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Students will know ‘whether a one-year leave is possible’ by mid-August, says U.

<h6>Photo Credit: Lazarena Lazarova</h6>
Photo Credit: Lazarena Lazarova

Students who elect to take a leave of absence will be informed by mid-August whether a one-year leave is possible, according to an email sent this morning from Dean of the College Jill Dolan. 

During a Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) meeting in May, Dolan said that students who take gap years this fall may not be guaranteed immediate return due to housing and enrollment constraints. Early July, she said the University would likely employ a “lottery system” to determine when students may re-enroll, which would happen “in September or early October.”


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 on whether or not 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.

In a statement to The Daily Princetonian, Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss confirmed that students not granted one-year leaves of absence will be allowed to take two-year leaves. 

Hotchkiss also wrote that there “is no strict cut-off” when it comes to the number of students who will be granted a one-year leave.

“We will work to allow the option of a one-year leave to as many of those who request it as possible,“ he added.

In her message to students, 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.” 


“To give all students accurate information about when they can return, we need realistic numbers,” Dolan wrote. “Should we receive leave requests that aren’t based on a seriously considered commitment to taking time away, we might end up with the mistaken impression that we cannot accommodate the number of requests we receive.”

Artificially inflated numbers, Dolan wrote, would have a harmful effect on students “who really must take a leave next year.” 

“In other words, please don’t submit a leave request simply to hedge your bets,” she added.

Dolan and Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun also plan to host a webinar for parents and families “about leave-taking and other matters” on July 28.

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“Again, I urge you to persist in your studies if you possibly can,” she wrote in conclusion. “If not, do think carefully and conscientiously before you request a leave. I so appreciate your ethical consideration here, as always.”

This story is breaking and will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.