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Admission, Financial Aid, Fees


General Principles. Princeton seeks students of good character who have demonstrated scholastic achievement and capacity for further growth. The University and its facilities are open to all persons pursuant to the equal opportunity policy.

The Faculty Committee on Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid, which meets with a parallel student committee, is responsible for advising the administration on admission policy. The Admission Office staff seeks to identify those candidates who seem best qualified to take advantage of Princeton's academic programs and to select from among them those who will form an undergraduate body with a wide representation of interests, backgrounds, and special abilities. The Admission Office staff considers each applicant individually. Those candidates who apply for admission to Princeton should have demonstrated significant academic potential, as well as strength of character and maturity, and show promise of contributing to the life of the University. Princeton welcomes applications from talented students of diverse backgrounds.

Entrance Standards. Princeton does not prescribe fixed secondary school course requirements for admission. The University recognizes the diversity of programs offered by various secondary schools and is primarily interested in the quality and breadth of the student's record. The school's testimony about academic ability and interest as well as motivation, reliability, and strength of character are very important.

Although the applicant's course program is but one of several elements taken into consideration by the admission committee, English, foreign languages, and mathematics are so necessary to intellectual growth and attainment that sustained study of each in secondary school is expected. The following program is desirable: English, four years with continued practice in writing; foreign languages, four years of one language (rather than two years each of two languages), preferably continued through the final year of secondary school; mathematics, four years of college preparatory mathematics, also preferably continued through the final year of secondary school.

In addition to these studies, the following are important components of strong preparation for work in the University: three to four years of science, including two years of laboratory science; three to four years of social studies, including at least two years of history, with some study of a country or region outside the United States; and some study of art and music, and, if possible, a second foreign language. Students seeking a B.S.E. degree should have a strong record in mathematics and in the natural sciences, including at least one year of physics.

The University will give full consideration to an applicant who has been unable to pursue the recommended studies to the full extent if the record otherwise shows clear promise.

Princeton grants advanced placement for some college-level studies completed prior to matriculation. For information, see the advanced placement section of this catalog.

Application Procedures. Students may apply for admission to Princeton either through Single-Choice Early Action or through Regular Decision. Students seeking entrance to Princeton in the fall of 2013 must submit the Common Application. Students must also complete Princeton's Supplement to the Common Application. Detailed application instructions are available at the Admission Office website. Inquiries about admission can be made via e-mail, by phone at (609) 258-3060, or by mail at Admission Office, Princeton University, Box 430, Princeton, New Jersey 08542-0430. The application deadline for Single-Choice Early Action is November 1. For Regular Decision, the deadline is January 1. We encourage Regular Decision applicants to submit their portion of the application by December 15, if possible.

Additional information concerning admission procedures, application fees, alumni interviews, standardized testing requirements, notification date, and deferred enrollment may be found in the admission viewbook. Copies are available on request from the Admission Office, Princeton University, Box 430, Princeton, New Jersey 08542-0430, or online, and are included in the packet of application materials mailed to prospective applicants.

Transfer Admission. At this time, Princeton does not offer transfer admission. Any student who has enrolled as a full-time degree candidate at another college or university is considered a transfer applicant and is not eligible for undergraduate admission.

Undergraduate Financial Aid

Administered by the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office, the University's financial aid program provides assistance to all students who are judged to need aid. Princeton does not offer academic or athletic scholarships. Grants and campus jobs are the types of aid awarded to undergraduates. Student loans are not required, but may be available if requested for expenses not included in the basic budget, or to cover an earnings shortfall. A complete description of federal, state, and University aid funds, as well as detailed instructions on how to apply for aid, can be found on the Web. A student may receive assistance for each undergraduate year, so long as the family continues to have financial need and the student is in good standing. Annual applications for aid are required.

Under federal tax laws that became effective in 1987, scholarship or grant support in excess of tuition and related expenses (required books, fees, supplies, and equipment), regardless of the source, is considered taxable income. Proceeds from educational loans are not considered taxable income. Compensation from the University received under the Federal Work-Study Program or other employment arrangements is also considered taxable income, but is not subject to Social Security taxes if earned during the academic year.

For further information, contact the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office, Box 591, Princeton, NJ 08542-0591, (609) 258-3330. Email the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office.

Fees and Expenses

The amount charged for tuition covers approximately one-half of the University's actual educational costs for a student. Fees and other charges for the 2012-13 academic year:

Tuition $38,650
Room charge $6,950
Board rate $5,680

The list above represents the regular University charges. These charges are subject to change without prior notice. Changes in programs and in the academic calendar do not entitle students to any credits against established fees. Students who are not covered under their family's medical insurance can purchase a Princeton health plan for an additional charge of $1,850.

The budget that is used to calculate financial aid awards includes an allowance of $3,500 for other costs that a student will incur during the year. These expenses typically include books, laundry, clothing, recreation, incidentals, dues, and social fees. Freshmen and sophomores are charged a residential college fee of $690, which will appear on the University bill.

The total student budget for the 2012–13 academic year, therefore, is approximately $54,780, not including travel expenses, which vary depending on a student's state or country of residence. Costs for 2013-14 are expected to increase modestly.

Special Fees

Application. Currently $65, payable at the time formal application is made for admission to the University.

Late Registration. $75.

