The Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP), a tuition-free academic and cultural enrichment program, has been helping prepare high-achieving, low-income high school students for college success for nearly 15 years.
PUPP selects 24 students each year in the spring of ninth grade to participate in its comprehensive, three-year college preparation program. The program, founded in 2001 by Princeton's Program in Teacher Preparation, serves partner public high schools in the New Jersey cities of Ewing, Hamilton, Lawrence, Princeton and Trenton.
Participants — known as PUPP scholars — spend six and a half weeks on the University campus each summer in a program that covers literature, math, writing, art, personal development and science. They also participate in cultural excursions and college tours. During the academic year, scholars attend academic enrichment sessions and cultural events. They also receive extensive college-preparation services.
Graduates of the program have gone on to attend and graduate from some of the nation's top colleges and universities, including Princeton, Brown University, Colgate University, Dickinson College, Duke University, Georgetown University, Mt. Holyoke College, Muhlenberg College, Rutgers University, the College of New Jersey, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Richmond, the University of Pennsylvania and Wesleyan University.
Ask PUPP scholars and alumni what the program means to them, though, and they say its impact goes well beyond a college admission letter or even a college diploma.
Below are portraits of PUPP scholars and alumni sharing their thoughts about the program.
Photos by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications; design by Michael Hotchkiss and Maggie Westergaard, Office of Communications