Princeton University set another record this year for students applying for admission, receiving 18,891 applications for the class of 2011.
This marks the third year in a row for record applications, and represents an 8 percent increase over last year's record of 17,564 applications for the class of 2010. The applicant pool for that class was 6 percent larger than for the class of 2009, and the number of candidates applying for that class was 21 percent greater than for the class of 2008.
"We've seen a 38 percent increase in applications over the past four years," said Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye. "We seem to be reaching students with information about our generous financial aid policy, our continued recruitment efforts that span the country and the globe, and our decision to move to a single application process next year."
The University announced in September that the present application cycle is the last through which prospective students whose first college choice is Princeton will have the opportunity to apply early decision. These students apply with the condition that they agree to matriculate if admitted, and cannot apply elsewhere.
Beginning next year with students applying for the class entering Princeton in September 2008, all undergraduates will apply through a single process.
The total of 18,891 applications for admission for the class entering in fall of 2007 includes the 2,276 high school seniors who applied through the binding early decision process. The University announced in December that 597 of those students were offered admission and are expected to comprise 48 percent of the freshman class this fall.
While the number of early decision applications increased by 2 percent over last year, applications for the regular decision pool increased by 9 percent. According to Rapelye, the availability of the online application was a factor.
"What's remarkable is that 87 percent of the applicants applied online this year, with the majority of the students using the Common Application online," Rapelye said. This compares to 80 percent of applicants who applied online last year.
The Office of Admission offers 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 questions asked on each version of the application are identical.
Regular decision applicants, who had to apply by Jan. 1, will be notified of admission in early April. Candidates deferred during the early admission process will be reconsidered with the regular decision applicants.
The number of admitted students will grow to build a freshman class of 1,245 students next year, compared to 1,225 this year, as part of the gradual expansion of the student body. The University plans to increase the size of its undergraduate student body by approximately 11 percent to 5,200 students by the 2012-13 academic year.