Princeton University has announced that the school will weigh in come mid-August on whether or not rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be able to take a one-year leave during the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made by Dean of the College Jill Dolan. However, if students choose to take a gap year, it seems that they may not be guaranteed immediate return on account of housing and enrollment restrictions. Indeed a lottery system could be deployed to determine when students can re-enroll at the school. So, no, taking a one-year leave from Princeton this coming year doesn’t seem like such a good idea to us — though that can change with Princeton’s messaging in mid-August.
As Allan Shen reports for The Princetonian in a piece entitled “Students will know ‘whether a one-year leave is possible’ by mid-August, says U.,” “In a message to rising seniors, juniors, and sophomores this afternoon, Dolan stated that students will be informed on whether they are granted a one-year leave of absence by the University by mid-August. Students granted a one-year leave of absence will be asked to confirm their decision to take that leave within 48 hours. ‘The Office of the Dean of the College will inform you by mid-August if you are approved for a one-year leave of absence. You will then be asked to complete a check-out process and formally confirm your leave,’ the leave of absence form page notes. Dolan added that for the process to work fairly, ‘you must only request a Leave of Absence if you are serious about taking a leave.'”
We’ll update our readers what exactly Princeton’s administrators decide on this proposed one-year leave policy in mid-August. But, as it sounds now, we encourage Princeton students to avoid taking a one-year leave. It just feels scary to us that you may not be able to quickly re-enroll at the school upon the end of your leave. Who wants to risk that?
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