Long considered to be one of America’s most beautiful colleges Princeton University is the smallest of the prestigious Ivy League colleges. Founded in 1746, it is one of the oldest and most respected universities in the United States and is known for its rigorous academic programs, world-class faculty, and picturesque campus. In this blog post, we will dive into some key data about Princeton University to help you better understand what makes it such a special place.
America’s fourth oldest university, Princeton is a major research university with a strong record of providing a first class liberal arts and sciences education to undergraduate students. Former US President Woodrow Wilson was both a graduate and university president of Princeton and for many years the School of Public and International Affairs was named after him. Other notable alumni include Michelle Obama and Jeff Bezos.
Princeton University is located in the wealthy small town of the same name in rural New Jersey, approximately 45 miles southwest of New York City and 55 miles northeast of Philadelphia. Its proximity to major cities means that getting to and from campus is fairly straight forward. The university’s self contained campus covers over 600 acres and includes numerous academic buildings, research facilities, and residence halls, in both Gothic and Colonial architectural styles spread out between green spaces and mature trees.
· Student Cohort:
As of the 2021-2022 academic year, Princeton University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,428 students and a total graduate enrollment of 2,847 students. The university has been working to make their undergraduate population more diverse and it now has an even split between male and female students, and while just over 40% are white there are significant numbers of Asian and black undergraduate students. According to the most recent figures 630 of the undergraduate cohort are from outside of America, this represents 12% of the cohort. China is the largest contributor to the international population at the university, followed by Canada and India. Princeton works to foster an academic atmosphere on campus and students are expected to be hard working while also being highly cooperative and engaging in independent study.
· Acceptance Rate:
As one of America’s super elite institutions it should come as no surprise that it is extremely difficult to win acceptance, even for the most studious of students. For the class of 2025, Princeton University received a total of 37,601 applications and admitted 1,498 students, resulting in an acceptance rate of 3.98%.
· Acceptance GPA:
Princeton University does not release information on average acceptance GPA. However, the university does emphasize academic excellence and looks for students who have excelled in challenging coursework. Although ‘test blind’, over 50% of applicants provided a test score with their application with an SAT score of between 1460 and 1580 and an ACT score of between 33 and 35 for the middle 50% of accepted students.
· Types of Admission:
Applicants apply using the Common App and can select to apply early through the universities Single Choice Early Action plan or wait and apply in the Regular Decision plan. Single Choice Early Action is a non-binding agreement, however, you can’t apply to any other private college if you choose to apply this route. Applications need to be received by November 1st and decisions are notified in mid December. The Regular Decision deadline is January 1st, with decisions being made by mid March.
· Additional Admissions Requirements:
In addition to the Common Application, Princeton University requires applicants to submit a counsellor recommendation and two teacher recommendations along with a school transcript and a graded written paper. Applicants also write a number of supplemental essays, one asks you to expand on your academic interests while others ask you to write about diversity and civil society, a shorter essay covers extracurricular activities and then there are three short answer questions.
Princeton University is the model of what a liberal arts college should be, it became the first US college to build its education with an emphasis on undergraduate study of the arts and sciences. This still remains the case 250 years later. With relatively few graduate students, professors are free to engage with younger students, enabling them to listen to lectures from the many Nobel laureates, Fields Medal and Pulitzer Prize winners that are associated with the college. All students must complete the universities distribution requirements in epistemology and cognition, ethical thought and moral values, historical analysis, literature and the arts, quantitative reasoning, social analysis and science and technology. During the junior year, students write two junior papers demonstrating their ability to work independently. This is in preparation for students completing their senior thesis, the culmination of their major and without which no student can graduate. Being a small university does impact the number of majors the university offers, currently offering 37 undergraduate degree programs in a wide range of fields, including the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.
· Standout Majors:
Some of the standout majors at Princeton include maths and philosophy, which are considered to be some of the best in the US. The university has worked to increase its presence in the field of molecular biology, investing a substantial amount into both teaching and research. Engineering is another strength with offerings covering computer science, mechanical, electrical and aerospace. Standing proud, above these outstanding courses is Princeton’s’ most distinctive major, public policy, an interdisciplinary major intended to develop future leaders in the field of international affairs.
· Faculty/Student Ratio:
Princeton’s small size and focus on undergraduate study means that students build close relationships with their professors. Many first year introductory classes are taught by department heads and over 80% of undergraduate classes have less than twenty students. Overall the university has a faculty/student ratio of 1:6, meaning that there is one faculty member for every six students.
· Four Year Completion Rate:
A fraction under 90% of students graduate in four years and nearly 98% will have graduated within six. This is one of the highest graduation rates in the country and reflects once again the universities emphasis on undergraduate study.
· Net Cost of Attending:
The net cost of attending Princeton University, including tuition, food, accommodation and study materials is calculated at just over $8,200. The university is committed to providing need-based financial aid to all students who qualify, meaning that, according to the most recent figures, 83% of students graduated without any college debt. Princeton is one of only a handful of US colleges that is need blind for both domestic and international applicants.
In conclusion, Princeton University is a world-renowned institution with a strong commitment to academic excellence, individual attention for students, and financial aid. Its diverse student body, rigorous academic programs, and picturesque campus make it an attractive choice for students seeking a challenging and rewarding undergraduate experience.