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Reactions: What data should the University publicly release?

Gothic buildings with green ivy on a clear blue day that extend across the screen. There are bicycles in the foreground.
Joline and Campbell halls.
Jean Shin / The Daily Princetonian

The University releases data about many different aspects of the University from student demographics to progress towards its sustainability goals. We asked our columnists what other data the University should release for easy public access.

If Princeton is serious about climate change, it should release full emissions data


Thomas Buckley, Associate Opinion Editor

Princeton pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2046. But what does that actually mean? According to the sustainability action plan, the University’s goal is to reduce emissions from “both direct emissions from on-site energy production and fleet fuel use, and indirect emissions from purchased electricity — by 2046.” Absent from these emissions sources, however, are emissions created by University policies: “scope 3 emissions.” These encompass emissions from upstream sources that are not included in Princeton’s calculations, such as from food purchased for the dining halls, transportation to and from campus for employees and visitors, and pollution created by companies held in PRINCO’s portfolio. Princeton must include this data in their emissions sources.

Having this emissions data gives us better scope on the University’s progress towards its climate goals. The climate impact of these indirect sources can be substantial at Princeton. Just one week of meals at the Rocky-Mathey Dining Hall used 500 pounds of beef, equivalent to burning 56,000 pounds of coal. The 25,000 alumni who travel to reunions every year produce emissions comparable to eight percent of the University’s campus emissions. Taking into account all these sources of emission over time is essential to understanding Princeton’s true carbon impact. 

Despite promising to “track and reduce” scope 3 indirect emissions, the University has not made public accounting of the emissions from these upstream sources. The University has pledged to track their scope 3 emissions by ”2026 and beyond.” Doing so would demonstrate a firm commitment to transparency and help keep Princeton accountable to its climate responsibilities, and they should release the data as soon as it’s available.

Thomas Buckley is an associate Opinion editor from Colchester, Vt., majoring in SPIA. He can be reached at

Princeton Administration should begin releasing grade distribution data for individual courses


Davis Hobley, Columnist

Semester after semester, Princeton students enroll in countless courses where they are told that their grades will be “curved,” but are often given little to no indication of what that will mean for them. To remedy this problem, Princeton should release grade distribution data for each course on the course offering site so that students can have a sense of approximately what proportion of students receive each grade and of how they are actually performing in a course during the duration of their enrollment. 

At best, certain courses, such as MAT 103, provide a rough distribution of what final grades could look like on the syllabus. For the vast majority of courses, however, course distributions are not available for students to access. When courses are run in this manner, students in courses that are curved don’t know how they are actually performing in a course. This issue is especially troubling when students aren’t aware of what grade they are on track to get until after the pass/D/fail and/or course drop deadline. 

Releasing grade distribution data would allow students to enter each course with a more accurate view of what they should expect during the semester. All grades could remain anonymous, and the data could be easily acquired through the registrar’s office. 

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The Princeton administration releasing these data would vastly reduce the mystery that surrounds grading at Princeton — a change which permits students to approach each of their courses with a clearer understanding of their expectations.

Davis Hobley is a member of the Class of 2027 and intends to major in Neuroscience. He hails from Rochester, Mich. and can be reached through his email ( and personal Instagram (@davis_20.23).

Princeton should release the income distribution of accepted students

Frances Brogan, Assistant Opinion Editor

Princeton should release data on the percentage of accepted students — and the percentage of applicants — who correspond to each income bracket. The University has publicized that 25 percent of the student body pays nothing to attend, a group that constitutes students from families making up to $100,000 a year. But even as Princeton expands accessibility for low and middle-income students, we still don’t know how many students from a middle-class background are represented in each class.

According to The Daily Princetonian’s 2023 senior survey, respondents with household incomes between $80,000 and $125,000 a year were tied with those from families that make below $40,000 a year as the least represented economic group. This indicates that middle income students still face barriers to obtaining a Princeton education. By not releasing this data, the University obscures how overwhelmingly wealthy Princeton remains.

