We know the college admission process can be a little overwhelming. We're here to help.
For quick reference, we’ve compiled the answers to our Frequently Asked Questions. Please select your topic below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there exceptions to the general rule that Princeton won’t disclose a student’s personal information?
Yes, there are some limited circumstances in which certain information about a student may be available to the general public and/or the government.
First, unless a student submits a written request to the Registrar asking for confidentiality, the University may share the student’s “Directory Information”: the student’s name; telephone number; email address; photo; dates of attendance; major field of study; degrees and awards; school(s) attended prior to Princeton; participation in officially recognized activities, organizations, and athletic teams; and weight and height of members of athletic teams. Princeton’s policy is to keep student addresses, dates of birth, and places of birth confidential, even though The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) identifies that information as available for public disclosure. All directory information can, however, be kept confidential if the affected student makes a written request to the Registrar.
Second, Princeton may be legally required to provide a student’s records to government officials or law enforcement officers if presented with a valid, lawful subpoena or comparably binding requirement (for example, a court order). In that case, Princeton will ordinarily provide notice to the student whose records are requested before complying with the request.
Additional details are available in RRR Section 2.7.
How does Princeton protect the privacy of students’ personal information?
Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Princeton’s general rule is not to disclose a student’s personal information to anyone outside the University—including government officials or law enforcement officers—without the student’s prior written consent.
Do any federal laws protect the privacy of student records?
Yes. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal statute that protects the privacy of student records and controls the circumstances under which such records may be disclosed. Princeton’s policy on “Student Privacy Rights under Federal Law” provides detailed information on FERPA and can be found in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities (RRR) 2017, Section 2.7.
As an undocumented or DACA student, can I participate in any International opportunities (study/intern/research abroad?)
International programs are not available to undocumented or DACA students at this time; however, you still have options to pursue programs in the United States through the Office of International Programs (OIP).
As an undocumented or DACA student, would I be eligible to obtain University health insurance?
All currently enrolled Princeton students, including undocumented and DACA students, are eligible for the Student Health Plan (SHP). We do not require a social security number for the SHP.
Am I encouraged to reveal my undocumented or DACAmented status in an essay?
We encourage all students to create an application that will help us contextualize their achievements in and out of the classroom. Some students feel that certain aspects of their identity can best illustrate this context and dedicate their essays accordingly. Ultimately, it is up to each student to determine how to best represent themselves in their applications. We encourage students to write on any topic and per office policy we do not make individual recommendations.
Am I considered a domestic or international applicant in your admissions process?
Citizenship has no impact on our determination of an applicant’s status as either domestic or international. Students are considered domestic applicants if they are attending a secondary school in the United States; likewise, students attending a secondary school abroad are considered international applicants. The Office of Admission does not evaluate or advantage applicants differently based on their status as either domestic or international students.
Can I submit an Optional Arts Supplement or participate in an interview if I am applying to Princeton through the National College Match?
Unfortunately, given the early timeline, we will be unable to review the Optional Arts Supplement or conduct Alumni Interviews with students applying through the National College Match.
Are Subject tests required?
No. We do not require Subject Tests. If you chose to sit for a Subject Test (prior to January 2021 for domestic students and prior to June 2021 for international students) and wish to submit the score, you may do so. Please note: the College Board eliminated SAT Subject Tests in January 2021 for domestic students and in June 2021 for international students.
If I have taken the SAT/ACT, should I submit the test? Will you still consider it?
Yes. Though standardized tests results will not be required for the 2021-22 cycles for an application to be considered complete, we still value these results and will evaluate them within the context of our holistic review. However, if you do not submit standardized testing, you will not be at a disadvantage.
Are standardized tests (SAT/ACT) required?
The impact of COVID-19 has caused the cancellation of many test administrations. As a result, we will not require the submission of standardized test scores in order for an application to be complete for the 2021-22 application cycles. This includes transfer applicants. As always, our review process will be a holistic one, focused not just on an applicant’s academic strengths, but also on the talents and perspectives that they will bring to the Princeton campus.
How can I submit my graded written paper?
Option 1: Upload the graded written paper alongside your application materials when submitting the Coalition Application or Common Application. We will accept scanned documents.
Option 2: Mail, e-mail, or upload the graded written paper to your applicant portal. We will accept scanned documents.
Can the graded written paper come from a summer course? A college course outside of school?
The graded written paper should come from a course of instruction that is listed on your academic transcript.
I initially submitted my paper through turnitin.com. Will this disadvantage me?
I submitted my paper through Google Docs. My teacher’s comments/feedback and grade are on the document. How can I upload the document?
You can convert the Google document to a Word document with mark up, which will show your teacher’s comments. Alternatively, you may also submit a screenshot of your graded written paper as long as the comments and grade are included.
Do you need to see the grade/instructor comments on the same document that is uploaded, or can they be separate?
They may be separate, but please upload them as one document. If using a grading rubric, please include this information along with your paper.
What if my school does not grade?
We encourage you to reach out to your teachers or school counselors to obtain official comments on your paper. If there is a grading rubric that explains how the written work is evaluated, please include it with your submission.
I have a number of papers I can submit but none have the actual grade on it. What should I do?
We encourage you to reach out to your teachers or school counselors to obtain a graded written paper from your last three years of secondary school. If the grade or comments are on a separate piece of paper, please attach this to your submission. If there is no grade written on the paper, please speak to your teacher to ask them to attach, or attest to, the original grade.
I graduated last year and don’t have a paper to submit. What should I do?
We encourage you to reach out to your teachers or school counselors to obtain a graded written paper from your last three years of secondary school. If you are unable to provide a graded written paper, we will still review your application, but we will have less information with which to review your file.
All my papers are in another language. What should I do?
We ask for a paper written in English because all Princeton courses (with the exception of foreign language courses) are taught in English. If you are unable to provide a graded written paper, we will still review your application, but we will have less information with which to review your file.
What if I do not have a paper from an English, social studies or history course?
Though we prefer the paper come from an English, social studies or history course, we understand that course offerings can vary greatly from school to school. Applicants should submit a graded written paper that demonstrates their writing skills.
What year(s) should the paper come from?
For first-year admission, the graded written paper should come from the last three years of secondary school (including your senior or final year). For transfer admission, the graded written paper should come from the last two years of schooling.
What are the graded written paper requirements for an international student?
The graded written paper must have been written in English, not translated from another language into English. More information is available on our international students page.
The paper I have is more than five pages (or more than 1000 words). May I submit it?
Please do your best to adhere to our Graded Written Paper guideline, which states that we will accept a paper or essay that is approximately five pages or 1000 words.
