Malkiel: Princeton has 'another extraordinary year'
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
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.
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Editor: Ruth Stevens
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