Higher Education in the Spotlight

Higher education has been prominent in the news this week, demonstrating the intense spotlight on the nation’s institutions of higher learning, including Princeton. So, we want to offer some insight into how the University thinks about and addresses these issues.


In the news: a New York Times editorial calling for the end to legacy admissions nationally and coverage in the Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed of a new book arguing that the hunt for tuition dollars drives admission decisions

A Princeton perspective: President Eisgruber wrote in his 2018 letter to the University community that “every single student on this campus is here because of merit”:

“The trade-offs in the admission process are complex and difficult, but this much is straightforward and singularly important: every single student on this campus is here because of merit. All of our students are here because we have made a judgment, on the basis of exceptionally demanding standards, that they have what it takes to succeed at Princeton, to enhance the education of their peers, and to use their education ‘in the nation’s service and the service of humanity’ after they graduate.That is true of our undergraduates and our graduate students. It is true of our athletes, our artists, our legacies, our first-generation students, and our students from every state and every country represented on this campus. They all have the talent needed to benefit from the transformative education made possible by our superb faculty and staff.”


In the news: a Times column by Harvard professor Anthony Abraham Jack writes about the true challenges faced by him and other low-income college students

A Princeton perspective: Jack was part of a conference held on Princeton campus in February for administrators who work with first-generation, low-income (FLI) students from 40 highly selective institutions. “1vyG,” the largest conference for FLI students in the nation, was also held at Princeton in February. Read more about the conferences, which offered the opportunity to to build community, share experiences and create visions for change.


In the news: the latest college rankings from U.S. News.

A Princeton perspective: Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss told ROI-NJ:

“While we appreciate acknowledgement for our efforts as a research university dedicated to world-class education and innovation, our focus remains on preparing students for meaningful lives in the nation’s service and the service of humanity. To do that, we strive to support a diverse community and offer financial aid that allows students from a wide-range of backgrounds and experiences to graduate debt-free, pursue a wide range of careers, and impact the community and world around them.”