What's Great About Princeton's Financial Aid
We have described Princeton's need-based aid program as one of the best in the nation. We are proud to say we offer need-blind admission and meet 100 percent of each admitted student’s financial need with generous aid packages. But what else is great about Princeton's financial aid?
- No loans: Since 2001, we have eliminated loans from our financial aid awards and replaced them with grant aid that students do not have to repay. Currently, the average financial aid grant covers 100 percent of Princeton’s tuition.
- Low "self-help" requirement: Colleges typically include a self-help component in their aid packages, made up of a student loan to be repaid and a campus job amount to be earned during the school year. Because our no loan policy replaces student loans with grants, Princeton's remaining self-help package is one of the lowest among our peer institutions. Freshmen entering in the fall of 2012 can earn the $2,900 term-time job amount by working only 9 hours per week.
- Outside scholarships reduce student earnings first, not grants: When a student wins outside awards, we use these funds to reduce the student’s term-time employment and summer earnings expectations before replacing his or her Princeton grant funds. If outside scholarship funds exceed the earnings expectations, the excess can be applied to the purchase of a personal computer.
- A generous summer savings policy: We have a low summer savings expectation of $1,530 for entering freshmen. Partial grants are available to replace the summer earnings requirement for students who are unable to save the expected amount. We accept a wide variety of reasons — for example, choosing to participate in unpaid activities such as internships or volunteer work, as well as being unable to find a job or earn the full amount listed in the aid package. For more information about the summer savings expectation, see the Undergraduate Financial Aid Information and Application Instructions.
- A reasonable expected contribution from students and their parents: We determine a family's ability to pay using Princeton's own need formula, with fair and generous individual results. For example, we do not include the value of a family’s home when considering their assets, and we provide a renter’s allowance for families who do not own a home. Students are asked for only 5 percent of their own savings, compared to 20-25% required by many other aid formulas. As we determine each family's financial need, a careful review is made of all special concerns and circumstances.
- Financial aid for international students: Princeton is one of only six colleges nationwide that offer need-blind admission and full-need financial aid to international students.
- Full funding for semester or yearlong study abroad: Students who receive financial aid continue to receive funding to help cover the approved cost of study abroad programs.
- A free, easy online aid application: Students can register with a secure login and complete the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA) from any computer. Data can be saved before submitting the application, and the form can be completed over several sessions. The CSS/PROFILE form is not required, so there is no need to pay a fee.
Through these policies, we demonstrate our ongoing dedication to providing a fair and effective financial aid program for all students. We are proud to be leaders in the field of financial aid, setting the standard for schools that share our mission of offering a level playing field for talented students from all economic backgrounds.