Princeton offers admission to 7.86 percent of applicants

Princeton University has offered admission to 2,095 students, or 7.86 percent of the near-record 26,664 applicants for the Class of 2016, in what is expected to be the most selective admission process in the University's history. This compares with Princeton's final admission rate of a record-low 8.5 percent for last year’s class.

The University's undergraduate admission office will mail letters March 29 to the students in the regular decision applicant pool. Students will be able to see their decisions via secure online access later today. Of the 2,095 students admitted, 726 are students who applied through single-choice early action and were offered admission in December. The class size is expected to be 1,300 students for the Class of 2016.

"We have selected students who are extraordinary in every way. They are enormously gifted intellectually and also very well rounded in their interests. Many have made their mark in the arts, in athletics and in their communities as engaged citizens. Their early accomplishments suggest that these students will help fulfill Princeton's mission to educate the next generation of leaders in the service of all nations," Dean of Admission Janet Lavin Rapelye said.

"We were impressed with the strength and quality of the applicant pool. The superb talents of so many of the applicants this year made our job as difficult as it ever has been. We reviewed every application carefully and individually, and in the end it was hard to turn away so many highly qualified candidates."

This year's applicant pool is the second-largest in the University's history. During the past eight years, the University has seen a 95 percent increase in applications.

Applications to Princeton have increased steadily with enhanced recruiting efforts and growing awareness of the University's pioneering no-loan financial aid program. Through Princeton's generous aid program, all students on financial aid are offered grants that do not have to be repaid — giving students an opportunity to graduate debt-free. The University's admission process is need-blind for both domestic and international students, which means that students are not at any disadvantage if they need financial aid.

Sixty percent of the current student body receives financial aid, compared with 38 percent in the Class of 2001, the last class to enroll before enhancements to Princeton's aid program. Currently, the average grant is $35,352, and for the coming year it is expected to be in excess of $37,000.

This was the first year since 2006 that the University offered an early application round for prospective students whose first college choice was Princeton. The University's early action program requires applicants to apply early only to Princeton, and allows them until May 1 to decide whether to accept Princeton's offer.

Applicants for the Class of 2016 were from 8,738 high schools and 151 countries. Of the applicants, 10,225 had a 4.0 grade point average, and 13,945 candidates had scores of 700 or higher on each of the three sections of the SAT. Among the students from high schools that rank their students, 97 percent of the admitted applicants are in the top 10 percent of their class.

Students admitted to the Class of 2016 come from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands and Puerto Rico, with the largest representation from New Jersey, followed in order by California, New York and Texas. International students represent 12.2 percent of the admitted students and come from 73 countries, including Australia, China, Greece, Madagascar, Jamaica, Singapore, Israel, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Of the students offered admission, 50.6 percent are men and 49.4 percent are women; 47 percent have self-identified as people of color, including biracial or multiracial students. Fifty-eight percent of the admitted students come from public schools, and 12.5 percent will be the first in their families to attend college. Sons or daughters of Princeton alumni account for 9.5 percent of the admitted students. Of those offered admission, 22.6 percent indicated they want to study engineering, and 44.4 percent of those students are women.

Beyond the 2,095 students offered admission to the Class of 2016, an additional 1,472 candidates were offered positions on the wait list. As in past years, approximately half of those students are expected to choose to stay on the wait list. Students on the wait list who may be offered a position in the class in May or June will receive the same financial aid considerations as students offered admission this week.

Princeton's previous record-low 8.5 percent admission rate for the Class of 2015 includes those students who were admitted from the wait list.

Up to 28 members of the new class are expected to defer their enrollment as part of Princeton's Bridge Year Program. The University-sponsored program allows incoming freshmen to spend a tuition-free year doing international service work. Applications for the Bridge Year Program will be due in May from students who accept the University's offer of admission.

The admitted candidates have until May 1 to accept Princeton's offer of admission.