Is there a page or word limit?
No, but one to two pages is sufficient.
What is a graded written paper?
A graded written paper refers to a paper written in the last three years of secondary school that was graded by a teacher. For transfer applicants, a graded written paper may come from a course taken within the last two years of schooling.
Why are there two listings for each program?
Each listing corresponds with an application type. If you applied using the Common Application, please select your desired program affiliated with the Common Application. If you applied using the Coalition Application or QuestBridge Application, select your desired program affiliated with the Coalition Application or QuestBridge Application.
How can I be sure my art supplement was received?
SlideRoom will send you an email confirmation that your submission has been received. Receipt of your submission will also be reflected on your Princeton Applicant Status Portal within 24-48 hours.
Who should I contact if I have questions about my arts supplement?
If you have questions about your arts supplement, you may contact us at email@example.com or phone 609-258-3060.
What if the supplemental material I would like to share does not exactly match the guidelines laid out by the department?
The Princeton University community is rich in many types of artistic talent. But our faculty can only provide evaluations of genres for which formal instruction is offered on campus. We encourage applicants to adhere as closely as possible to the submission guidelines.
I’m having trouble uploading my file. Who can I contact?
If you have technical questions regarding SlideRoom or uploading your arts supplement files, you may contact SlideRoom through the “Help” link on the SlideRoom screen or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I request a fee waiver for my arts supplement?
Applicants who are eligible for a fee waiver through the Coalition, Common or QuestBridge Application, will have the SlideRoom fee waived. SlideRoom fee waivers are automatically provided for applicants who receive a Common Application fee waiver and who use the SlideRoom link provided in the Common Application.
If you wish to apply using the Coalition or QuestBridge Application and require a fee waiver for your optional arts supplement, please email email@example.com directly. Write to us after you have selected your desired SlideRoom program but before you submit your materials.
We cannot refund fees once they have been paid.
I tried to upload my documents and received an invalid file type error; what do I do?
Please check to make sure that you have selected the appropriate file type from the “Select the type of file(s)” drop down menu. This menu is positioned in the Art Supplement File section.
How can I preview my uploaded files before submission?
Once your files are uploaded on the Portfolio tab, you may click your media to preview.
Before submitting your SlideRoom application, you have an option to review your application.
What if my file size exceeds the maximum limit?
File size limits vary by format (video, audio, PDFs). Please be sure to check your arts supplement type for file size guidelines. You may also include external media from YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud.
How can I submit an arts letter of recommendation with my Optional Arts Supplement via SlideRoom?
Include the name and contact information of your arts supplement recommender under the References tab. A reference request email will automatically be sent to that individual. Please note: An arts reference is optional and will only be read by the arts faculty evaluating your supplement unless you submit it as an additional letter of recommendation along with your application to Princeton.
May I submit additional information, such as a CV?
As one of your media uploads, we encourage you to include a resume if you think that will add to an understanding of your training and experiences. Or, you may include information about your training in the additional notes field on the SlideRoom Optional Arts Supplement. Please keep in mind, information you provide in SlideRoom will only be read by the arts faculty evaluating your supplement unless you submit it as additional information along with your application to Princeton.
What if what I would like to submit does not exactly match the guidelines laid out by the department for a form?
We encourage applicants to adhere as closely to the guidelines as possible, as that is what our faculty finds to be most helpful. However, we encourage you to submit the works that best highlight your talents. Most categories have a “miscellaneous” or “other” option if your work or works do not fall neatly into one subcategory.
Why is there a fee to submit an Optional Arts Supplement?
Each SlideRoom submission incurs a small fee. A $5 submission fee allows five media uploads or less. A $10 submission fee allows up to 25 media uploads.
May I submit multiple Optional Arts Supplements?
You may only submit multiple Optional Arts Supplements as long as they are in different programs. For example, you can submit arts supplements for dance in both performance and choreography, but you may not submit two performance arts supplements.
Can I submit an Optional Arts Supplement before I submit my application for admission?
You must submit an application for admission before you can use your Princeton Applicant Status Portal login information to access the Optional Arts Supplement via SlideRoom.
How can I log in to the online Optional Arts Supplement?
On the Coalition, Common or QuestBridge Application, please indicate your intention to submit an arts supplement in Princeton’s member questions. You will then be provided with a link in the application to begin your optional arts supplement through our SlideRoom portal.
Please keep in mind that you need to submit your application to Princeton University before you can submit your optional arts supplement through SlideRoom.
You may save the link or return to this page after you have completed your application.
My school has a dual-enrollment program with a local college and I have completed college courses through that program. Can I earn credit for those courses?
Although students are not eligible for credit for college courses taken through a dual-enrollment program, students may earn advanced placement for high scores on departmental placement tests offered by some Princeton departments. Consult the Reference Table for AP Credit.
Can I earn credit for courses taken at another college or university?
Students are not eligible for credit for college courses taken before they enter Princeton. Many academic departments at Princeton offer advanced placement to students who have done well on an approved standardized exam (AP, IB, A-Level). Some departments may award advanced placement for a high score on departmental placement tests. Consult the Reference Table for AP Credit.
When will I know how much AP credit I will receive?
At the beginning of the fall term of their first year, students receive a report of all the AP units they have been granted. Later in the term, they receive a second report reflecting any scores that have since been received.
How are AP credits applied at Princeton?
Students can use AP credits to enter upper-level courses or to fulfill the foreign language requirement. In a few cases, students who have earned a large number of AP credits use them to graduate early through advanced standing. AP credits may not be used to fulfill the writing requirement, reduce students’ course load in a given term or fulfill the distribution requirements. To see how your test scores may translate into advanced placement at Princeton, consult the Reference Table for AP Credit.
What tests do I need to take to earn advanced placement?
When determining advanced placement, we typically use one or more of the following: 1) AP tests 2) International Baccalaureate (IB) higher level exams 3) British A-Level exams, if available. For more information about required tests and minimum scores, consult the Reference Table for AP Credit.
How can I get to Philadelphia from campus?
Princeton is located between New York and Philadelphia, and is easy to reach by public transportation or by car. To read more about travel options, please visit our Getting to Campus site.
How can I get to New York from campus?
Princeton is located between New York and Philadelphia, and is easy to reach by public transportation or by car. To read more about travel options, please visit our Getting to Campus site.
What are some other points of interest in the Princeton area?
