For the second year in a row, Princeton University has received a record number of applications for admission, totaling 17,478 for the class of 2010.
The number of students seeking admission represents a 6 percent increase over last year's record of 16,510 applicants. That pool of candidates for the class of 2009 was 21 percent larger than for the previous year.
According to Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye, outreach to diverse student populations, the University's financial aid packages and the popularity of Web-based applications introduced last year continue to contribute to the record increases.
"We have continued to expand our recruitment efforts in this country to include students from all socio-economic backgrounds," Rapelye said. "We also traveled internationally to more countries than in the past to ensure that we were reaching out to students from diverse regions of the world."
She noted that the University's strong financial aid program is attractive to prospective students from all geographical regions.
"Princeton's generous financial aid program allows us to offer aid to any admitted student based on financial need," Rapelye said. The University has implemented a number of significant changes in the last several years, including replacing loans with grants, which do not have to be repaid.
The Office of Admission offered prospective students several options for applying to the University: a paper version of the Common Application, which is a standardized form used by colleges and universities across the nation; an online version of that application; a paper Princeton Application; and an online version of the Princeton form. The University asks exactly the same questions on each version of the application.
Eighty percent of the applicants applied online this year, with the majority of students opting for the Web-based Common Application.
The total of 17,478 applications for admission includes the 2,236 high school seniors who applied for the class of 2010 through a binding early decision process. The University announced last month that 599 of those students were offered admission and are expected to comprise 49 percent of the freshman class this fall.
Students applying through regular decision, who had to submit applications by Jan. 1, will be notified of admission by early April. Candidates who were deferred during the early admission process will be reconsidered with the regular decision applicants.