Kean University Chosen to Pilot New College Admissions Tool

UNION, N.J. — Kean University is one of 14 colleges and universities across the country taking part in a pilot program for college admissions that helps level the playing field for prospective students, especially minority and first-generation students.

Through the 2022-2023 Direct Admissions pilot conducted by the Common App, the University will proactively offer admission to prospective students who create a Common App account and meet Kean’s selected criteria, even if they have not completed an application to Kean. Students who accept the offer will then have to apply.

The goal is for students, especially those who come from underrepresented communities or are the first in their families to apply to college, to gain a sense of security in the college application process.

At the same time, Kean will be able to select students who meet the qualifications for admission to the University and reach out to them earlier in the application cycle.

“Kean University has a deep commitment to supporting students from minority and first-generation backgrounds, and this new admissions tool allows us to offer more students an opportunity to receive a college education at Kean,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “Through this pilot program, we will put college within reach for so many deserving students.” 

This year represents the third round of the pilot offered by the Common App. Through Direct Admissions, colleges and universities are able to contact prospective students who have created a Common App account, regardless of whether they completed all of their open applications.

In the pilot’s second phase, six participating schools offered admission to 18,000 students, and more than 800 students were accepted. The impact was strongest for Black, African-American, Latinx and first-generation students.

Kean and 13 other participating institutions will now begin outreach to nearly 30,000 students.

Kean Senior Vice President for Administration Michael Salvatore, Ph.D., said the direct admissions program gives the University an additional tool to “advance our mission of fostering equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education. 

“At Kean, we are committed to supporting the academic hopes and dreams of all students, particularly minority and first-generation students, and through the Direct Admissions program, we expect even more students to discover how they can climb higher at Kean,” Salvatore said.

Kean University Vice President of Enrollment Services Marsha McCarthy said the Common App’s Direct Admissions program dovetails with the Kean Tuition Promise program, which provides free college tuition for qualifying students.

“The Common App’s Direct Admissions Program coupled with the Kean Tuition Promise create a powerful combination for New Jersey’s most needy prospective students to help them envision a future with a college degree, and that Kean may be a debt-free option for them,” McCarthy said.

Melissa Maiorino, director of the Office of Enrollment Services at Kean, said about 1,200 students are expected to receive an offer of direct admission. Once those students complete an application to Kean, they will have the same accepted experience as all incoming Kean students. 

“The aim of the program is to offer underrepresented students increased college choice and a sense of security in their application process,” Maiorino said.

Jenny Rickard, the president and CEO of Common App, said the Direct Admissions pilot has the potential to help many students.

“Direct Admissions is about changing the narrative of a college education from one of scarcity to one of opportunity, by ensuring students know that college opportunity is an abundant resource — and one that’s available to them,” she said. 


Founded in 1855, Kean University is one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving more than 16,000 students. The University’s six colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees, seven doctoral degree programs, and more than 70 options for graduate study leading to master’s degrees, professional diplomas or certifications over a full range of academic subjects. With campuses in Union, Toms River, Jefferson and Manahawkin, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education. Visit

Photo Caption: Through the 2022-2023 Direct Admissions pilot conducted by the Common App, Kean University will proactively offer admission to prospective students who create a Common App account and meet Kean’s selected criteria. (Photo Credit: Kean University)

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