Regarding the University’s diversity goals (On the Campus, October issue), Princeton should consider a supplemental admissions program. Each student close to admission in the ordinary process, but not admitted, could be separately judged on criteria for coming from an underserved/challenged background, and, if so, could be offered admission to a special one-year online program of supplemental education merging into first-year college courses during the second semester as the student is able. The courses would be supervised by Princeton faculty and grad students but otherwise would involve little cost, as materials would be online and results would depend mostly on student initiative. As a public service, Princeton could offer this special program free. Courses in the program could be taken asynchronously so students in the program could work, or even attend another school, for the year.
A student who does well enough in the program would be admitted to Princeton for the next year, with credits from the courses taken in the program depending on how well the student did. The program would help deserving students who are ready to work hard gain admission to Princeton, and it would enable Princeton to admit highly qualified and motivated students from a broader group who need just a little extra time and work to reach Princeton standards. A student who enrolled in the program and was not admitted would still enjoy the benefits of a free supplemental education.