It’s not enough to accommodate low and middle-income students once they get to Princeton if too few of these students are accepted in the first place. It’s also essential to provide and compare the data on accepted students to the general applicant pool. This would further clarify the correlation between income and chances of acceptance. 

Frances Brogan is a first-year prospective Politics major from Lancaster, Pa. She is an assistant Opinion editor and can be reached at

International students are not a monolith. Make admissions data reflect that fact.

Siyeon Lee, Assistant Opinion Editor

Fourteen percent of the incoming students of the Class of 2027 are international students. These students hail from over 64 countries and represent a plethora of diverse racial and demographic groups. The most recent iteration of Princeton’s first-year admissions statistics for the Class of 2027, however, has failed to reflect this heterogeneity of the international student body. For its next release of first-year admissions statistics, Princeton must better articulate international admissions data.

Under its “Diversity” category, which describes the racial composition of the incoming class, the statistics sheet groups U.S. citizens into various racial categories — Asian American or Black, for example — whereas international students are treated as a demographic monolith, all falling under one category of “International Citizens.” In addition, domestic students are able to see a visual mapping of the 50 states with the number of students that have been admitted from each, but international students merely receive a list of the countries that are represented amongst the first-years.

There is much to glean from treating different groups of international students as distinct demographic bodies — from a statistical, cultural, and admissions standpoint. Statistics allows international students to make empirically-informed decisions about the schools they apply to, gauge a university’s community atmosphere, and keeps institutional diversity in check. International students are not a monolith, and we must ensure that Princeton’s admissions statistics recognize this reality. 

Siyeon Lee is a first-year from Seoul, South Korea intending to major in History. She is an assistant Opinion editor on the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at or @siyeonish on Instagram.

Princeton should release test-optional statistics for admitted students

Liz Reyes, Contributing Columnist

In light of recent changes by other Ivy League institutions on their test optional policy, it is crucial for Princeton to reevaluate and clarify admissions data that it makes available for its potential applicants. Princeton should release data on the percentage of applicants who have been admitted test-optional versus the percentage admitted with test scores. Doing so would allow prospective students to see how test-optional policies are actually enforced, and whether or not applying test optional really makes a difference in Princeton admissions.

Higher test scores are associated with higher income — colleges are aware of this. Knowing the unique financial makeup of our student population, it is important that Princeton releases the number of admitted students who did and did not submit standardized testing scores. Discussions referring to test optional policies in college admissions also refer to the idea that submitting test scores to test optional schools gives students an advantage in admissions. To combat this, Princeton should release more complete data on test-optional admissions. Although the common data set — a yearly release of enrollment and admissions data from U.S. colleges — already releases test-optional data on already admitted students, it lacks information on how admission rates differ from test-optional versus non-test-optional applicants. 

By categorizing and releasing admissions data based on test-optional status, Princeton can provide much-needed transparency on the admissions process in light of abrupt test policy changes across the nation.

Liz Reyes is a first-year contributing columnist from Cherry Hill, N.J. intending to major in SPIA. She can be reached at

Princeton should be transparent about legacy admissions

Anais Mobarak, Columnist

Legacy admissions are typically thought to yield “more generous donors” because alumni parents are often in better financial positions to make contributions. Some have even questioned “Would America have such a powerful donation culture in the absence of legacy admissions?” Just as Princeton celebrates and provides data on its fundraising efforts, it should do the same for legacy admissions to clarify this potential fundraising interrelationship. This data should include the average ACT/SAT scores and GPA for students who receive a boost in admissions for being a legacy student, or for whom legacy status is a “tie-breaker,” as President Eisgruber put it

Releasing data on the fundraising effects of legacy admissions would help the University make this practice transparent. If Princeton believes that legacy admissions are a worthwhile tradeoff given their fundraising benefits, it should own the fact that it continues to use a non-merit-based factor in admissions to meet its financial objectives.

Anais Mobarak is a junior from Newton, Mass. studying chemistry. She can be reached at