So, you’re thinking about applying to Princeton, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! Of course, there are a lot of factors in the admissions process, and it’s impossible to accurately predict whether you’ll be admitted or not. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores. So, using those as a measure, we can give you an estimate of your chances.
With an acceptance rate of 6.5%, admission to Princeton is extremely competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the top of your class, and have an SAT score of close to 1600, or an ACT score of around 35.
Not quite there? You still have a chance of getting in, but it’s in the single digits. Let’s take a closer look at Princeton admission statistics.
Princeton Admissions Statistics
Princeton’s acceptance rate in 2016 was 6.3%. For students applying to the class of 2020, out of 29,303 applicants, Princeton admitted 1,911. The average GPA of admitted applicants was 3.90, the average ACT score was 33, and the average SAT score was 1540.
For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 31, and the 75th percentile ACT score was 35.
For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1480. The 75th percentile score was 1600.
If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements. Still, at the 25th percentile, your chances of getting in are in the low single digits.
Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurriculars, and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range for your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.
As we said, admission to Princeton is extremely competitive. Even with a perfect SAT score of 1600 and a GPA of 4.0, your chances of admission are about 17%. With a perfect ACT score of 36 and a 4.0, your chances are about 22%. So, even if Princeton is your dream school, you’ll want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere.
OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took at a look at Princeton’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.
Princeton Application Requirements
To apply to Princeton, you’ll need to fill out the Common App and the Princeton supplement, submit an ACT or SAT score, two SAT Subject Test scores (these are recommended, but not required), a school report, and two letters of recommendation from your teachers. Everything should be submitted by November 1 for Single-Choice Early Action and January 1 for Regular Decision.
Here’s a full list of the application requirements:
- Fill out the Common Application, answer Princeton’s supplementary questions, and pay an application fee of $65 (or apply for a fee waiver)
- Submit an ACT or SAT score, along with your writing score
- Submit two SAT Subject Test scores (recommended, but not required)
- Submit your high school transcript and a school report
- Submit two letters of recommendation from your teachers
- You may submit an optional Arts Form
- You may also sit for an optional interview
The application deadline is November 1 for Single-Choice Early Action, and January 1 for Regular Decision. November 1 is the Early financial aid application deadline, and February 1 is the Regular Decision financial aid application deadline. Early Action decisions are released in mid-December, and Regular Decision applicants will find out their fates by the end of March or early April. May 1 is the reply date for admitted students.
Have you been admitted to Princeton? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse at what your classmates will be like.
Princeton Admitted Students Profile
If you matriculate at Princeton, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study dozens of subjects.
Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:
- The class is 51.6% male and 48.4% female
- 61% attended public schools
- 13.8% are the first in their family to attend college
- 9.4% are children of Yale alumni
- Students come from 48 states, D.C., Guam and 68 countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, India, Korea, Mexico, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom
Princeton has a diverse class, as well, with a large number of people of color. The ethnicities of recently admitted applicants are:
- African American: 8%
- Asian American: 20%
- Hispanic/Latino: 9%
- Native American: <1%
- Multiracial: 5%
- International: 12%
- White: 50.3%
What do these admitted students plan to study? Princeton College offers over 80 majors, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a partial list:
- African American Studies
- Comparative Literature
- Near Eastern Studies
- Slavic Languages and Literatures
- Molecular Biology
Now, how are you going to pay for this?
Princeton Tuition Figures
At $64,390, Princeton’s tuition is astronomical. But, don’t panic! With its generous financial aid, students from families with incomes up to $140,000 pay no tuition. Furthermore, students from families earning up to $170,000 will still have about 87% of their tuition covered.
Here’s a fuller look at the average tuition/financial aid package in 2016:
- Total budget: $64,390
- Average financial aid package: $48,000
- Average annual tuition payment: $21,142
- Students from families with the median U.S. income of $54,000 or lower pay no tuition.
Now, what is life like at Princeton? Let’s take a look.
Princeton is located on 500 acres in Princeton, New Jersey. It has been rated as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States. Princeton’s oldest building is Nassau Hall, completed in 1756, and the rest of the campus has buildings of various styles, including High Victorian Gothic, Romanesque Revival, and Collegiate Gothic.
Princeton freshmen reside in one of six residential colleges, more communities than mere dorms, where students live, eat, study, and socialize
Remember, you’re going to Princeton for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.
Princeton freshmen are must enroll in a minimum of three courses per semester, and by the end of sophomore year, students are expected to have completed 17 courses. There are various distributional requirements each year, in areas such as Historical Analysis, Literature and the Arts, and Quantitative Reasoning, and there is also a foreign language requirement.
Some of Princeton’s more interesting majors include:
- Public and International Affairs
- Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
Princeton’s academic year begins on September 9 and ends on May 27, with fall and spring semesters.
Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at Princeton.
Student Life at Princeton
Princeton has over 100 student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.
Here’s a look at three Princeton student groups:
- The Alexander Hamilton Society, dedicated to promoting debate on issues in foreign, economic, and national security policy
- Mas Flow, a community of students celebrating Latin culture through dance
- Nassau Weekly, a news, humor, and literary publication provided free to all students
Are you an athlete? Princeton’s got plenty of options for you!
Princeton is in the NCAA Division I Ivy League, and competes in 38 intercollegiate sports. If you’re not up to varsity level, there are plenty of club and intramural sports, as well.
Princeton’s intercollegiate teams include:
- Cross Country
- Water Polo
Who might you become with a Princeton degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:
Princeton has produced U.S. Presidents, Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winners, governors, U.S. Senators and Representatives, Supreme Court Justices, cabinet secretaries, business tycoons, military leaders, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.
Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:
- Novelist and author of The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com
- Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google
- David Remnick, editor-in-chief of The New Yorker
- U.S. Presidents James Madison and Woodrow Wilson (who also served as Princeton’s president)
- Vice President Aaron Burr, who famously killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel
- Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve
- Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist
- Actors Brooke Shields and Jimmy Stewart
And this is only a partial list!
Getting into Princeton is extremely competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no. If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of the Ivy League schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are. If you work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.
Best of luck with your applications!
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