The question regarding conviction history collects flawed information produced by a discriminatory system. By asking about past convictions, Princeton is not asking who has committed a crime, but rather who has been arrested and punished for these crimes by a demonstrably inequitable justice system. Thus, this information is not an unbiased indicator of culpability or character.


The very presence of this question on the application deters many students with conviction histories from applying to Princeton in the first place. Thus, the Box excludes prospective students long before Princeton admissions officers read applications, and would continue to do so even if admissions officers vowed to not take this information into consideration. As a result, Princeton’s applicant pool is less representative of students with conviction histories and thus less representative of students from low income and minority communities.

The Box enables discrimination against students with conviction histories and undermines qualified students’ efforts to compete equally with other applicants. For reasons stated in #1, this disproportionately impacts low income students and students of color.