Grad School sees continued diversity in applications

Princeton's Graduate School admitted 1,203 of the 9,237 applicants who applied for the 2008-09 academic year, with American students of color and international students making up 49 percent of the applicant pool.

The 13 percent overall admission rate is up only slightly from the 12.9 percent of applicants who were admitted last year. However, applications were up 5.2 percent over last year's 8,778, including a continued increase in applications from students of color and international students.

The number of admitted students who accepted the school's offer of admission by the April 15 postmark deadline was 556, or 46.2 percent compared to last year's 52 percent.

Graduate School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs David Redman said efforts of the school's new associate dean for academic affairs and diversity, Karen Jackson-Weaver, who assumed the position last July, have helped increase interest from applicants of color. The school admitted 190 students of color out of 1,110 applicants, up from 169 students admitted last year.

"We did some new things in the area of recruiting during the course of the year," Redman said, referring to a "Preview Day" that brought students recruited from around the country to campus to gain first-hand experience of Princeton.

"Dean Weaver's capacity to build on initiatives holds promise for the number of students of color to continue to climb," Redman said.

International applicants continue to be encouraged by the Graduate School's decision four years ago to subsidize the visa application process. The school reimburses admitted foreign students for the $100 fee the federal government instituted in 2004 to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). While international students still pay the government the regular visa application fees, the University pays the additional fee associated with managing the federal visitor student database.

"I think we're seen as a receptive, sympathetic, friendly place for international students, and the number of international applications has been rising in recent years," Redman said.

International applications from 61 foreign countries numbered 4,184, an increase of 9.9 percent from last year's 3,805. Among the applicants, 404 were admitted, up slightly from 396 last year, with the largest number of admitted students this year hailing from China, India, Korea and Canada.

Of the overall applicant pool, male applicants made up 63 percent and women made up 37 percent.

Academic fields admitting the highest numbers of their applicants were natural sciences and engineering, which admitted about 17.6 percent and 16.5 percent of their applicants, respectively. The percentages of admitted applicants for other fields were 14.5 percent for the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, 9.6 percent for the social sciences, 9.4 percent for architecture, and 8.8 percent for departments in the humanities.

The largest proportions of admitted students were in the natural sciences and mathematics; engineering and applied sciences; and social sciences.

The average standardized Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores for admitted graduate students were 626 out of 800 on the verbal section, 742 out of 800 on the quantitative section and 4.9 out of 6 on the analytical writing section.

The Graduate School expects total fall enrollment to be about 2,180 students in their first five years of study, which represents an increase over last year's enrollment of about 2,030 students. An additional estimated 265 students are expected to be in the Dissertation Completion Enrollment status held by students completing the dissertation portion of their degree requirement, compared to 275 students this year.