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Princeton University Undergraduate Admission

Affordability FAQs

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The Family Contribution

Princeton is firmly committed to meeting 100% of financial need for every qualified student, with an aid package that does not require a loan. As part of this program, Princeton believes that parents and students should pay what they reasonably can toward the college expenses of their children. The amount of this contribution varies from family to family based on their individual resources.

Parental contributions are determined after a thorough review of the information contained in the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA) as well as tax documents and other verification materials. Princeton uses its own need formula which takes into account family income, assets, household size, the number of children attending college, and unusual expenses. Each individual aid application is given careful consideration, including the exercise of professional judgment when there are special circumstances.

For an estimate that is specific to your family's own circumstances, we suggest you use the Princeton Estimator.

Students can consider the following options for covering a portion of their college expenses:

A high percentage of Princeton’s undergraduates are employed during the summer. Entering freshmen average about $1,530 in net savings after living expenses have been met.

Princeton has an extensive student employment program that enables the University to offer jobs during the academic year not only to students who receive jobs as part of their aid package, but also to students who are not on financial aid. Aid recipients receive priority in placement and are notified of their workplace before they arrive on campus in September. Other students may apply for jobs at

Students work in almost all areas of the University. Dining Services, the library, and the computing center are among the largest employers. There is also an agency system in which students operate their own businesses. A freshman might earn approximately $2,900 a year by working 9 hours a week.

Savings and Benefits
Students should plan to contribute a percentage of their own savings and investments each year. In addition, some students are eligible for assistance specifically earmarked for educational costs such as VA or Social Security benefits.

Outside Scholarships
Many students apply to organizations outside of the University for awards based on merit rather than need. The most common sources are state scholarship agencies, civic organizations, community groups, charitable foundations, the military services, and corporations. In addition, some parents receive educational assistance for their children as part of an employee benefit program.

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) sponsors an extensive scholarship program. Army ROTC has a unit at Princeton, and Air Force ROTC is available through a cooperative arrangement with Rutgers University. Further information is available in your high school guidance office or from the Princeton Army ROTC, P.O. Box 2151, Princeton, NJ 08543, and from AFROTC, Rutgers University, 9 Senior Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 .

It may be worthwhile to look for specialized scholarships. Students who wish to explore this opportunity should check the reference section of their high school or community library, as well as the web including sites such as

Student Loans
Loans are available from various sources for students who choose to borrow. They are described in financing options.

Yellow Ribbon Program
Princeton participates in the Veterans Administration Yellow Ribbon Program.  Students who meet all of the requirements to receive Chapter 33 Post 9/11 Benefits are eligible for a $4,000 Princeton Yellow Ribbon grant along with the VA's matching grant.  The combination of Chapter 33 benefits (including tuition, Yellow Ribbon, and the monthly living allowance) and any Princeton need-based financial aid may not exceed the annual cost of attendance.