The Princeton area, which has a population of approximately 30,000 residents, has tree-lined streets, speciality shops, restaurants, parks, and a friendly and safe atmosphere. Some local attractions include the Princeton Battlefield State Park, Princeton University Art Museum, Palmer Square, Princeton Cemetery, Drumthwacket (the governor's residence), Albert Einstein’s home, Morven Museum and Garden, and Princeton Record Exchange. Farmlands, the Pine Barrens, the Jersey shore, the Appalachian Trail and even ski slopes can be visited without leaving New Jersey. Learn more.
Where are the most conveniently located public restrooms?
Two single stall/gender-inclusive restrooms are located on first floor of the University Store at 36 University Place, and two single stall/gender-inclusive restrooms are located on first floor of the Admission Information Center, also located at 36 University Place. All restrooms are also equipped with a baby-changing station. Most restaurants and coffee shops in town also have public restrooms which are open to customers.
What should I do if there is an emergency on campus?
If there is an emergency while you are visiting campus, please remain calm. If necessary, use your cell phone or the nearest blue light phone to call 911 or the Department of Public Safety (DPS) emergency number, which is (609) 258-3333. Our professional campus patrol officers, security officers, dispatchers and fire officials provide 24/7 year-round safety services and emergency response to the campus. The campus is equipped with loudspeakers so that emergency services can broadcast instructions if necessary.
Are the tours & information sessions accessible?
Yes. We do our best to make accommodations for any guests who may require ADA accessible spaces. In order to ensure we make accommodations, please register in advance for our information sessions and tours, and detail your specific requests.
Learn more about our accessibility offerings.
Will I be able to see the inside of a dorm on my tour?
No. For the safety of our current students, and because no single dorm is representative of the many housing options available at Princeton, the campus tour does not showcase a dorm room.
What happens if it is raining during the tour?
The campus tour will occur rain or shine. If there is inclement weather or dangerous conditions, the tour guide will speak about Princeton from an indoor location.
Can I schedule a meeting with a professor?
Our office does not arrange meetings with professors. We encourage students to sit in on classes during their visits to campus, but due to the tightness of the academic calendar, we cannot help make any arrangements between prospective students and faculty members.
Can I schedule a meeting with a varsity coach?
Though the admission office makes all final decisions for our student athletes, prospective athletes should communicate directly with Princeton Athletics. Please review the recruiting guidelines and information before you communicate directly with any coaches.
What hotels are in the area?
The greater Princeton area has a wide variety of hotel, motel, inn, and bed and breakfast accommodations. A small number of inns are within walking distance of the University, with most a short drive away. The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau offers an accommodations page on its website. As a service to the community, the Purchasing Department has negotiated special rates for University employees and campus visitors who stay at preferred hotels. Please visit the University Travel and Expense website to learn more.
Do you have any recommendations for lunch?
The Princeton area has restaurants for every taste and budget. Local publications provide information and reviews. Please note that restaurants can change or close without notice; always telephone to confirm listed information. Resources include Princeton Online and Shop Princeton Dining.
May I attend a class?
COVID-19 Fall 2021 Update: In the interest of public health and to reduce the possible transmission of communicable diseases, particularly COVID-19, visitors will not be allowed in classes this semester. Please check back for more information in the spring.
When you check in for your admission information session or campus tour, the admission office staff member at the welcome desk at 36 University Place - Admission Information Center can provide you with a list of available classes to attend. Please note that classes are not available on weekends, over the summer, or during holiday and school breaks.
Where should I park?
Visitors to th Admission Information Center are welcome to park in Lot 23, which is located near the south end of campus. When navigating to campus: Enter 80 Pyne Dr., Princeton, NJ. This will lead you to the south entrance, at the intersection of Elm Drive and Faculty Road. Follow signs to Lot 23 to park and either walk to your destination or catch the free campus shuttle, Tiger Transit, which operates frequently from Lot 23. You may take Tiger Transit shuttle number 4 to the Admission Information Center, located at 36 University Place.
Does Princeton track demonstrated interest?
No. We do not track demonstrated interest.
I am not a U.S. citizen. May I apply to Princeton through the College Match program?
Yes. All students, regardless of citizenship status, may apply to Princeton through the College Match.
How do I find out whether I match with Princeton?
College Match applicants will learn if they matched with an institution in early December. You will receive an email directly from QuestBridge. Students who match with Princeton will receive a follow-up email from the Office of Admission. Non-matched students will receive an email with next steps. We will not be able to release decisions by phone. Please communicate directly with QuestBridge to find out if you matched with a school.
If I’m a QuestBridge Finalist, but don’t match with Princeton, what are my application options?
If you ranked Princeton but didn’t match with Princeton, you will automatically be considered for Regular Decision unless you withdraw your application. If you match with a binding school, your application will not be considered in Regular Decision.
If I apply through the QuestBridge College Match program, but I’m not named a Finalist, what are my application options?
Students who are not named QuestBridge finalists for the National College Match can apply to Princeton through Regular Decision.
QuestBridge finalists who submitted the required materials but did not match with Princeton or another binding institution will automatically be considered in our Regular Decision process. These students will be notified of our decisions along with all other Regular Decision applicants. Princeton will make decisions available at the end of March or beginning of April.
What happens to my potential financial aid award if I do not match with Princeton in the College Match process, but I'm admitted later in the Regular Decision process?
Students who match with Princeton and students admitted in Regular Decision receive the same consideration for financial aid. Princeton has a remarkable financial aid program. We are committed to need-based financial aid and meeting 100 percent of a student's demonstrated need.
How many students will be matched through Questbridge with Princeton?
We do not have a set number we plan to match with and much depends on the applicant pool itself. In the past, we have matched with a small number of students through College Match with the majority of QuestBridge admits coming in Regular Decision.
What if my parents are not required to file a federal income tax return?
If your parents are unemployed and filed taxes, they should submit their most recent tax return. If your parents did not file a return, you should submit all documentation of that year’s income, along with a parent non-filer statement, which can be found on the Income Documentation page.
What is the QuestBridge National College Match Program?
The QuestBridge National College Match helps outstanding lower-income high school seniors gain admission and full four-year scholarships to some of the nation's most selective colleges. Princeton has been a proud QuestBridge partner for many years now and every year, we match with a small number of students through College Match. Beginning with the 2020-2021 admission cycle, Princeton will have a binding decision for students matched with us through the National College Match.
How many years do you need to be in an English-medium school to be exempt from an English Proficiency Test?
Students must be an in English-medium school for at least three of the four years of high school to be exempt from an English Proficiency Test.
Do I need to take an English Proficiency Test if I am in an English-medium school or English is my first language?
