Featured News

Caldwell University Recognized for Excellence in Student Opportunity and Success

Caldwell, N.J., Feb. 27, 2020 – Caldwell University has been recognized for excellence in Inclusion, Completion, and Outcomes for low-income and first-generation college students by the non-profit organization Strive for College. 

As stated by Strive for College,  students who are the first in their family to pursue higher education or come from a low-income household, continue to be severely underrepresented on college campuses, despite high educational aspirations.  While over 80 percent of such students have expectations of going to college in the tenth grade, only 20 percent will earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of 25. 

Stephen Quinn, Caldwell University’s vice president for enrollment management and communications, says the university is delighted to receive the Strive for College recognition.  “Caldwell University has many students who are the first in their families to attend a university. We are thrilled that we are able to help them pursue their dreams of completing their degrees and achieving successful outcomes as adults. Educating underserved populations has always been a part of Caldwell University’s mission.” Fifty-five percent of Caldwell University’s first-time freshman students are first generation. 

Strive for College’s “Strive Five” distinctions are a set of data-based measures of actual performance in key areas that demonstrate a tangible commitment to students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

The categories Caldwell was recognized for are described below:  

Inclusion – greater than 25% of undergraduates receive Pell Grants, meaning at least 1 in 4 students come from a low-income family. Nationally, 32% of undergraduates receive Pell Grants across all postsecondary institutions.


Completion – Colleges that meet or exceed the national averages for Retention (greater than 81% first-year to second-year retention rate)  AND Graduation (greater than 51% six-year graduation rate for Pell Grant recipients.)


Outcomes – greater than 25% of graduates who were from the bottom fifth of incomes as students and moved to the top fifth as adults, meaning they have among the highest percentage of students who both came from a lower-income family and ended up a higher-income adult.

Colleges that partner with Strive for College and meet the criteria for at least one “Strive Five” distinction are awarded a customized badge to highlight their exceptional achievements.



About Strive for College

Strive for College was founded in 2007 by Michael J. Carter, then a student at Washington University in St. Louis, to help acutely underserved area high school students apply to college and navigate financial aid.  College students volunteered as in-person mentors for high school students, and mentored students achieved substantially better college go-on rates than their non-mentored peers. Strive for College grew to become a respected college access organization doing in-person mentoring across the country.  Delivering its mentoring service at sufficient scale to make a meaningful impact on the national college access problem soon became Strive’s biggest challenge, which led to the development and launch of UStrive in 2014 to connect aspiring college students with free one-on-one online mentoring through the entire college admissions and financial aid application process.


After merging with the Center for Student Opportunity in 2016, Strive for College now runs ImFirst.org and publishes the I’m First! Guide to College in support of first-generation college students, and partners with colleges and universities to promote and strengthen their efforts on behalf of these students.


Strive for College counts Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, American Express, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, UPS, and The Common Application among its major funders and partners. Strive and their founder Michael J. Carter have been featured by CNN Heroes and Forbes 30 Under 30 and received major national media attention from outlets including Time, National Journal, and Fast Company.  Learn more at www.striveforcollege.org.