Princeton receives near-record applications

UPDATE: The number of applicants for the Class of 2015 has been corrected.

Princeton University has received 26,663 applications for admission to the Class of 2016, with many of them also applying for the University’s no-loan financial aid program.

This is the second-largest applicant pool in the University’s history. Over the past eight years, the University has seen a 95 percent increase in applications, including seven continuous years of growth leading to a record 27,189 applications last year for the Class of 2015.

"We've seen a steady growth in the number of applicants, due to the University's academic excellence, students' unrivaled access to world-class faculty members and our generous financial aid policy," Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said. "The number of graduating high school students in this country has dropped in the past few years, so we have been expecting the pool to plateau at some point. The growing availability of early admission programs also may be contributing to a general leveling off of applications.

"The applicant pool this year is broad and deep in terms of quality, and we are pleased that many of the applicants are aware of our financial aid program and intend to apply for aid," Rapelye said.

Through the University's pioneering no-loan financial aid program, all students on financial aid are offered grants that don't have to be repaid — giving students an opportunity to graduate debt-free. The admission process is need-blind for both domestic and international students.

The applicants include 3,476 candidates who applied last fall through single-choice early action. The University's undergraduate admission office offered admission to 726 of the early applicants in mid December. This is the first year since 2006 that the University has offered an early application round for prospective students whose first college choice is Princeton.

For the second year, almost all of the students applied online using the Common Application with the Princeton supplement.

Applicants will be notified of admission decisions by late March. About 1,300 freshmen will enroll in the fall of 2012 when total enrollment is expected to reach a “steady state” of 5,200 following a continued gradual expansion of the student body that began in 2005.