No. If English is your first language or your language of instruction, you do not need to submit an English Proficiency Test.
How far in advance should I complete my testing?
For the 2020-21 and 2021-22 application cycles, due to the lack of access to testing sites, Princeton will not require submission of standardized testing (SAT or ACT). For those who choose to submit testing, we allow applicants to use the score choice feature of the SAT and accept only the highest composite score of the ACT, but we encourage the submission of all test scores. If you are applying Regular Decision, we encourage you to complete standardized testing by the December test date if possible. Please review our application dates and deadlines.
What if I cannot take the SAT or ACT in my country?
For the 2021-22 application cycle, Princeton will not require submission of standardized testing (SAT or ACT). Those who still wish to sit for standardized testing should do so by the October test date for Single-Choice Early Action and December date for Regular Decision., if possible. In our experience, scores from the Octobr or December test date for test takers outside the United States will reach us in time.
What if English is not my first language?
If English is not the primary language spoken in your home and you attend a school where English is not the language of instruction, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic) or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).
Does Princeton consider legal immigration status in the admissions process?
No. All students are considered in the same pool for admission to the incoming class regardless of citizenship status. While being undocumented or DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) may present challenges for students wishing to travel or work on campus, immigration status does not impact our reading of an application. The University’s generous need-based financial aid program applies equally to all applicants. If admitted, undocumented students can be confident that their full financial need, as determined by the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office, will be met. We encourage undocumented students to consult with the Office of Admission and Undergraduate Financial Aid Office if they have any questions about our process.
What should students know about visas?
After international students are admitted and matriculated to Princeton, the Davis International Center will provide additional information about applying for a student visa.
Are there quotas for international applicants?
No. The admission office does not use quotas of any kind.
Are international students eligible for application fee waivers?
Yes. International students are eligible for application fee waivers. You may request a fee waiver if you are from a lower-income background, or if the application fee is a hardship for your family, and you are applying for financial aid. Please note that applying for a fee waiver will not disadvantage your application in any way. You may learn more about fee waivers on our How to Apply page.
Are international students eligible for financial aid?
Yes. Our policy of meeting financial need in full for admitted students applies to all admitted students, regardless of citizenship.
Are the admission officers familiar with the educational systems of other countries?
Yes, we are familiar with the educational systems and academic credentials of most countries around the world. You are welcome to provide additional information about the educational system in your country.
What if I do not have a college counselor at my school?
If your school does not have an adviser for students applying to university, please ask a school official — such as a principal, vice principal or dean — to complete your School Report available on the Coalition Application or Common Application.
Do my recommendations have to be written in English?
If the person you ask to complete a teacher recommendation or School Report is not comfortable writing in English, he or she may complete the forms in another language. However, you will need to have the forms officially translated before they are submitted to the Admission Office.
Are there special admission requirements for students applying from abroad?
If English is not the primary language spoken in your home and you attend a school where English is not the language of instruction, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic) or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). Otherwise, there are no additional admission requirements for international students or U.S. citizens attending high schools abroad.
Are applications from non-US citizens treated differently in the admission process?
No. We consider all applications in the same way, regardless of citizenship or high school location. We also make no distinctions between international and domestic students when considering financial need.
If I do not apply for aid my first year 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.
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.
Will I receive the same amount of financial aid every year?
It is our policy to meet every student’s 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 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.
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.
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.
What does it cost to attend Princeton for a year?
The cost of attendance at Princeton includes tuition, room, board, residential college fee, books and personal expenses. Review the most current cost of attendance.
What if I win an outside scholarship?
Outside scholarships from private sources are used to reduce the student contribution component of the total family contribution. Once the student contribution is fully replaced, the Princeton grant is reduced to make room for the remaining scholarship in the award. Students can then use the amount of reduced scholarship toward the one-time purchase of a personal computer up to a pre-set amount by the financial aid office. Learn more about how outside scholarships impact the financial aid award in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions, available on the Apply for Financial Aid page.
What is the Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP)?
Federal Work-Study is a form of federal aid which pays student wages.
Is it easy to find a student job on or near campus?
Our Student Employment site is continuously updated with available jobs, making it easy for students to find employment opportunities both on and off campus.
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, which is accessible through the Apply for Financial Aid page. You may also use the Princeton Financial Aid Estimator to see how much aid might be offered based on your particular situation.
For students who borrow, what is the average debt at graduation?
For students who choose to borrow, the average total indebtedness is about $9,400. Learn more about how Princeton's aid program works.
Does the “no loan” policy mean I would not be allowed to borrow if I wanted to take out a student loan?
Loans are available, and some students request an optional education loan to cover expenses not included in the standard student budget. Learn more about financing options.
Will I need to take out loans?
In 2001, Princeton eliminated student loans from financial aid awards, replacing them with grants that do not need to be repaid. Since then, no Princeton student has been required to borrow as part of a basic aid package. Learn more about how Princeton's aid program works.
What kinds of funds will be included in my aid award?
If you receive financial aid, your award will normally include a Princeton grant, 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, which can be found on Apply for Financial Aid.
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.
Can I send my tax returns directly to you?
Yes. You will be asked to upload your parents’ tax return, or non-filer information, after you submit the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA).
What if my parents are unemployed or did not file a tax return?
If your parents are unemployed and filed taxes, they should submit their most recent tax return. If your parents did not file a return, you should submit all documentation of that year’s income, along with a parent non-filer statement. Please visit the Income Documentation page to download the non-filer statement.
What if my country doesn’t have a tax return?
You should submit all documentation confirming income. Common documents include year-end wage statements and a letter from each employer stating annual income.
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.
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.
How will I know that the FAFSA has been submitted correctly?
You can check the status of your FAFSA online. You should allow one week for processing an online signature, and three weeks for processing a paper signature page.
If I’m a Canadian citizen, do I have to file a FAFSA?
No. Only U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents can file a FAFSA.
What should I do if I make a mistake on the FAFSA?
If you make a mistake on the FAFSA, you can log back into the FAFSA portal with your FSA ID and password and submit a correction.
What is Princeton’s Federal School Code for the FAFSA?
Princeton’s Federal School Code for the FAFSA is 002627.
Do my documents have to be in English?
Yes. All documents must be officially translated into English for us to review them.
Can I email you my financial aid documents?
After you submit the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA), you will be able to upload the required documents. If you have supplemental information to send, you should use our secure fax number (609-258-0336) or postal mail. Visit Contact Us for our postal address.
How and when do I apply for financial aid?
You should apply for financial aid by Feb. 1 of the year you plan to enter college. Transfer Applicants should apply by March 9. To learn more, please visit Apply for 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 Princeton's aid program works.
