University to begin enrollment expansion with slight increase in fall 2005

The expansion of the University's undergraduate student body will start sooner and will be phased in more gradually than originally planned, beginning with a slight increase in the size of the freshman class this fall.

Under a revised plan approved by the trustee executive committee in February, the University will aim to enroll 1,226 students in the incoming classes this year and next. This is 28 more students than originally planned for the class being admitted this year.

In 2007 and 2008, when Whitman College is expected to be open but Butler College will be undergoing renovation, the size of the entering classes would increase by another 50 students, to 1,276. The class admitted in 2009 would finally reach the steady-state level of 1,312. After four classes of that size are admitted, the undergraduate population would reach its projected level of 5,200 in the fall of 2012.

"While our original planning anticipated a single increase of 125 students per class beginning in 2007, we believe it makes more sense to build up to that number gradually," said President Shirley M. Tilghman. "Largely because of the construction of Bloomberg Hall, we have enough additional housing capacity to accommodate this modest increase before the completion of Whitman College, and we are confident that we have the necessary academic, campus life and administrative resources in place to meet the needs of these students. In a year when we have a record number of applications, this decision allows us to admit more students from an excellent pool."

The University has received 16,453 applications for admission to the class of 2009, a 20 percent increase from the previous year. A total of 593 students have been offered admission through the early decision process, and regular decision applicants will be notified in early April.
As recommended by the Wythes Committee report in 2000, the University is planning to increase the size of its enrolled undergraduate student body by approximately 11 percent, from 4,700 to 5,200, to “enhance the quality of the overall educational experience at Princeton and make more effective use of the University’s extraordinary resources.” Because of a substantial increase in recent years in the number of undergraduates studying abroad, the actual number of students on campus is closer to 4,600. Those trends are likely to continue, and as a consequence the on-campus undergraduate student population after the expansion is likely to be 5,100.