recently awarded 50 scholarships to students who will attend Rowan University. The $1 million award to Rowan was the first donation from the foundation to a New Jersey school.

Carr built Heartland Payment Systems from a modest start-up with 25 employees in 1997 into a Fortune 1000 company that today employs more than 4,100.

Heartland Payment Systems is the fifth largest payment processor in the United States. Heartland’s clients range from major retail chains to restaurants to mom-and-pop stores and web sites to colleges and school districts in some of America’s largest cities.

Carr is the author of “Through the Fires: An American Business Story of Turbulence, Triumph and Giving Back” (Amazon, 2014), and he currently is working on his second book about helping young working-class people attend college without going broke.


  1. Heartland Systems also runs the ‘OnePrinceton’ card. Not every store accepts it, but it can be an easy way to support Princeton non-profits, beause card fees that normally go to banks go to local charities instead.

  2. Bob Carr has committed himself to programs like this for some time in NJ, including one that assists low income students attend private elementary and high school. Way to go, Bob, you are really making a difference in these students’ lives!

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