Princeton offers admission to 10.9 percent of applicants

Princeton University has offered admission to 1,807 students, or 10.9 percent of the record 16,516 applicants for the class of 2009.

Acceptance letters were mailed March 31 to 1,214 students who applied through the regular decision process. An additional 593 students who applied through early decision were admitted in December. The University expects 1,220 students to enroll in the class of 2009.

The record number of applicants for the incoming class represents a 20.6 percent increase from the 13,695 students who applied for admission to the class of 2008.

"The size and quality of the applicant pool exceeded my expectations this year," said Dean of Admission Janet Lavin Rapelye. "We were able to choose a group of students who have exceptional personal accomplishments, intellectual excellence and leadership skills for the class of 2009. One of the most difficult parts of this job is recognizing that we do not have places for all the qualified candidates."

Of those offered admission through early and regular decision, 54 percent are men and 46 percent are women. Forty-one percent of the admitted students are from minority backgrounds, up from 35 percent a year earlier. Sons and daughters of alumni comprise 9.9 percent of the admitted students.

About 50 percent of those admitted will receive financial aid under Princeton's groundbreaking "no-loan" program. Beginning in the fall of 2001, Princeton eliminated loans for students who qualify for aid, replacing them with grants that do not need to be repaid. The reforms have helped enhance the economic diversity of Princeton's student body, as the percentage of the current freshman class on financial aid has risen to 52 percent from 38 percent the year before the "no-loan" program was instituted.

In addition to growing awareness of Princeton's financial aid advantages, Rapelye attributed the rise in applications for the class of 2009 to enhanced recruitment efforts across the country and around the world as well as the introduction of new Web-based application forms.

Of the students admitted for the incoming class, Rapelye noted, "We were impressed with their talents in the creative arts, music, theater and dance, as well as athletics, politics, debate and volunteerism." Rapelye added that she has been particularly pleased with recent success in working with the School of Engineering and Applied Science, noting that 18 percent of those offered admission this year want to study engineering.

Admitted students are from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. States with the largest number of admitted students, in order, are: California, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Maryland.

Nine percent of those admitted are international citizens from more than 46 countries, including Argentina, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brunei, China, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Sweden and Zimbabwe.

Fifty-eight percent of the admitted students are from public schools, 32 percent are from private schools and 10 percent are from parochial schools. Of the high schools that rank, 96 percent of the admitted students are in the top 10 percent of their class.

The applicants were from 6,152 high schools and 122 countries. More than 5,000 applicants had a 4.0 grade point average, and more than 9,000 candidates had a combined SAT score of 1400 or better.

The admitted candidates have until May 1 to accept Princeton's offer of admission.

Princeton is planning to increase the size of its enrolled undergraduate student body by approximately 11 percent, from 4,700 to 5,200, by 2012 to enhance the quality of the overall educational experience at Princeton and make more effective use of the University's resources. Earlier this month, the University announced that the expansion will start sooner and will be phased in more gradually than originally planned. Under a revised plan approved by the trustee executive committee in February, the University will aim to enroll approximately 1,220 students in the incoming classes this year and next -- roughly 28 more students than originally planned for the class being admitted this year.