We ask all students to submit a graded written paper for consideration as part of their application to Princeton.
When selecting a paper to submit, please keep in mind the following guidelines:
The paper should be writing done for an academic course, preferably an English, social studies or history course, during the last three years of secondary school, including senior year.
You may send a paper, essay, research paper or essay exam. We are interested in seeing expository writing only, not creative writing.
One to two pages in length is sufficient.
The paper should include the course instructor’s grade, and comments if your instructor provided any.
Princeton no longer requires applicants to submit the optional writing section of the SAT or ACT (the SAT Essay or ACT Writing Test), because taking the test with the optional writing section adds an additional cost that may be a financial burden to some applicants. We became concerned that students at schools where the ACT or SAT is offered for free, but only without the optional writing section, would then need to pay to take the test with the optional writing section. Please review our standardized testing policy.
NOTE: If submitting an official score report is a financial hardship, Princeton will continue to review applications with self-reported scores, verified by a school official such as a school counselor, teacher or dean.
For Transfer Applicants
For transfer applicants, a graded paper may come from a course taken within the last two to three years of schooling. While we prefer that it be in the subjects of either English or history, we will also consider papers from courses in the humanities and social sciences for our transfer applicants, provided they meet all other requirements listed.
How to Submit the Graded Written Paper
To submit your graded written paper, choose one of the following options:
Option 1: Upload the graded written paper alongside your application materials when submitting the Common Application or QuestBridge Application.
Option 2: Mail, email or upload the graded written paper to your applicant portal.
The grade and the teacher comments should appear on the paper. If a grading rubric was used, please include this information along with your paper. The Admission Office is more interested in the quality of the writing than the grade it received and encourages you to submit a graded written paper that shows your best efforts, regardless of the grade.
If your school does not offer grades for student work, please submit teacher comments and a rubric.
If you have already graduated and are taking a year off, you may contact your secondary school to obtain a graded written paper.
Please see additional information about the graded written paper on the pages that offer further details for: