Princeton University President Explains Why The School Takes A Much Higher Number Of Legacy Applicants

Newly instated Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber defended the school’s policy of giving preference to legacy applicants in a public interview Monday night, calling the practice “a recognition of a special bond that Princeton has with its alumni.”

According to student newspaper the Daily Princetonian, Eisgruber made clear his support for giving legacy applicants — who have a parent or other relative that attended Princeton — an edge in admissions. As the Princetonian reports:

Asked whether it was fair that nearly 30 per cent of legacies were admitted last year while the overall admission rate was 7.4 per cent, Eisgruber said the higher admission rate for legacies was “about right.”

“It’s a recognition of a special bond that Princeton has with its alumni and it matters so much to the University,” Eisgruber said. “That preference is literally a tie-breaker in cases where credentials are about even.”

Eisgruber is a Princeton alumnus himself, having graduated from the university with a bachelors degree in physics in 1983.

During the interview — conducted by ABC World News anchor and Princeton alumnus Charlie Gibson — Eisgruber said he is evaluating the school’s grade deflation policy, which as it stands may deter admitted students from attending Princeton. He also reportedly noted that Princeton will expand its class size at some point in the future, much like peer institution Yale University recently announced.

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