She is a rising junior at Rutgers University, and it is through hard work—and the assistance of Bridgewater residents and others—that graduate Ankita Rastogi can continue her bioethics studies there.
Rastogi is one of many university students who receives a Presidential Scholarship every year through the Our Rutgers, Our Future program, which, among other work, assists more than 86 percent of students who receive financial aid.
The Rutgers University Foundation, which is the fundraising portion of the college, runs this campaign to identify accomplished students who receive scholarships, specifically these donor-funded ones like the one Rastogi receives.
According to a representative with the university, research shows that Bridgewater residents have been generous during the campaign, donating money.
Rastogi receives money through the Presidential Scholarship, which she said awards each recipient with $11,500 per semester for housing, dining and tuition expenses.
“It also admits the student into the university’s honors program,” she said. “I received this scholarship because of a combination of my SAT scores, which had to be over 2250, my high school GPA and my class rank.”
At Rutgers, Rastogi said, she is studying bioethics, which is a far cry from her original plans to study business.
“I love that bioethics is such a multifaceted field,” she said. “You don’t have to be a science major to know about the topic or enjoy debating relevant issues.”
Rastogi said the Rutgers Bioethics Society is composed of students studying in all sorts of fields, including philosophy, religion, economics and, her chosen field, psychology.
“Going in, I knew little about the topic, but quickly realized it covers so many issues, from the humane treatment of animals and anti-aging procedures, to over-medicating children and the deliberate alteration of genes,” she said.
In addition, Rastogi said she has worked on the "Rutgers Bioethics Journal," and edited articles for it from around the world.
“As vice president of the society, I hope to encourage awareness of bioethics, especially among the Rutgers community,” she said. “We want to reach out to the public by showcasing the importance of relevance of these issues in today’s society.”
But prior to her journey at Rutgers, Rastogi was, and still is, proud to be a Bridgewater resident.
“I’ve spent virtually my entire life in Bridgewater, so it’s inevitable I feel an attachment to this town,” she said, adding that some of her closest friends are those she made at . “I’ve worked at the Bridgewater mall, volunteered at the county library, taken yoga and art and swimming lessons in this town.”
“My family has stayed in the same house all these years, and I know that wherever I may end up, Bridgewater is where I’ll call home,” she added.
Rastogi said she is proud to be part of the Rutgers community, and especially pleased that she has the opportunity to use scholarship money for her education and help her family pay the costs.
For Rastogi, she is making the most of her time at Rutgers.
“Rutgers is a truly diverse campus,” she said. “There are countless opportunities both on and off campus, in the New Brunswick community. I have attended various club meetings, mentored incoming Rutgers freshman and volunteered at an after-school program for underprivileged New Brunswick kids.”
“The opportunities are endless, and I feel that during my last two years, there’s still so much to be discovered,” she added.