Princeton participates in review of admission procedures for class of 2010

June 10, 2008, 10 p.m.

Princeton University is providing information to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights as part of a compliance review of the University's admission procedures. The review is the education department's response to an individual complaint submitted to the department in August 2006 by an applicant to Princeton who was denied admission.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University in January that it would review information from the admission process through which applicants were admitted for the class of 2010, the class to which the individual claimed he was denied admission on the basis of his race and Asian national origin.

OCR has jurisdiction to review compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal assistance. As a recipient of federal funding, Princeton is subject to OCR's jurisdiction.

"Princeton does not discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin, and our admission policy is in full compliance with Title VI of the federal law," said Princeton spokeswoman Cass Cliatt. "We encourage students from a broad range of backgrounds to apply, and we consider each applicant as an individual, taking many factors into account as we seek to enroll a class that is both excellent and diverse."

"In admitting each class, Princeton confronts the challenge of selecting from thousands of excellent applicants," Cliatt added, noting that Princeton admitted only about half of the applicants with maximum SAT scores for the class of 2010.

The applicant who brought the initial complaint is currently a student at Yale. He filed a complaint only against Princeton, although he reported that he also was not admitted to Harvard University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania.

The Princeton class to which the complainant applied had a then-record 17,564 applicants for a class that enrolled 1,231 students. With a record-high representation of students from minority backgrounds, as well as international students, the class of 2010 at the time was the most diverse in the University's history. Among the enrolled students, 37 percent were American ethnic minorities, and an additional 10.4 percent were international students. Fourteen percent of the class of 2010 was Asian American.

"The University has been fully responsive to the Office for Civil Rights in this compliance review, and we will continue to assist that office as it conducts its review of our admission procedures," Cliatt said.