Are undocumented students eligible for admission and financial aid?
Yes. Princeton admits students without regard to citizenship status and meets 100% of demonstrated need each year a student is enrolled at Princeton. Undocumented students, including students who have received deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process, should apply for financial aid by completing the Princeton Financial Aid Application. The FAFSA is not required. Princeton is one of only a handful schools nationwide that do not limit the financial aid available, regardless of citizenship status. Admission is offered to students regardless of their ability to pay, and the full need of every admitted undocumented student is met just as it is for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. While undocumented students are ineligible for federal financial aid, students can still receive aid from Princeton.
Are international students eligible for financial aid?
Yes. 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.
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 an estimate 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.
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.
Does Princeton provide specific resources for undocumented students?
Princeton supports all of its students, financially and otherwise, regardless of citizenship. There are number of resources available on campus through our administrative and student-run services that are knowledgeable about the experience of undocumented students on campus. Review our comprehensive list, located at the bottom of the page, for more information on campus resources for undocumented students.
What sort of study abroad programs are available?
Our Office of International Programs hosts a wide range of opportunities year-round. You may study abroad for a semester or a school year, participate in international internships in approximately 60 countries, or participate in one of our Global Seminars. You may also join the Novogratz Bridge Year Program, a tuition-free service gap year, in which you delay your first academic year to engage in service abroad.
Are there research opportunities for undergraduates?
All students conduct independent research in their home department. This culminates in the senior thesis, where each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor. Some students conduct their research in the library or the lab. Others travel to do field research or undertake a creative project such as a novel or a series of paintings. To get a better sense of the tremendous resources provided for undergraduate research, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Research.
Does Princeton provide services if I have a disability?
Yes. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) offers a range of services that help ensure equal access to our curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students with disabilities. ODS will meet with each student individually and assess their needs. Accessible housing and transportation is also available. Learn more about ODS.
What advising and support services are available?
Academic and other advising resources are integrated into Princeton’s residential framework. Students are assigned a faculty academic adviser before arriving on campus in the fall of their first year, and each residential college has faculty fellows who take part in various components of residential college life. Each residential college also has a network of deans and directors who ensure that our students thrive both academically and personally. Beyond the residential colleges, there are numerous offices on campus that offer advising of all kinds. The Center for Career Development offers career counseling. If you need help with any part of the writing process, our Writing Center will provide a free, one-on-one consultation with one of their trained Writing Fellows. University Health Services (UHS) provides comprehensive medical, health, and wellness services to our students. The Undergraduate Financial Aid Office will help with any financial aid issues and the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning helps our students become more powerful, productive and independent learners. This is just a small sampling of all the resources Princeton has to offer.
What are Princeton reunions?
Every year, Princeton reunions weekend attracts almost 25,000 alumni, family and friends. Alumni come back to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones, engage intellectually with faculty panels, participate in community service projects, and enjoy great music. The style, scope, and fanfare of this yearly event is uniquely Princeton.
How successful are Princeton students in gaining admission to graduate school or finding employment after graduation?
Our students go on to do extraordinarily well when pursuing graduate or professional schools or employment after graduation. For the class of 2017, 93.8 percent of students achieved their post-graduation goals within six months of graduation. The Center for Career Development helps all students define a unique career and life vision, and then helps connect students with the resources and people that will enable them to make their visions a reality.
What is Princeton’s graduation rate?
In recent years, approximately 90 percent of each entering class has graduated from Princeton within four years, and 97 percent of all undergraduates have received a degree from Princeton within six years.
What extracurricular opportunities are available?
There are more than 500 student-run organizations at Princeton, ranging from publications, dance, media, music, theater, service, religious organizations, and more. For the full list, visit the current list of student organizations on campus.
Will Campus Dining meet my dietary restrictions?
There are food options for all types of interests and dietary restrictions. If you have a food allergy, there are signs posted on all of the menu items indicating what the food may contain (gluten, nuts, etc.). The Center for Jewish Life offers kosher meals for the entire campus community, and all residential college dining halls offer halal dining options for students.
Where will I take my meals?
First-year students and sophomores live and eat in dining facilities within their residential colleges. Juniors and seniors can take meals at the colleges, eating clubs, student food cooperatives, and other locations. Any student may eat kosher meals at the Center for Jewish Life (CJL) or have kosher meals delivered to any other campus dining hall. All residential college dining halls offer halal dining options for students.
What will my room look like?
There are various configurations for group and individual living. The University provides each resident with a desk, chair, bookcase, dresser, and bed.
Must I live on campus?
All first-year students and sophomores are required to live in one of Princeton’s six residential colleges. First-years are assigned randomly to a residential college and to a room and roommate(s) by the residential college staff and the Housing office. For sophomore year, students select their own rooming groups and choose rooms in their residential college through a lottery. Juniors and seniors may live off campus if they wish, although houses and apartments in town are in short supply and rents are high. More than 98% of Princeton undergraduates live on campus.
Is housing guaranteed on campus?
Yes. On-campus housing is guaranteed all four years.
What security measures are in place at Princeton?
The safety and security of all Princeton University faculty, staff, students, and visitors are important to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Our professional campus patrol officers, security officers, dispatchers and fire officials provide 24/7 year round safety services and emergency response to the campus. DPS provides many services that address the needs of faculty and staff including but not limited to: lockout services, victim services information, building access and event security, campus vehicle certification, RAD self-defense classes, and more.
How can I do independent research?
Our curriculum encourages students to explore many disciplines and to develop a deep understanding in one area of concentration. Whether they are in the A.B. degree program or the B.S.E. program, during the junior and senior years all students conduct independent research in their home department. This culminates in the senior thesis, where each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor. Some students conduct their research in the library or the lab. Others travel to do field research or undertake a creative project such as a novel or a series of paintings.
What is a “liberal arts” education?
Princeton is a major research institution with the heart and soul of a liberal arts college. In this tradition, our faculty members encourage and challenge every student to explore the many academic opportunities available before settling on a concentration (major). Even after selecting a concentration, students may further chart their academic course in other areas of study, earning certificates in interdepartmental programs. Students also benefit from the interdisciplinary connections at the core of the Princeton curriculum.
How many courses does Princeton offer?
In the fall of 2020, 1650 courses were offered to Princeton students. Note that this number includes graduate courses, which are open to qualified undergraduates with departmental permission. Please visit our complete course catalog.
How do I register for courses?
Before you get to campus, you will receive more information about registering for courses. You will be assigned an academic adviser and you will meet with that faculty member during your first days here to go over your course selection.