Change of Course. No charge for changes during the first two weeks of classes. A fee of $45 per course is assessed beginning in the third week of classes.

Failure to Preregister by Deadline. Undergraduates who fail to file a choice of courses at the Office of the Registrar by the specified deadlines are fined $10 for each day late.

Transcript and Certifications. A one-time document fee of $75 will be assessed in the freshman year. This fee will cover all subsequent requests for standard delivery of academic transcripts and enrollment certifications.

Student Car Parking. Juniors and seniors may purchase a University parking permit for an annual charge of approximately $200. Freshmen and sophomores are not permitted to have cars on campus.

Continuing Education Students. For information about fees, inquire at the Office of Community and Regional Affairs, 22 Chambers Street, Suite 101.

Payment of Fees and Charges

Payment of the basic University charges for the academic year (tuition, room, meal contract, class dues, student health plan, and residential college and Undergraduate Student Government fees, less financial aid provided by Princeton) is due in full in two parts: half by August 17 and half by January 17. Electronic billing (E-billing) to students at their e-mail account is the official method of distributing the University tuition bill. Paper bills will not be automatically sent home. New students will be sent enrollment instructions and steps on how to include parents/guardians in the notification process. Billing notices are sent in advance of the due date. Electronic payments from a U.S. checking/savings account and checks in U.S. dollars are acceptable forms of payment. Credit card payments are not accepted. Any balance that is unpaid beyond the due date will be assessed a late payment charge. This charge will be an annual rate of interest, to be established prior to the start of the academic year. Failure to enroll in the billing process does not prevent the assessment of late fees. Billing notices will be sent monthly for any additional charges incurred. Account activity can be viewed online at any time by all authorized parties.

The University offers a Monthly Payment Plan, which allows payment of the basic fees (tuition, room, meals, class dues, student health plan, and residential college and Undergraduate Student Government fees, less financial aid provided by Princeton University), to be divided over 12 monthly payments due on the first of each month, September through August. This method of payment requires a promissory note to be signed by the parent(s) for the total amount borrowed. Interest will be charged on the amount disbursed each semester and will be calculated daily based on the outstanding balance disbursed. The interest rate will be announced in June. Additional interest will be charged on any amounts past due. This rate will be the same as the rate for late payment on the student account. An electronic application can be submitted from the Loans & Receivables website.

The University also offers the Princeton Parent Loan Program, which enables qualified families to borrow money from Princeton to pay their share of the student's budget over an extended period. Repayment begins with the first month of borrowing and continues for 10 years after graduation. There are two interest options: variable, which is adjusted every six months, August and February, for the life of the loan and based on the six-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), and fixed, which is determined in August. An electronic application can be submitted from the Loans & Receivables website.

Students will not be registered for each term until all financial requirements are met. Students with past-due obligations will be referred to the Office of the Dean of the College for review of their continued enrollment. A student otherwise entitled to graduate will not receive a diploma, nor will a transcript be issued, until all financial obligations to the University have been met. If balances remain due following graduation, the University may secure legal assistance to obtain payment. All legal fees and collection expenses will be added to the obligation due Princeton.

Students withdrawing from the University within the first two weeks of classes in either term, whether voluntarily or by dismissal (with special consideration for medical cases), will be charged 10 percent of the tuition for the term; during the third week of classes, 20 percent; during the fourth week of classes, 30 percent; during the fifth week of classes, 40 percent; and during the sixth and seventh week of classes, 50 percent. If a student withdraws after the seventh week of classes, 80 percent of the tuition for that term will be charged; after the end of week nine, the full amount for the term will be charged. Students withdrawing after the beginning of a term also incur room and board charges in accordance with the terms of their contracts; ordinarily, board charges will be adjusted on a pro rata basis, while the full amount of the room charges for that term will be charged. The fees set by student organizations, residential colleges, and other dining or living units are established on a semester-by-semester basis and will not be refunded to students who withdraw after the beginning of a term.

Although financial assistance is awarded for the entire academic year, it is credited to a student's bill in semester installments. If a student withdraws before completing the year, aid credits will be available to pay expenses in proportion to actual charges. Financial aid will be used to pay for room and board consistent with the terms of the contracts. The residential college fee, student government fee, and class dues will be charged by semester; they also may be paid by aid once tuition, room, and board charges have been satisfied.

If not used to cover the charges mentioned above, remaining aid credits will be returned to the sources from which they came as specified by program requirements. Withdrawing students receive detailed information about refunds and aid credits from the Financial Aid Office.

Students who are required to repeat a semester for other than disciplinary reasons are eligible for financial aid as described above. Students who leave Princeton for disciplinary reasons, however, will not be eligible to receive University grant aid if they must repeat a term as a result.

Upon withdrawal or graduation, the net balance of the student's account will be determined by applying all payments and available credits to the account against all outstanding amounts due to the University.

Students who withdraw without meeting all financial obligations to the University will have their transcripts withheld and will not be eligible for readmission to Princeton. If balances remain due following withdrawal, the University may secure legal assistance to obtain payment. All legal fees and collection expenses will be added to the obligation due Princeton.

While the University recognizes that continuity in its payment policies will best help parents plan to meet the educational costs of their children, due to changing financial circumstances, the University must reserve the right to alter the terms and means of payment required from year to year.