Naomi Ehrich Leonard '85
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Financial Aid Without Loans
When Princeton’s Board of Trustees voted in 2001 to replace student loans with grants, it sent a clear message to all students who apply: No matter what your financial circumstances, Princeton is possible.
Princeton has a need-blind admission policy, meaning that your family’s ability to pay has nothing to do with your chance of being accepted. If you have what it takes to be a Princeton student, Princeton will meet 100 percent of your determined financial need with a combination of grant aid and a campus job. No student is required to take a loan. Princeton is also one of only a handful of universities to offer the same aid policy to international students.
Sixty percent of the Class of 2013 received financial aid with an average grant amount of $36,000. The average grant now exceeds Princeton’s $35,340 annual tuition.
During the 2008-09 school year, Princeton awarded nearly $92 million in need based grants. Of this, $86 million came from the University’s own funds, with another $6 million awarded through government programs and outside scholarships. Aid students earned an additional $2 million through on-campus jobs. Princeton’s financial aid is entirely need-based; scholarships aren’t offered for academic merit or athletic ability.
The effects of Princeton’s “no loan” financial aid policy are powerful and tangible. For graduating seniors, it means freedom to choose a career path or graduate study without concern over student loan payments. For current Princeton students, it means learning with and from students of different backgrounds and benefiting from everyone's unique experiences and perspectives.
Princeton’s “no loan” financial aid program is the most generous in the country. To find out more, see Costs & Financial Aid. Be sure to try the Princeton Financial Aid Estimator for an indication of how much aid you may be eligible to receive.