Are there required first-year classes?
Princeton requires all first-year students to take a writing seminar, either during the fall or spring semester of their first year. However, you may select the topic of the course based on your interests. Otherwise, you may enroll in any Princeton courses in which you are interested and for which you are prepared with the appropriate pre-requisites if applicable.
How easy is it to change my concentration?
More than 70 percent of our undergraduates are majoring in fields different from those they indicated when they applied. Our engineering students declare their concentrations at the end of their first year, and all other students declare their concentrations at the end of sophomore year. Any changes are made in consultation with your assigned faculty academic adviser.
May I “double major” at Princeton?
No. Princeton does not offer double/triple majors or dual-degree programs.
Is it possible to get to know my professors?
Absolutely. Princeton professors are easily accessible and happy to chat with students during weekly open office hours or during individual meetings with students. Our professors also take meals in Princeton’s residential dining halls and participate in other programs and special events.
How large are classes?
Approximately 75 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students, and only four percent of classes have more than 100 students.
What percentage of faculty members teach undergraduates?
All faculty members are expected to teach, as well as engage in research. All lecture courses and seminars are led by tenure-track professors, visiting faculty members, or lecturers with a Ph.D., but never by graduate students. Faculty members work most closely with undergraduates in the supervision of junior-year independent work and senior theses.
Do I need to communicate directly with the admission staff member who read my file about my deferral?
No. Our decisions are made by a committee of admission officers, and no single individual is responsible for shaping the outcome of an application. We ask that you update us through the applicant portal with significant changes since you initially applied, but it is unnecessary to reach out to a particular individual.
If I was deferred, what can I do to improve my chances of admission?
If you submitted all of the required components of your application, we have everything we need for consideration. If you have a significant update, you may add the new information to your file through the applicant portal or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I was deferred, is there still a chance that I can be admitted?
Yes. If you are deferred, your application will automatically be rolled over into our regular decision process and considered again in the context of that pool. In recent years, a small number of applicants who were deferred have been subsequently admitted during the regular decision process.
Why was my application deferred?
Many strong applicants are deferred and reconsidered in context of the regular decision pool, with the additional information provided by mid-year grades. There is no advantage to apply early action to Princeton and competition for early admission to Princeton is especially rigorous.
If I applied under Early Action but I would like to be considered under Regular Decision, can I change my application? What about vice versa?
Please send us an email requesting the change. If possible, we will make the change and send you a confirmation. You do not need to submit a new application; your submitted materials will simply be reviewed on a different time-table.
If I am applying early, do I need to submit first quarter and trimester grades from my senior year in high school?
Yes, if possible, please ask your college counselor to submit any senior grades if your high school has them available.
Can I submit supplementary materials including art supplements with my early action application?
If you are very interested in architecture, creative writing, dance, music, theater or visual arts, we welcome you to submit an arts supplement via SlideRoom. If you are unable to submit the form online, you may use a paper Optional Arts Form. For a list of acceptable file formats and submission types please visit our Optional Arts Supplement page.
Will alumni be available to interview me if I apply for early action?
In many cases, alumni will be available to interview early action applicants. If an interview cannot be scheduled for logistical reasons, you will not be at a disadvantage; alumni interviews are an optional piece of Princeton’s application process.
May I apply to another college under its Regular Decision plan before I receive Princeton’s decision on my Single-Choice Early Action decision?
Yes. You may apply in the fall to any institution under its Regular Decision program.
If I apply Single-Choice Early Action to Princeton, may I apply to another private college’s early action program (restrictive or not)?
No. If you apply Single-Choice Early Action to Princeton, you may not apply early to another private college at the same time — regardless of whether that program is restrictive or not.
If I apply Single-Choice Early Action to Princeton, may I apply to another college’s early decision program?
No. If you apply Single-Choice Early Action to Princeton, you may not apply to another college’s early decision program.
If I apply Single-Choice Early Action to Princeton, may I apply early to an honors program at a public university?
Yes. You may apply early to a public college or university, including to a public institution's honor's program, as long as the decision is not binding.
If I apply Single-Choice Early Action to Princeton, may I apply for rolling admission to another college or university?
You may apply to any public, international or service academy that has a rolling admission process as long as the decision in not binding.
If I apply Single Choice Early Action to Princeton, may I also apply to colleges outside of the United States?
Yes. You may apply to any international institution, as long as the decision is not binding.
Does Princeton offer Early Decision?
Princeton offers a single-choice early action program. It is a nonbinding program for students who have thoroughly researched their college options and have decided that Princeton is their first choice. Students must complete their application by Nov. 1. They may not apply to an early program at any other private college or university, but they may apply early to any public institution, as long as the decision is nonbinding. Admission decisions will be made by mid-December. Admitted students will have until May 1 to respond and may choose to apply for regular decision at other institutions, enabling them to compare their admission and financial aid offers with those of other colleges and universities.
How do I request a fee waiver?
You may request a fee waiver one of two ways: 1) Select the fee waiver option on the Coalition Application or Common Application. Your college or school counselor must approve your fee waiver request online or submit your fee waiver form by mail or fax. 2) Select one of the following fee waiver options on the Princeton Supplement: Princeton-specific, ACT, College Board or NACAC. All lower-income students are eligible for the Princeton-specific fee waiver. Students named QuestBridge Finalists should select the QuestBridge fee waiver. If you use the Princeton-specific fee waiver, you do not need to get approval from your college counselor.
Who is eligible for an application fee waiver?
You may request a fee waiver if you are from a lower-income background, or if the application fee is a hardship for your family, and you are applying for financial aid. Please note that applying for a fee waiver will not disadvantage your application in any way. You may learn more about fee waivers on our How to Apply page.
Is it possible to get a receipt for the application fee?
If you paid the fee online, your e-mail confirmation is your receipt. If you paid by check, your cashed check (or image sent by your bank) is your receipt. We do not send any other acknowledgment of payment.
How do I pay the application fee?
You may pay for the Common Application online with a credit card. If you are having trouble paying online, you may instead send a check or money order to the Princeton University Undergraduate Admission Office. Visit Contact Us for our mailing address.
May I use score choice?
Applicants are welcome to use the score choice option for standardized test score submission. Princeton will consider the highest individual section results across all sittings of the SAT Reasoning and the highest composite score for the ACT*. We encourage applicants to submit all official test scores as soon as they are available.
*We will only accept a composite from an entire sitting of the ACT. We will not consider scores when a student retakes an individual section of the ACT.
What tests do I need to take?
