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Douglas S. Massey

Douglas S. Massey

Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

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Information for Parents

You’re about to embark on an important journey supporting your child as he or she applies to college. From choosing which colleges to consider, to visiting campuses, to finding ways to pay for college, the college application process requires hard work and planning for both students and parents. To help you get started, here are answers to some of the questions we hear most often from parents:

How will my child’s application be evaluated?
We look for students who stand out academically, make the most of the opportunities available to them, show promising leadership skills and strength of character, and have diverse talents and interests. Each year we receive applications from many more students who fit this description than we can accept. In recent years, we have made offers of admission to about 8 percent of the applicants. Learn more about our admission criteria.

Does the type of school my child attends affect his or her chances for admission?

We give equal consideration to all applicants, whether they attend public high schools, private high schools, schools with religious affiliations or are home schooled. We’re interested in how students have taken advantage of the opportunities available to them. 

Does applying for financial aid affect one’s chances for admission?
The admission office evaluates students based on their merits as applicants, without regard to whether they applied for aid. Princeton meets the full, demonstrated financial need of any admitted student who applied for financial aid. Currently, about 60 percent of our undergraduates receive financial aid.

How would I pay for four years of college?
Many families rely on some sort of financial aid to help defray the cost of college. Princeton offers an outstanding financial aid program. Our financial aid awards meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need using a combination of a grant (money that is not repaid) and a campus job of 7-8 hours per week during the school year. The average grant for the entering class of 2017 is $39,350. Princeton’s financial aid package does not require a student to borrow, although some students may request a loan for a variety of reasons, such as purchasing a computer. Learn more about Princeton’s “no loan” financial aid program.

Families who do not receive financial aid or who wish to spread their contribution over a longer payment period after graduation may consider a variety of financing options.

We also offer financial assistance for the application process. We will waive the $65 admission application fee for any applicant who feels it might be a financial burden and submits a fee waiver request.

Is Princeton the right school for my child?
To help answer this question, we invite you to learn more about Princeton and what it's like to be part of our campus community.

What services are available for students with disabilities? The Office of Disability Services offers a range of services to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to Princeton's academic and extracurricular opportunities.

The Disability Services staff is available to meet with prospective students who are visiting the campus. Also, for more information you may visit the office's Website.

The University's admission process involves a holistic review of each applicant's entire file. No particular factor is assigned a fixed weight; rather, the process involves a highly individualized assessment of the applicant's talents, achievements and his or her potential to contribute to learning at Princeton.