Princeton reinstated a transfer admissions process this year for the first time since 1990. Before this year, Princeton had been an outlier since all seven of its Ivy League peers admitted transfers. And the school did not stealthily reinstate transfer admissions — it did so to much hype in the press. Princeton administrators openly touted how the reinstatement of transfer admissions at the university would allow the school to specifically target members of America’s military, low-income young people, and community college students. Based on the veterans with whom we’ve had the privilege of working over the last several years on a pro bono basis, we can assert that a school can check all three of these boxes with the admission of one veteran. But in the first transfer admissions cycle in over a quarter of a century at Princeton, the school chose to admit less than 1% of applicants. We find this statistic to be unreasonable. Indeed we believe Princeton did not act in good faith by accepting the application fees of transfer applicants when the school ultimately chose to deny over 99% of applicants.
Shame on Princeton’s Admissions Office
Princeton has been praised in “Military Times” and elsewhere for its admission of seven veterans of America’s military and one reservist among its 13 transfer admits. As our regular readers know well, we at Ivy Coach are all about universities doing more to admit — and welcome — veterans of America’s military. It’s why Ivy Coach’s pro bono services are reserved exclusively to those Americans who’ve served our nation in uniform. But to admit 13 students out of a field of 1,429 students is, in a word, ridiculous.
While we are all for the admission of more veterans at America’s elite institutions, we would encourage Princeton to be more clear in its language for transfer applicants about the type of student they’re looking for in the transfer process. If they’re only going to admit 5 students without a military background, we’re all for that. In fact, we support it! But Princeton should explicitly tell transfer applicants that they’re only looking to admit a few students who are not veterans. This way, non-veteran students wouldn’t unnecessarily get their hopes up. They may not bother going to the effort of working on the application and applying. Alternatively, Princeton could openly reserve its transfer process exclusively to veterans — which would be a really great thing, so long as the school is open about it.
Kudos to Princeton for admitting seven veterans and one reservist in the transfer admissions process. How cool it would be if Princeton’s transfer admissions process was reserved exclusively for veterans…what a statement that would be! But if that’s the case — or if Princeton only admits a few non-veteran transfers — they should say as much to prospective transfer applicants before they submit applications. And as for Princeton receiving kudos for admitting 13 students, we echo the chorus of university administrators asking themselves, “Why is Princeton receiving praise for something we’ve been doing for decades? We’ve been targeting veterans for the last 25 years in the transfer admissions process. Where has Princeton been? They’re over a quarter of a century late to the party!”
Agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below. And if you’re a veteran of America’s military interested in Ivy Coach’s pro bono college admissions help, contact us today to inquire about our services. Do indicate that you’re a veteran on the form.