Princeton offers admission to 9.5 percent of applicants

After receiving a record 18,942 applications, Princeton University has offered admission to 1,791 students, or 9.5 percent of those who applied for the class of 2011.

Acceptance letters were mailed March 29 to 1,194 students who applied through the regular decision process, and the Office of Admission also informed applicants of their decisions through an online notification system for the first time. An additional 597 students who applied during Princeton's final year of its early decision process were admitted in December. The University expects 1,245 students to enroll in the class of 2011.

"The admitted students are impressive in their academic and personal achievements," Dean of Admission Janet Lavin Rapelye said. "They come from a wide range of schools, backgrounds and areas of the world. Their talents, interests and accomplishments made them stand out in this applicant pool. We hope many of them will choose Princeton."

This marked the third consecutive year the University received a record number of undergraduate applications, and the 9.5 percent admit rate reflects "the most selective Princeton has been in recent history," Rapelye noted. The number of applicants represents a 7.8 percent increase over the 17,564 candidates who sought admission last year to the class of 2010.

Among this year's applicants: more than 6,000 had a cumulative 4.0 grade point average; 10,000 had a combined score of 2100 or higher on the three sections of the SAT; and they came from 6,876 high schools in 135 countries. Alumni volunteers had personal contact with an unprecedented 95 percent of applicants, or 17,947 students.

The students offered admission come from 49 states and Washington, D.C., with the largest numbers of students coming from New Jersey, followed in order by California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. International students make up 10.6 percent of the admitted students, and they are citizens of 77 countries, including Albania, Botswana, Brazil, China, Denmark, Greece, Guatemala, Lithuania, Madagascar, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

"The size, depth and strength of this record applicant pool meant that we had to make some difficult decisions," Rapelye said. "We wish we could have included more of the superb students who applied this year."

The 1,245 students expected to enroll is a slight increase over the 1,220 enrolled this year in keeping with a plan initiated in 2005 to expand the undergraduate student body from 4,700 to 5,200 students by 2012.

Fifty-three percent of the students admitted to the class of 2011 are men, 47 percent are women, and among all admitted applicants, 43.9 percent are students of color.

The University continues to admit students from families with a broad range of income levels, with 50 percent of the admitted students being offered need-based financial aid. Princeton's "no-loan" policy, which meets financial need with grants instead of loans, allows all students who qualify for financial aid to graduate debt free.

Admitted students had an opportunity to review a brief description of their financial aid awards, in addition to learning their admission decision, through the online notification system beginning at 5 p.m. March 29.

"The system worked flawlessly, and we had more than 13,000 students check their decision online within the first 12 hours," Rapelye said.

Applicants who have not received notification of their decision may call the Office of Admission Monday, April 2, at (609) 258-3060. Decisions will be given to applicants only.

Admitted students have until Tuesday, May 1, to make their college choice.