Financial Aid FAQ

Cost of Attendance
Qualifying for Aid
Applying for Aid
The Aid Award
Aid for Study Abroad
Aid for Eating Clubs
Renewing Financial Aid

Cost of Attendance

What does it cost to attend Princeton for a year?
The cost of attendance at Princeton includes tuition, room, board, books and personal expenses. Review the most current cost of attendance.

Qualifying for Aid

How do you decide who gets financial aid?
Financial aid is awarded based on need only. We use the information you supply on your financial aid application and supporting documents to determine how much support we will provide. Information about how we determine financial need is available in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions.

What does "need-blind" mean?
"Need-blind" means that Princeton accepts students regardless of their ability to pay the cost of attendance and meets their full demonstrated need with a "no loan" aid package. There is no disadvantage of any kind in the admission process for financial aid applicants.

Before I apply, can I get a sense of whether I might qualify for aid?
Yes. Just enter your financial information into the Princeton Financial Aid Estimator to get a quick idea of how much aid you may be qualified to receive. The Princeton Financial Aid Estimator is completely confidential and in no way affects your application for admission or financial aid

Do you give scholarships for academic merit, special talents or athletic ability?
No. All financial aid awards are based solely on need. Learn more about how aid is assigned in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions.

Are international students eligible for financial aid?
Yes. Princeton is one of only six schools nationwide that doesn't limit the financial aid available to international students. Admission is offered to students regardless of their ability to pay, and the full need of every admitted international student is met just as it is for U.S. students

Applying for Aid

How and when do I apply for financial aid?
You should apply for financial aid by November 15 (Early Action) or February 1 (Regular Decision). We encourage all students to use our easy online financial aid application. Learn more about applying for financial aid in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions.

Will applying for aid hurt my chance of being admitted to Princeton?
No. There is no disadvantage whatsoever in the admission process for financial aid applicants. Princeton has a need-blind admission policy, ensuring equality of opportunity for students who cannot afford the full cost of attendance. This policy covers all admission applicants, including international students. Learn more about how our aid program works.

My parents are separated or divorced. Do they both need to submit financial information for my aid application?
Yes. Princeton requires both parents to provide financial information in most cases. See the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions for more information about exceptions.

Do I need to supply my parents’ financial information if I am a self-supporting student?
When awarding aid, we require parental financial information for all students, with very few exceptions.

If I do not apply for aid as a freshman and my family circumstances change later, can I request aid after my first year?
Yes. Students can apply for aid at any point during their time at Princeton. An explanation of the change in circumstances may be required.

The Aid Award

When will I know if I will receive financial aid?
If you are admitted to Princeton and have applied for aid, you will receive a financial aid award along with your offer of admission.

What kinds of funds will be included in my aid award?
If you receive financial aid, your award will normally include a Princeton grant and a campus job, as well as any outside scholarships you earn. More information about these types of aid is available in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions.

Will I need to take out loans?
Over 10 years ago, Princeton eliminated student loans from financial aid awards, replacing them with grants. Since then, no Princeton student has been required to borrow as part of a basic aid package. Seventy-five percent of Princeton students graduate debt free.

Does the "no loan" policy mean I would not be allowed to borrow if I wanted to take a student loan?
Loans are available, and some students request an optional education loan to replace a shortfall in the expected student earnings (term-time job or summer employment) or cover expenses not included in the standard student budget. Learn more about financing options.

For students who borrow, what is the average debt at graduation?
For students who choose to borrow, the average total indebtedness is about $5,000.

If I qualify for aid, how much assistance will I receive?
At Princeton, we are committed to meeting 100 percent of the calculated need of each aid applicant based on an individual evaluation by a financial aid counselor. We make this determination using the information you provide on your financial aid application. Learn more about aid awards in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions. You can also use the Princeton Financial Aid Estimator to see how much aid might be offered based on your particular situation.

If my aid award includes a campus job, how many hours per week will I work?
We typically expect freshmen to work 9 hours per week, which allows them ample time for studies and extracurricular activities. Learn more about campus employment in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions.

What if I win an outside scholarship?
Outside scholarships from private sources are used to reduce the campus job and summer savings portions of the aid package. Once the earnings amounts are fully replaced, additional outside scholarship funds can be used toward the purchase of a personal computer. Princeton grant funds are reduced only after these other options have been exhausted. Learn more about how outside scholarships impact the financial aid award in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions.

Aid for Study Abroad

Can I use financial aid to study abroad?
Aid students who receive approval from the Office of International Programs for a semester or year abroad will be eligible for funding based on the cost of the program and amount of their family contribution. Princeton sponsored summer programs are not included since they have their own funds to support student costs.

Aid for Eating Clubs

Is it true that eating clubs for juniors and seniors are too expensive for aid students to join?
The meal allowance included in the aid packages of juniors and seniors is based on the approximate average cost of an eating club board plan. This policy provides access to a variety of dining options for all aid students, including the eating clubs.

Renewing Financial Aid

Do I need to reapply for financial aid each year?
For each year of attendance at Princeton, students must submit a new financial aid application. The application is evaluated according to the same need-based guidelines that were in effect when the student was admitted.

Will I receive the same amount of financial aid every year?
It is our policy to meet students’ full demonstrated need each year. Award amounts may vary from year to year, based on changes in a family's financial circumstances and Princeton's cost of attendance.

Do I have to maintain a minimum GPA to remain eligible for financial aid?
There is no minimum GPA requirement to remain on financial aid, but students must continue to maintain satisfactory academic progress.