Are you thinking of applying to Princeton University and wondering what your chances of admissions are? You’ve come to the right place — we aggregated the important data of admissions from Princeton’s results. In order to be a part of the group that is awarded acceptance, there are a variety of important factors that admissions officers take into account. These factors include class rank, GPA, SAT score, ACT score, SAT II score, extracurriculars, and many others that create the holistic package that they will base their decisions on.
Princeton University has an acceptance rate (admit rate) of 6.4%. Because the university accepts so few students relative to the number of applicants, it is difficult to be admitted even if you have a 4.0 GPA and perfect 36 ACT and 1600 SAT.
Below, we will break down the admissions details under a more granular microscope. Let’s take a closer look...
Princeton Admissions Statistics
In 2017, Princeton accepted only 6.4% of its students. For the class of 2021, there were 1,990 admitted students out of 31,056 applicants, and 1,314 of these 1,990 ended up enrolling. The average unweighted GPA was 3.90. The average SAT score was 1540. The average ACT score was a 33 composite.
Let’s take a look at the percentage of applicants accepted by GPA range:
Percentage of Applicants Accepted by GPA Range, 2017
For Princeton, the acceptance rate of applicants with a 4.0 GPA was 9.4%. The acceptance rate of applicants with a GPA between 3.90-3.99 was 7.5%. This means that even if you have a perfect GPA of 4.0, it is still extremely difficult to be accepted as evidenced by the sub 10% acceptance rate for those applicant students.
Let’s take a look at the percentage of applicants accepted by SAT range.
Percentage of Applicants Accepted by SAT Range, 2017
|SAT Scores||Percent Accepted|
For Princeton, the acceptance rate of applicants with an SAT score between 1500-1600 was 8.2%. The acceptance rate of applicants with an SAT score between 1380-1490 was 5.0%. With such competitive admissions, nothing is guaranteed for Princeton as seen by how low the acceptance rates are for students with excellent SAT scores.
Let’s take a look at the percentage of applicants accepted by ACT range:
Percentage of Applicants Accepted by ACT Range, 2017
|ACT Scores||Percent Accepted|
For Princeton, the acceptance rate of applicants with an ACT composite score between 32-36 was 7.8%. The acceptance rate of applicants with an ACT composite score between 27-31 was 5.3%. Princeton is very tough to get admitted to. Even having perfect or near perfect ACT scores does not mean your probability of admission will be guaranteed.
The 50th percentile for ACT scores for Princeton was 31-35. This means that the bottom 25th percentile of accepted students scored a 31 composite score, and the top 75th percentile of accepted students accepted students scored a 35.
The 50th percentile for SAT scores for Princeton was a 1380-1540. The Math section 50th percentile was 700-780. The Evidenced-based Reading and Writing middle 50th percentile was 680-760.
Generally, aiming for as high of a GPA and SAT or ACT scores should be the goal since they can slightly compensate for a lack in another area. However, keep in mind that many students who have perfect GPA and test scores get rejected. If you are somewhere in between the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile, you have a fighting chance at admission. It may help your application if you are a diverse applicant in terms of geography, race, socioeconomic background. Other factors may also boost your probability of admission such as legacy applicant or excellent extracurriculars.
Even if Princeton is your dream school, you should diversify your application submissions because nothing is guaranteed. Even with a perfect 1600 SAT and a 4.0 GPA, your chances of admission is about 16%. With a perfect ACT score of 36 and 4.0 GPA, your chances of admission is about 20%. However, other factors are in play and everyone is evaluated on a holistic package. Take a look at our strategy on the optimal amount of schools to apply to.
Princeton University Application Requirements
If you wish to apply to Princeton University, you have two choices to apply: single choice early action (EA) or regular decision (RD). The following list of items are required for applicants. Failure to submit all the requirements will result in automatic rejection since admissions will not review your application.
Submit a completed Common Application along with the Stanford Supplement or Coalition Application along with the Stanford Supplement or Universal College Application along with the Stanford Supplement. The application fee is $90, or you may apply for a fee waiver. Students who are eligible for a fee waiver include low-income students or veterans who have served in the U.S. military. Students who are QuestBridge Finalists may also receive the QuestBridge fee waiver.
Because the essay can make or break your application, you should spend time thinking through what message you wish to convey. Take a look at our thoughts on how to write a winning college essay and successful essay topics.
Request an official transcript by your guidance counselor or other official from your school.
Submit the School Report (SR) by requesting it from your guidance counselor. The School Report form is available from the Common Application and Universal College Application websites. Your guidance counselor may fill out and submit this form for you. For the Coalition Application, the SR and counselor recommendation are uploaded as one item onto the website.
Ask for a counselor recommendation. Please take note that the SR and Counselor Recommendation are separate items for the Common Application. You must “invite” your guidance counselor or other academic advisor to complete the application. For the Coalition Application, you should invite your counselor to upload both the recommendation and the SR.
Ask for two (2) teacher recommendations. You should ask two of your teachers who you think will write you the best letters in order to maximize your probability of admission. It is recommended that you ask two teachers from different academic subjects. These recommendation forms are available on the Coalition Application, Common Application and Universal College Application websites.
