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U.S. News & World Report Ranks Kean Top Performer on Social Mobility

A classroom at Kean University, with "Top 50 Northern U.S. Social Mobility"

U.S. News & World Report this week ranked Kean University among the top universities in the northern United States for helping economically disadvantaged students enroll and graduate within six years.

Kean ranked 41st for social mobility out of 170 universities in the region.

This is the first year that the pre-eminent news and higher education ranking publication has published a “social mobility” ranking to recognize those colleges and universities that excel in serving students from low-income families.

U.S. News Best Colleges Badge

“This recognition from U.S. News & World Report reflects directly on the mission of this University to provide a world-class education for all students, not just those who can afford it,” said Kean President Dawood Farahi, Ph.D. “Higher education is the great equalizer, and we take great pride in supporting our students as they work hard to achieve their American dreams.”

U.S. News & World Report made its calculations by analyzing the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients who entered the University in Fall 2011 and Fall 2012. Pell Grant recipients typically come from households with annual incomes under $50,000, although there are many factors that contribute to a student’s eligibility.

During the 2018-2019 school year, 6,228 Kean students, more than half of Kean USA undergraduates, qualified for a total of $27 million in federal Pell Grant funding.

“As an alumna of Kean, I am so pleased to see the University be recognized for the great work it does in providing opportunities to our students,” said Ada Morell, ’97, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Many of our students are the first in their families to go to college and balance their studies with family lives and jobs. Seeing them celebrate at commencement reminds me of my own experience, and I share in their joy every year.”

Nearly 80 percent of Kean students receive some form of financial aid and the University continues to expand scholarship opportunities for the neediest students. Fifty-four freshmen with strong academic records received the newest scholarship, the Centennial Fund Scholarship, this fall. Many of those students also received Pell funding.

The University has also instituted a number of new retention programs aimed at supporting students on their path toward graduation, including a first-generation mentoring program and supplemental instruction for particularly challenging courses.