Admissions officials at Princeton University said in a statement posted online Monday that students who act on their conscience in peaceful, principled protest will receive full consideration in the admissions process.
As students across the country mobilized in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting that left 17 people dead last week, some students have been threatened with suspension.
On March 14 and March 24 student demonstrations called “National School Walk Out” and “March for Our Lives,” respectively, are expected to take place across the country. Princeton University students are expected to rally on campus on March 14.
Princeton’s online statement read: “Princeton University’s mission is to advance learning through scholarship, research, and teaching of unsurpassed quality, with a proud and demonstrated commitment to serve the nation and the world. Students who act on their conscience in peaceful, principled protest will receive full consideration in our admissions process.”
“Many forms of peaceful protest are fully consistent with the rules of American high schools, and we have no reason to suppose that such protests will result in disciplinary action. If students are disciplined by their high school, they will be encouraged to augment their application to Princeton with a statement that addresses why they were moved to protest and why they were subject to discipline,” it continued.
In the same statement, the admissions office also noted that such an additional statement is required from any student applicant who has received a penalty from their high school because of a disciplinary infraction. These statements are evaluated in the light of all relevant circumstances, including the character of the student conduct involved and the school’s justification for disciplining it.
President Christopher L. Eisgruber said the online statement clarifies a policy that had been in effect previously.
“It reflects a decision that, under circumstances where a lot of students are asking questions about it, we need to make sure it’s out there so that they know how we’ll consider [their applications]. It really does not change a policy that we’ve had in effect before,” he said.
Princeton University is one of more than 130 colleges that have issued statements assuring high schoolers that participating in protests will not negatively affect their chances for admission. That number is continuing to grow.