Princeton University is an Ivy League school and is ranked number one in National Universities in the US. Princeton is known for academic excellence and, as one of the most selective schools in the country, has an exceptionally low acceptance rate of around four percent. So, if you’re wondering how to get into Princeton, you aren’t alone.
In this guide, we’ll cover the admissions process, Princeton requirements, and tips on how to get accepted into Princeton University. We also offer valuable information about the interview process.
All About Princeton Admissions
The Princeton University admissions process is relatively straightforward. The admissions office has published an easy-to-follow checklist for what to include in your application. Once you’ve done so, you will submit your application online through the Coalition Application or the Common Application.
Princeton Acceptance Rate
For the fall 2021 term, 37,601 students applied, and only 1,647 were accepted. This works out to an admissions rate of just over four percent. Not only will you need excellent grades and standardized test scores, you’ll also need to use your letters of recommendation, essays, and other application materials to make your application stand out.
Princeton’s application instructions state that there is no minimum grade point average (GPA) required. However, given the large pool of qualified applicants, your odds of acceptance are higher with a high GPA on your high school transcript.
Princeton Total Enrollment
Princeton has 5,267 undergraduate students and 2,946 graduate students for a total enrollment of 8,213 students. It is one of the smaller ivy league schools.
- Complete the online application. Complete and submit an online application through the Coalition Application or Common Application. Don’t forget to include the Princeton Supplement.
- Graded written paper. As part of your application, you need to provide an example of your written work. Pick a paper you are proud of from history or English class.
- Official high school transcript and school report. Ask your school counselor or other school administrators to send in your official high school transcripts and the school report form. They will also need to include a mid-year school report.
- Three letters of recommendation. You need a total of three recommendations, one from your school counselor and two from teachers. You should pick teachers from two different core subject areas, who have taught you in advanced classes.
- Standardized test scores. SAT and ACT test scores are optional for the 2021-22 application cycle, but you should submit your scores if you took these tests anyway. If your high school teaches in a language other than English, you’ll need to submit either a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic score.
- Arts supplement. If you have any skill in the arts, you can submit an optional visual, audio, or video supplement to show off your talent.
- Interview. Lastly, you will need to pass the interview stage to be successfully admitted into Princeton.
Is It Hard to Get Into Princeton?
Yes, it is hard to get into Princeton. Given the limited spots and huge pool of applications, even qualified applicants have low odds of acceptance. However, don’t let that stop you from trying your best. Your school guidance counselor or advisor can help you make your best possible application, and if you aren’t accepted the first time around, you can apply again later as a transfer student.
How to Prepare for a Princeton Interview
Princeton does not guarantee interviews for all applicants but it does offer optional interviews to some applicants. The interviews are conducted by Princeton alumni in your area and take less than one hour. The interview gives you another chance to show who you are beyond your GPA and test scores, but you won’t be penalized if you are unable to attend an interview.
Princeton Interview Questions
- Why do you want to go to Princeton University?
- Describe three activities you enjoy, either in school or on the side.
- What major are you interested in?
- What is your proudest moment in your school career so far?
- What can you tell me about yourself that I can’t see on your application?
10 Tips for Getting Into Princeton
Below are some application tips to help you with the admissions process. This selective school has a huge applicant pool full of qualified students. You need to show that you meet Princeton requirements and show off your unique personality and talents.
1. Apply Early Action
You can apply to Princeton single-choice early action or regular decision. Applying early action can give you a competitive advantage since fewer students apply in this round. However, if you are accepted through the single-choice early action application round, you are obligated to go to Princeton and cancel your applications to other schools.
2. Submit Your SAT and ACT Test Scores
SAT and ACT scores are not required for the current application cycle because of the COVID-19 pandemic. You do still have the option to submit your test scores, and you should if you have good scores.
3. Write a Compelling Supplemental Essay
Application essays are one of the few opportunities for you to show the admissions committee who you are beyond your GPA and test scores. Making an impression is very important, but remember to be authentic. The admissions committee wants to get a real sense of who you are and what is important to you.
4. Work on Your Academic Performance
Excellent academic performance is essential to getting into this competitive school. This means getting good grades and also taking challenging classes such as Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.
5. Participate in Extracurricular Activities That Show Your Passion
Get involved with activities that you are passionate about, like an athletic program or volunteering at an animal shelter. These are just a few examples of something that may be interesting or important to you.
6. Become a Princeton Expert
Research the rich history of Princeton University. Learn about notable Princeton alumni like Woodrow Wilson, Jeff Bezos, Alan Turing, and Michelle Obama. Being an expert on the school will show admissions officials that you have taken the time to prepare.
7. Practice Talking About Your Achievements
Practice talking and writing about your most notable academic achievements, athletic successes, and other accomplishments that make you an excellent Princeton applicant. Sharing what you are good at can be uncomfortable, but the application process is all about tooting your own horn. Practice until it feels natural.
8. Ace the Interview
Be on time and well-groomed for your interview. Smile and use polite, respectful language. Get enough rest to perform at your best and impress the admissions officers. Come up with some questions for the interviewer to show your interest in Princeton. Remember to send a thank-you note to your interviewer after the interview.
9. Ask Questions and Don’t Be Shy
If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask. You can talk to your school counselor, current Princeton students, alumni, or representatives from Princeton. Ask relevant questions that you couldn’t find an answer to yourself.
10. Find a Princeton Admissions Mentor
Whether previously accepted students, admissions counselors, admissions consulting services, or Princeton alumni, it is a good idea to get guidance from someone else who is familiar with the application process.
What Does It Take to Get Into Princeton?
Princeton University is looking for students with intellectual curiosity, commitment to service, and passions outside of academics. You’ll need excellent grades, high standardized test scores, and a record of extracurricular activities that show your personal interests. Although it is difficult to get in, once accepted, students report high satisfaction with their experience.
How to Get Into Princeton FAQ
The student-to-faculty ratio is five to one. This means you’ll have small class sizes and one-on-one attention when you need it. Undergraduate students may have slightly larger classes in their first years.
The estimated cost for the 2022-2023 academic year is $79,900. This includes tuition, room charge, board rate, and miscellaneous expenses. This does not include travel expenses or the possibility of financial aid.
Princeton is located in Princeton, New Jersey. It is only a one-hour train ride to New York City and a one-and-a-half-hour train ride to Philadelphia.
The other ivy league universities are Brown University, Cornell University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. The closest-neighboring ivy league schools to Princeton are Columbia University in New York City and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
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