Saint Peter’s Receives National Recognition as a First-gen Forward Institution

Jersey City, N.J. – April 1, 2020 – Saint Peter’s University has been designated as a First-gen Forward Institution in recognition of the University’s demonstrated commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Saint Peter’s will join a national cohort of institutions that have been selected by the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation. Selected institutions will receive professional development, community-building experiences and a first look at the Center’s research and resources.

“Saint Peter’s has long-served our large population of first-generation students  and we are honored to be recognized for our success in these efforts,” said Mildred Mihlon, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic affairs and assessment at Saint Peter’s University. “We are grateful for the added resources that will be available to us as members of the “First Gen Forward” cohort and we look forward to building on our achievements as a national leader in upward mobility.”

Saint Peter’s University is committed to providing continued support for first-generation college students through readiness programs including the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program, the Academic Success Program and TRiO Student Support Services. These programs collectively provide summer readiness experiences, transitional programs, dedicated advising and coaching, career and graduate school preparedness opportunities as well as financial literacy education.

Saint Peter’s maintains a commitment to affordability, offering competitive need-based and merit aid to support first-generation college students who come from low income households. The University also provides continuous support to families who may require added financial awareness and resources to help them navigate unfamiliar college-planning terrain.

“Now, in its second year, First-gen Forward institutions continue to lead the nation by their commitment to first-generation student success,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, senior director of The Center for First-generation Student Success. “The 2020-21 cohort consists of diverse institutions across the nation and we are pleased to welcome Saint Peter’s for their long-term commitment and demonstrated strategies for scaling first-generation student initiatives.”

As a First-gen Forward Institution, select faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer and aspirational institutions who are also creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-gen Forward Workshop to be held in Baltimore in June and will participate in monthly phone calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions are eligible to apply for the Advisory leadership designation.

“First-gen Forward is an exciting opportunity for Saint Peter’s to join an elite community of professionals prepared to share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the country,” said Dr. Kevin Kruger, president and CEO of NASPA. “We are excited to see a groundswell of activity from the First-gen Forward cohort and know Saint Peter’s will be a significant contributor.”

To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit

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Saint Peter’s University, inspired by its Jesuit, Catholic identity, commitment to individual attention and grounding in the liberal arts, educates a diverse community of learners in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional programs to excel intellectually, lead ethically, serve compassionately and promote justice in our ever-changing urban and global environment. To learn more, please visit

NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Its work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories. Visit for more information.

The Center for First-generation Student Success is the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. Through four strategic priority areas, the Center drives higher education innovation and advocacy for first-generation student success.


Media Contact
Angeline Boyer
(201) 761-6238


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