Submit your Mid-year School Report. Ask your guidance counselor or other officials at your school to complete and submit the form when your mid-year grades are available. This form can be found on the Coalition Application, Common Application and Universal College Application websites.
Submit an SAT score or ACT score. Include your writing score. Princeton’s SAT code is 2672. Princeton’s ACT code is 2588.
If you are an international student, you must submit your testing scores for TOEFL, IELTS Academic, or PTE Academic
(Optional) It is highly recommended that you submit two (2) SAT subject tests, also known as SAT II.
(Optional) If you believe you have achieved excellence in a form of arts such as architecture, dance, music, theater, visual arts, or other form, you may submit an arts supplement. However, keep in mind that an arts supplement can hurt you in some situations.
The deadline to apply for early action for Princeton is November 1. The deadline to apply for regular decision is January 1. November 1 is the financial aid application deadline for early action. February 1 is the financial aid application deadline for regular decision. Princeton usually releases their admissions decisions around mid December for early action. The decision is made around end of March for regular decision or deferred applicants.
Princeton Admitted Class Profile
If you are admitted and decide to attend Princeton, you will be a part of a very diverse class. There are many students from all over the United States and from many different countries. Here are some statistics about your classmates:
- 50.4% of the students for the class of 2021 were female, while 49.6% were male.
- 13% of the students were legacy students, meaning that one or more of their parents were Princeton alumni.
- 17% of the students in the class were the first in their family to attend college (first generation students).
- 22% of the students in the class qualified for a Pell grant.
- The most represented states in the incoming class at Princeton are New Jersey (205), New York (137), and California (133).
- International students in the class of 2021 included 167 total coming from 59 countries, such as China, Hong Kong, India, and others.
Princeton also has great racial diversity. The following are the statistics:
- 22% Asian American
- 11% Hispanic/Latino
- 8% African American
- 5% Multiracial
- <1% American Indian
- 13% International Students
Princeton Tuition Cost
The annual tuition cost for Princeton University is $70,010 per year. This sum can be broken down into 5 categories.
Room charge: $9,450
Board rate: $6,840
Residential college fee: $890
Estimated miscellaneous expenses: $3,500
Princeton is also known for having a generous financial aid program, one of the most generous in the country. The financial aid for those who qualify are grants that do not need to be repaid. In other words, you could qualify to graduate debt free depending on your family’s income level. Princeton is one of the few schools in the country that do not limit financial aid to only domestic students. International students can qualify for Princeton’s financial aid as well.
Princeton has a diverse set of academic opportunities. The school is often considered one of the most undergraduate focused universities because of its limited graduate schools, meaning greater attention both inside and outside the classroom to those pursuing a bachelor's degree. The following list includes all the majors, also known as concentrations, you may pursue at Princeton:
African American Studies
Art and Archaeology
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Chemistry Civil and Environmental Engineering
East Asian Studies
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
French and Italian
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Near Eastern Studies
Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Public Policy (Woodrow Wilson School)
Religion Slavic Languages and Literatures
Spanish and Portuguese
The undergraduate courses in the humanities such as English are usually taught in either seminars or lectures that are held either two or three times every week, in addition to an additional smaller discussion section called a “precept”. Princeton is known for requiring all bachelors candidates to write a senior thesis. Many of the departments also require students to complete independent research their junior year called the “junior papers”. Engineering students must complete a more rigorous curriculum of classes in the sciences and maths. Because of the liberal arts style of program, students at Princeton usually have a high level of flexibility in their choice of classes.
There are also many research opportunities available at Princeton through the Princeton Office of Undergraduate Research.
Princeton Student Life
Students are guaranteed housing in the residence halls at Princeton for all four years of their undergraduate career, and more than 98% of students live on campus in the dorms. Underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores), are required to live in residential colleges. Upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) live in designated dormitories for those students. The only major difference between the residential colleges and dormitories is that the residential colleges have dining halls. The six residential colleges hold a variety of social events in addition to activities, trips, guest speaker sessions, and more.
Undergraduate social life revolves around eating clubs. Students may “bicker” into an eating club that serves as dining halls, communal spaces, and social or party areas. The current eating clubs at Princeton include The Ivy Club, the University Cottage Club, the Tiger Inn, Cap and Gown Club, Colonial Club, Cannon Club, Princeton Charter Club, Quadrangle Club, Princeton Tower Club, Terrace Club, and Cloister Inn.
Princeton also is an NCAA Division I school within the Ivy League. The school has 38 men’s and women’s varsity sports for students to compete in. The sports Princeton competes in include the following:
Crew – Heavyweight
Crew – Lightweight
Swimming & Diving
Track & Field
Princeton University has many notable alumni throughout a variety of areas, from business, politics and government, military, academia, science and technology, sports, and many others areas. These individuals have achieved success, and several notable alumni are as follows:
U.S. President James Madison
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
Former First Lady Michelle Obama
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito
Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt
Actor Jimmy Stewart
Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald
Economics Nobel Prize Winner James Heckman