Initially established in 1746 by New Light Presbyterians to train ministers before the American Revolution, Princeton University is the country’s fourth oldest comprehensive independent private research institution. As a member of the prestigious Ivy League, Princeton features the largest endowment per student in America. Enrollment at Princeton currently stands at over 5,300 undergraduates and 2,600 graduates. Princeton University is located on a historic 500-acre suburban walled campus in New Jersey’s small borough of Princeton at the midpoint between Philadelphia and New York City. The university strives to maintain a diverse, close-knit community of learners following the motto “Under God’s Power She Flourishes.”
Princeton University has a long-standing tradition of academic superiority with two U.S. Presidents and 12 Supreme Court Justices among the alumni. The U.S. News and World Report has honored Princeton as the #1 top national university, #1 best value school, and #1 best college for military veterans. Princeton also has the #1 undergraduate teaching in the United States. According to Forbes magazine, Princeton is the #2 best research university with a financial grade of A+. The Princeton Review recognized the university for having the nation’s 3rd “Happiest Students.” On the global scale, the Times Higher Education placed Princeton University as the 7th top higher learning institution worldwide.
Princeton University Accreditation Details
Recently reaffirmed in 2014, Princeton University is formally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), which is one of six regional accrediting bodies approved by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Princeton’s over 42 academic departments have gone the extra step to receive programmatic accreditation too. For instance, engineering degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Mental health programs meet the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Teaching degrees have been granted the gold standard of excellence from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).
Princeton University Application Requirements
With one of America’s most selective acceptance rates at just 7.4 percent, Princeton has strict criteria applicants must exceed for admissions. First-year freshmen must have successfully finished a college preparatory program at an approved public, private, parochial, independent boarding, or home school. Admitted students at Princeton have an average cumulative high school GPA of 3.89. Standardized testing scores must be submitted via the SAT code of 2672 or ACT code 2588. On average, accepted freshmen have scored 2255 on the SAT and 33 on the ACT. Princeton University uses a holistic approach to evaluate the whole student, so taking challenging AP or IB classes is strongly advised.
Undergraduate transfer admissions from students who enrolled full-time at another college won’t be accepted at Princeton. Graduate programs require that applicants already hold a completed four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institute. Applications are reviewed from a holistic approach to judge students’ prior coursework, research, and recommendations. Most graduates will have a minimum overall college GPA of 3.5. Minimum test scores aren’t posted, but admitted students earn an average GRE score of 163 verbal and 164 quantitative. International learners from non-English speaking countries must score at least 28 on the TOEFL iBT placement exam.
Prior to the early action deadline of November 1st or regular decision deadline of January 1st, interested students must send the following materials to Princeton University:
• Completed Universal College Application
• Writing sample supplement form
• School counselor recommendation
• Two teacher recommendations
• Prerequisite testing scores (SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT)
• Official high school and/or college transcripts
• Personal statement of academic purpose
• Resume or curriculum vitae (graduate students only)
• Payment for the $65 application fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
An education from Princeton offers tremendous ROI, but students must first afford the steep tuition price tag. Full-time undergraduate students can expect to pay $45,150 in tuition each year. Budgets must include around $8,285 for rooming, $6,435 for board, and $3,550 for books and other personal learning expenses. In total, undergraduates at Princeton usually invest around $63,420 for annual cost of attendance. Graduate students pursuing full-time regular enrollment must afford $43,450 in tuition annually. There’s an added mandatory Student Health Plan (SHP) fee that costs $1,900. Total cost of attendance at the graduate level is estimated to be $45,350 each year.
For help covering these costs, Princeton University provides 62 percent of enrolled students some form of financial assistance. After filing the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA) and FAFSA forms, learners will be considered for several types of aid. Princeton has a “no loans” policy to graduate over three-fourths of seniors without debt. Freshmen are expected to work at least nine hours per week in Federal Work-Study (FWS). Certain students can receive money through the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, New Jersey Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Veterans’ benefits are offered through the Yellow Ribbon Program. In-state students could qualify for the Governor’s Urban Scholarship. Other undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships are offered also.
Princeton is a world-class institution offering over 32 undergraduate majors and 52 graduate programs with an extraordinary student experience. Academics range from the humanities and social sciences to natural sciences and engineering. Undergraduates can select from either a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) or Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.). Unique majors include Astrophysical Science, East Asian Art, Geoscience, Near Eastern Studies, Neuroscience, Operations Research, Population Studies, and Quantitative Biology. Within the Honor Code, students must sign a pledge for academic integrity. Since 2014, Princeton has implemented a grade deflation policy to make As more challenging and meaningful.
With a very low student-faculty ratio of 6:1, over 71 percent of Princeton classes have fewer than 20 students for good professor interaction. Princeton’s Firestone Library has over four million volumes, making it one of the world’s largest university resource centers. Students are thrust into conducting cutting-edge research at the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI), Center for BioComplexity (CBC), and more. Each year, the university hosts two Model United Nations conferences. Over 98 percent of students reside on-campus or in designated off-campus housing. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live in one of the six residence halls. Along Prospect Avenue, students can choose from 11 co-educational eating clubs.
During free time, Princeton students can participate in more than 300 student-run organizations. For example, there’s the Princeton Tigertones, Princeton Triangle Club, Juggling Club, Cheer Project, Magician’s Club, and Stella Art Club. The Princeton Tigers host 38 varsity men’s and women’s sports for competition in the NCAA Division I Ivy League. Princeton’s football is famous for winning 26 national championships since 1869. The university also has 37 club sports teams, including rugby, cycling, jiu-jitsu, sailing, and equestrian. At graduation, it’s a tradition for Princeton University students to pass through FitzRandolph Gates.