Malkiel: Princeton has 'another extraordinary year'
in admissions, financial aid

By Ruth Stevens

Princeton NJ -- Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel termed 2001-02 "another extraordinary year in undergraduate admission and financial aid" for Princeton.

In a report at the Sept. 23 faculty meeting, Malkiel presented data on this year's freshman class of 1,166 students as well as corresponding data on other classes. She noted that because of Princeton's improvements in financial aid over recent years a record 50 percent of the class of 2006 is on financial aid, compared to 38 percent of the class of 2001 -- the last class admitted before the improvements. The 584 members of the class of 2006 on financial aid represent an increase of 35 percent since five years ago, when 432 members of the class of 2001 were on aid.


One of the first stops for many students considering Princeton is an Orange Key Tour. Recent improvements in the University's financial aid program have made a Princeton education more affordable for students regardless of their economic circumstances. Here, junior Maureen Monagle leads a tour near the University Chapel.

"The cumulative effect of these policy changes has been to make Princeton's the leading financial aid program among all colleges and universities in the United States," she said. "As the data that follow make plain, we have been tremendously successful in attaining our goal of making Princeton affordable for any student regardless of family financial circumstances."

The percentage of students on financial aid has climbed steadily over recent years, with 40 percent of the class of 2004 and 46 percent of the class of 2005 on aid. Based on preliminary reports, Malkiel said Princeton has the highest percentage of freshmen on financial aid of any of its sister institutions.

While the University continues to follow its longstanding policy of admitting students on a need-blind basis and then meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students who require assistance, it began to make significant changes in its financial aid policies five years ago to become even more affordable to lower- and middle-income students. As a result of these changes, Princeton has replaced all required loans in its financial aid packages with increased grants, which need not be repaid, and has adjusted its formulas for determining need to reduce the amounts that both students and families are expected to contribute.

Malkiel said that entering students with family incomes below $46,500 grew from 88 in the class of 2001 to 129 in the class of 2006. The primary initial impact of the aid changes was on these students, but officials now have observed a similar increase in the enrollment of middle- and upper middle-income students who qualify for financial aid.

"Except for the military service academies, Princeton's 'no-loan' policy is unique among American colleges," she said. "Princeton is widely recognized as a university with an outstanding aid program, an institution that, in spite of its high cost, is making it possible for anyone to attend."

Malkiel also reported a number of other admission statistics. She said that the number of U.S. citizens from minority backgrounds in this fall's entering class totals 339, or 31.7 percent, compared to 343 or 31.4 percent of the U.S. citizens in the class of 2005.

The academic quality of the entering class is also as high as it has ever been, Malkiel said. Students judged by the admission office to have the strongest academic credentials -- credentials that make them the most sought after nationally -- constitute 44.9 percent of this year's entering class, as compared to 43.8 percent of last year's class and 27.6 percent of the class of 2001.

Princeton's overall yield on offers of admission (the percentage of those offered admission who decide to enroll) increased from 70.7 percent in the class of 2005 to 73.6 percent in this year's freshman class -- an all-time high yield rate. The yield in the regular decision round (as distinct from early decision) rose from 57.1 percent to 60 percent. The yield for minority students increased from 60.1 percent last year to 62 percent this year -- 10 percentage points higher than the yield (52 percent) for the class of 2004. The yield for students with the strongest academic credentials increased to 69.2 percent from 65.4 percent for the class of 2005, 60.5 percent for the class of 2004 and 55 percent for the class of 2001. The yield for students on financial aid this year was 71 percent, which was 11 percentage points higher than the yield (60 percent) for students on aid in 2001.

In addition to the financial aid improvements, Malkiel said several other factors contributed to this year's success: a significant reduction in the turnaround time for dealing with incomplete financial aid applications and financial aid appeals; the continuing assistance of faculty members, who often make personal contact with applicants in the admission process; and a "greatly improved, wholly redesigned" on-campus hosting program for admitted students.

October 7, 2002
Vol. 92, No. 5
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Page one
Malkiel: Princeton has 'another extraordinary year' in admissions, financial aid
Biologist Bonnie Bassler wins MacArthur Fellowship

Electrical engineer programs cells to do his bidding
Sociologist studies mixing money and relationships

Richard Challener '44, scholar of American history, dies at 79
Increased effectiveness goal of development reorganization
People, spotlight, briefs

Nassau Notes
Calendar of events
By the numbers

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Editor: Ruth Stevens
Calendar editor: Carolyn Geller
Staff writers: Jennifer Greenstein Altmann, Steven Schultz
Contributing writers: Marilyn Marks, Evelyn Tu
Photographer: Denise Applewhite
Design: Mahlon Lovett, Laurel Masten Cantor, Margaret Westergaard
Web edition: Mahlon Lovett