A complete application includes official scores of the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT. We do not require SAT Subject Tests. Please note that the College Board English Language Proficiency Test does not count as a subject area test or as a substitute for the SAT Reasoning Test.
What are the English Proficiency tests you accept?
We accept the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic) or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).
Who is required to submit an English Proficiency Test?
If English is not the primary language spoken in your home and you attend a school where English is not the language of instruction, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic) or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), in addition to the SAT Reasoning (or ACT, where offered).
Why do you require the writing/essay portion of the SAT and ACT?
Writing is an essential component of a Princeton education. Evidence-based reading and writing are critical tools in a college-level curriculum and the results of a writing exam are helpful in determining a student’s grasp of these concepts.
Will Princeton require the optional essay on the new SAT?
Yes. The Optional Essay of the new SAT is required for our application.
If I take the required tests more than once, which results does Princeton consider?
Princeton will consider the highest individual section results across all sittings of the SAT and the highest composite score for the ACT. We will only accept a composite from an entire sitting of the ACT. We will not consider scores when a student retakes an individual section of the ACT.
Do I need a minimum required SAT or ACT score
No. There are no cutoffs. We consider all of these measures within the context of each applicant’s school and situation. Our most promising candidates tend to earn strong grades and have comparatively high scores on standardized tests. We also look at other parts of the application, including teacher references and essays, to learn more about what kind of student you are and how you approach learning.
What tests do I need to take?
A complete application includes official scores of the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT. We do not require SAT Subject Tests. Please note that the College Board English Language Proficiency Test does not count as a subject area test or as a substitute for the SAT Reasoning Test.
The Common Application and the Universal College Application can be submitted online or as a paper copy. Which do you prefer?
Electronic submission of the Universal College Application, Coalition Application and Common Application may be more convenient for many students. We know, however, that for some students submitting applications electronically is a hardship. We therefore give exactly the same treatment and consideration to applications, whether they are submitted electronically or by paper. In other words, there is no disadvantage to applying using the paper version of the Universal College Application or the Common Application.
May I appeal my admission decision or ask to have the decision explained?
We cannot reconsider applications or offer individual explanations for our decisions. Most of our applicants are well qualified for Princeton. Since the admission staff must select a first-year class from an abundance of highly able and accomplished candidates, and since all applicants are compared to the entire applicant pool, it is extremely difficult to explain why any one student is refused.
What is the wait list?
Since we don't know until after May 1 how many students will accept our offer of admission, we invite a number of our applicants to stay on our wait list in the event we have remaining spaces in the first-year class. The list is unranked; if spaces become available, we will review the entire group of candidates on the wait list.
May students who are admitted defer enrollment to another year?
Yes. Students who wish to take a year off from their studies may request to defer their enrollment for one year (and sometimes for an additional year). If you pursue this, you may not enroll full time in a degree program at another institution during the deferral period. In recent years the activities of students taking a year off have included work, community service, travel, military service, arts training and religious studies. We recommend students request a deferral only after they decide to matriculate and before May 15. Deferral requests are not guaranteed and must be approved by the Office of Admission.
Have my application materials been received?
You may use the Princeton Applicant Portal to verify whether we have received all your required application materials. You will receive a confirmation notice when we have received your application. Your checklist will be rendered complete once all of the required supporting materials have been sent. If your application is incomplete, we will let you know which pieces are missing and you will be given the opportunity to submit them without penalty.
My grandfather attended Princeton. Does that mean I am a “legacy” applicant?
Though you are welcome to indicate on your application if another relative attended Princeton, you are considered a “legacy” applicant only if your mother, father, stepmother, or stepfather attended Princeton.
Are my chances of admission enhanced if a relative has attended Princeton?
The application process is the same for all candidates. However, in recognition of the special bond that Princeton has with its alumni, it is considered a “plus factor” in our process if your mother, father, stepmother, or stepfather attended Princeton. We take that information into account as part of our holistic review process.
Does it help to have extra letters of recommendation?
We believe that the required teacher references and a school counselor reference give us much of the information we need to make thoughtful, well-informed decisions. Additional letters are only helpful if the person writing the recommendation knows the candidate well and can provide new, detailed information.
What letters of recommendations are required?
We require two academic teacher recommendations, and request, but do not require, a letter from your school counselor, college adviser or another school official to accompany the School Report.
Are on-campus interviews offered?
No. We offer interviews off-campus by the Princeton Alumni Schools Committee. If there are enough volunteers in your area, you will be contacted by an interviewer after you submit your application. If you do choose to visit campus you will have the opportunity to attend an admission information session, a campus tour or an engineering school tour.
Do I need to have an interview as part of the admission process?
We try to offer each applicant the opportunity to have a conversation with an alumnus/a volunteer. This is a chance for you to learn more about the Princeton experience, and for us to learn more about you. After you submit your application, a member of the Princeton Alumni Schools Committee in your area (if available) will contact you to arrange a convenient meeting time and place. We include the interviewer’s comments in our review of your application. Interviews aren't required as part of the admission process, but we encourage candidates to accept the invitation. Don't be concerned if interviews are not available in your area; we will give your application full consideration without an interview.
How can I let the admission staff know about my special talent in athletics?
Talented student athletes interested in one of our varsity Division I programs should contact our coaches for more information about varsity athletics at Princeton. Coaches will advise the admission staff about applicants with exceptional athletic talents. Learn more.
How can I let the admission staff know about my special talent in the arts?
If you've excelled in architecture, creative writing, dance, music, theater or visual arts, and would like us to consider your talent, you are welcome to submit an optional arts supplement via SlideRoom. To the best of our ability, we’ll have arts faculty review your submission and advise the admission staff regarding your abilities.
Do students apply to specific academic departments or schools?
We ask you to tell us on the application which degree program you may be most interested in following: A.B. (bachelor of arts), B.S.E. (bachelor of science in engineering) or undecided. We look closely at the math and science preparation of students considering engineering studies. However, students apply to the first-year class of Princeton University, not to the engineering or liberal arts programs, and are not locked into a degree program (or a specific department within that degree program) upon admission. Students in the engineering school choose a concentration (major) by the end of the first year; bachelor of arts students have two years to choose a concentration.
Are my chances of admission enhanced by submitting application materials before other applications?
No. Though we encourage regular decision applicants to submit their portion of the application by Dec. 15, if possible, there is no advantage to doing so.
When are applications due?
Jan. 1 is our submission deadline for regular decision. View all important application dates and deadlines.
How and when should I begin my admission application?
