Princeton has finally recognized that the "un-enrollment" of
graduate students is a problem that causes undue burdens and stresses
on Ph.D. candidates who are trying to finish their degrees.
But the problem is one of the university's own making. Despite knowing
that its high-achieving graduate students take more than five years to
complete their degrees, the university insists on limiting enrollment
periods to four or five years. The institution of a temporary social safety
net (dubbed "Degree Candidacy Continued", or DCC) is only a
DCC status lasts only one year, and does not cover one of the most important
benefits of having student status the ability to defer college
Several other universities allow advanced Ph.D. candidates to continue
their status as full-time students for a modest fee. These universities
recognize what Princeton has so far refused to admit: that people who
are working full-time on their dissertations are students and should be
labeled as such. With its financial largesse and wisdom of administration,
Princeton would do well to follow their example.