Statement About Applicants’ Right to Protest
In the wake of recent plans for peaceful protests by high school students related to the ongoing gun control debate, we have received a number of inquiries about how Princeton University’s admission office treats high school disciplinary sanctions that might be imposed in response to such activity. 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.
We require such an additional statement from any student applicant who has received a penalty from their high school because of a disciplinary infraction. We evaluate such statements in the light of all relevant circumstances, including the character of the student conduct involved and the school’s justification for disciplining it.