You should begin reviewing Princeton's application requirements and materials after the spring of your junior year and plan on beginning your application in the summer before or during the fall of your senior year. The online Common Application and the Princeton Supplement are available in mid-August Learn more about applying for admission.
Are senior year grades considered when evaluating applications?
Your counselor is asked to send us your first semester or first trimester grades with the Mid Year Report. It is important that you continue to excel in your classes during your final year of high school. If you are admitted, your counselor is asked to send us your final grades for the senior year with the Final Report. Admission is conditional upon your successful completion of the senior year. Princeton reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission if there is a significant drop in your academic performance between January and June of your senior year.
Are the courses I take in my last year of high school important in the admission process?
Yes. You should maintain a full academic course load for your senior year of high school. You will need to ask your school to send us your grades for the first semester or trimester of your senior year, along with the Mid Year Report form. If you are admitted, we will ask for your final grades at the end of the school year.
To what extent are extracurricular activities considered in the application process?
In addition to academic qualifications, we are interested in the talents and interests you would bring to Princeton outside the classroom. We don't value one type of activity over another. Rather, we appreciate sustained commitment to the interests you have chosen to pursue. Some of the students we admit have one well-honed talent; others have participated in a range of activities. We take particular note of leadership and exceptional talents or accomplishments.
Do weighted grades or class rank matter in the evaluation of applicants?
In trying to get a sense of the strength of the academic program you have pursued in high school, we look at your transcript course by course and consider all the information your school provides about your academic performance. We also ask the school official completing your School Report to comment on the rigor of your academic program in the context of what is available at your school. Weighted grades or class rank can be another measure of the strength of your academic program as compared with other students who also have many As, but we give equal consideration to applicants from schools that don’t weight grades or rank.
How does Princeton measure academic promise?
We include many factors in our assessment, particularly a student’s secondary school program and record, as well as standardized test results, and teacher and counselor recommendations. All these components are taken into consideration when we evaluate a student’s high school performance. We value liveliness of mind, motivation, creativity, perseverance and independent thought. A prospective student’s intellectual curiosity and academic excellence are the most important factors in our decision.
Is different weight given to different parts of the application?
No. We do not have a formula for weighting different parts of the application. While the transcript is the most important part of an application, we consider all of the components of each application and consider each applicant’s particular strengths.
What does Princeton look for in its applicants?
We review each application individually to get a sense of that student’s particular combination of strengths. We don't have a profile of the ideal applicant or the ideal class. In fact, one of Princeton’s greatest strengths is the variety of talents, personal qualities, experiences and points of view in each incoming class. There are some qualities we hope all Princeton students share: integrity, a deep interest in learning and a devotion to both academic and non-academic pursuits. Many students also bring distinctive academic and extracurricular talents and achievements. Beyond those fundamental qualities, we consider how each candidate might contribute to the community we will bring together for that year’s class.
Will college-credit courses taken in high school transfer to Princeton?
Princeton does not offer credit toward degree requirements for college or university courses taken before you enroll. However, you can take AP exams or placement exams offered by some academic departments at Princeton to demonstrate your knowledge in a subject, which may permit you to skip the introductory-level course in that area. You can find detailed information about Princeton’s AP policy in our undergraduate course catalog.
How does Princeton regard college courses taken during high school?
Taking college courses while you are a high school student indicates to us that you seek out academic challenges, but we do not expect students to have taken college courses before they apply. Applicants who have taken college courses are most often at high schools not offering many advanced courses such as advanced placement or International Baccalaureate.
Does Princeton require particular high school courses?
We don't prescribe a particular high school curriculum, but we do have suggestions for a course of study that will provide solid preparation for a challenging undergraduate program. Students who intend to pursue the B.S.E. degree must complete a year of calculus and high school physics prior to enrolling at Princeton. Chemistry is also recommended. Learn more about academic preparation for study at Princeton.
Is there an advantage to taking honors, advanced, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses—even if it might be tougher to earn high grades?
Yes. We consider it a promising sign when students challenge themselves with advanced courses in high school. We understand that not all secondary schools offer the same range of advanced courses, but our strongest candidates have taken full advantage of the academic opportunities available to them in their high schools.
Does Princeton offer benefits for veterans?
Princeton University welcomes applications from veterans and dependents who are eligible for education benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which includes the Yellow Ribbon Program, and complies with the principles outlined in Executive Order 13607. Princeton participates fully in the Yellow Ribbon program without limitation on the number of students who are eligible. The executive order addresses key areas relating to federal military and veterans educational benefits programs.
Will my choice in course of study affect my chance for admission?
On the application we ask you to indicate the degree program (A.B., B.S.E. or undecided) and the departments that most interest you. These choices don't affect your chances for admission, nor do they commit you to a particular course of study. We look closely at the math and science background of students interested in the B.S.E. program, and we consider every applicant’s abilities across the academic subjects. Princeton engineering students choose a field of concentration (major) after one year and liberal-arts students after two years. More than 70 percent of our undergraduates are majoring in fields different from those they indicated when they applied.
Are there quotas for certain kinds of applicants?
No. The admission office does not use quotas of any kind.
Does it make a difference to Princeton whether I attend a public or private school?
No. We consider how well you have used the resources available to you, regardless of where you attend school.
Does Princeton limit the number of students who can be admitted from a particular school?
No. We will look at your application individually, in comparison with the entire applicant pool.
May I apply for regular decision to Princeton if I have already been admitted to another college or university under a binding early decision plan?
No. When you apply to another college or university under a binding early decision plan, you have made a commitment to attend that college if admitted. We honor that commitment and do not consider applicants under those circumstances.
May high school juniors apply?
While we will consider applications from students who choose to leave high school early, they must be competitive with students who have completed rigorous, comprehensive course work through senior year. This option tends to be most realistic for students who have exhausted their high school’s academic offerings.
Does Princeton consider applicants who have been home schooled?
Yes. We receive and consider applications from home schooled students every year. In fact, the valedictorian of the Princeton Class of ’02 was home schooled before entering Princeton.
Is it possible to transfer to Princeton from another college or university?
Yes. Information on transfer admission is available here.
Can students begin studies at Princeton during the spring semester?
No. First-year students are admitted for the fall term only.
Are minimum gradepoint averages, class ranks, or test scores required for admission?
No. We consider all of these measures, but only within the context of each applicant’s school and situation. In general, our most promising candidates tend to earn high grades and have comparatively high scores on standardized tests. These criteria, while important, do not by themselves provide a complete picture of each student’s academic accomplishment or potential. We evaluate all aspects of a student’s academic preparation.
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