Tips for International Students
Princeton welcomes applications from students around the world. We review all applications in the same manner, regardless of citizenship or country of residence. We also are familiar with the education systems of most countries, although you are, of course, welcome to provide additional information about the schools you have attended.
Before you begin preparing your application, we encourage you to review our publication Ready.Set.Go (.pdf), which contains detailed information regarding Princeton's application process, standardized testing requirements and financial aid program.
The full need of all admitted international students is met the same as it is for students from the United States. Your family’s ability to pay for your university education is not a factor in our admission decision. Students who qualify for financial aid will receive a grant, rather than a loan that has to be repaid, and a term-time job (7-8 hours per week) to meet their need as determined by the Financial Aid Office.
Our financial aid program is entirely need-based. Princeton does not offer academic or athletic merit scholarships. Financial aid awards cover the difference between Princeton’s costs and the amount your parents are expected to contribute to your education. The parental contribution is based on our evaluation of your financial aid application.
If English is not your native language, and you are attending a school where English is not the language of instruction, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in addition to the SAT or ACT plus writing, as well as SAT Subject Tests. You should instruct the testing agency to report your scores to Princeton. Students who have attended an English-medium secondary school for at least three years are not required to submit TOEFL results.
We encourage applicants attending schools outside the U.S. or Canada to complete their required standardized testing by the December test date if possible (SAT Reasoning Test or ACT plus writing, and two SAT Subject Tests, and TOEFL, if applicable). In our experience, scores from the January test date for testers outside the U.S. do not always reach us in time. However, if January is the only time you can take the test, please sit for the test in January and have your scores reported to us by the testing agency.
If the SAT tests are not offered in your country, we will consider your application without SAT results. However, we will have less information to consider when evaluating your application than we will have for applicants who are able to take the required tests. In some countries where the SAT is not offered, the ACT is available. If you cannot take the SAT, but the ACT is available, please take the ACT plus writing.
School Reports and Recommendations
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 Common Application or the Universal College Application.
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.
Princeton does not accept applications for admission from students who have already enrolled in a university. We do not have a transfer admission process, and we consider anyone who has begun university elsewhere to be a transfer applicant.