Princeton offers admission to 6.1 percent of Class of 2021 applicants

March 30, 2017 2 p.m.

Princeton University has offered admission to 1,890 students, or 6.1 percent of the record
31,056 applicants for the Class of 2021, in what is the University's most selective admission process to date. Last year, the University's admission rate was 6.46 percent. The class size is expected to be 1,308 students for the Class of 2021.

The University's undergraduate admission office has mailed letters to students in the regular-decision applicant pool, and applicants will be able to see their decisions via secure online access starting today at 5 p.m. Of the 1,890 students selected for admission, 770 applied through single-choice early action and were offered admission in December.

The University's generous financial aid program provides the assistance necessary to make sure that a Princeton education is genuinely affordable for every admitted student, including international students. The financial aid program comes in the form of grants, which do not need to be repaid. Sixty percent of this year's freshman class receives aid, and the average grant is $48,000 per year. No student is required to take out loans, and can therefore graduate debt free.

"The admitted students will bring extraordinary talents, achievements and motivation to the Princeton community," Dean of Admission Janet Lavin Rapelye said. "Their diverse range of skills, ideas, backgrounds and beliefs were evident to the committee as we gave careful consideration to each application. These students will engage with one another both in and out of the classroom, shaping the discourse on campus and life of the University for the next four years."

This year's applicant pool is the largest in the University's history. During the past 14 years, Princeton's applicant pool has more than doubled. 

"We received thousands of compelling applicants to the Class of 2021, and we were impressed by their many accomplishments," Rapelye said. "We continue to see growth in the applicant pool, making this year's evaluation process especially challenging. The admission staff remains committed to a holistic review of each applicant's academic, personal and extracurricular performance. Many candidates were in the admissible range, and while we could not include all of these fine students, we are confident they will find success wherever they go."

Of the applicants, 12,435 had a 4.0 grade point average, and 13,850 had scores of 1,400 or higher on the two sections of the SAT. The applicant pool included students from among 10,274 high schools from 151 countries.

Students receiving offers of admission to the Class of 2021 come from 49 states, plus Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands, with the largest representation from New Jersey, followed in order by California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Massachusetts and Georgia. International students represent 12.1 percent of the admitted students and are citizens of 76 countries, including Australia, Bahrain, Botswana, Brazil, China, El Salvador, Greece, Japan, Kosovo, India, Mexico, Mongolia, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, South Korea, Syria, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. 

Of the students offered admission, 50.5 percent are women and 49.5 percent are men; 53.4 percent have self-identified as people of color, including biracial and multiracial students; 63.8 percent of the admitted students come from public schools, and 18.9 percent will be the first in their families to attend college.

"We believe this year represents the largest number of first-generation college students admitted to Princeton in the modern era," Rapelye said. "This reflects the University's ongoing commitment to increase the socioeconomic diversity of undergraduates, including those from first-generation and low-income backgrounds."

Children of Princeton alumni account for 10.7 percent of the admitted students. Of those offered admission, 24.1 percent indicated they want to study engineering, and 47.3 percent of those students are women.

In addition to the 1,890 students offered admission, 1,168 candidates were offered positions on the wait list. Any students on the wait list who may be offered admission in May or June will receive the same financial aid they would have received had they been offered admission this week.

This is the sixth year that the University has offered an early application round for prospective students whose first college choice is Princeton. Early action applicants may apply early only to Princeton, and if admitted, they can wait to decide whether to accept Princeton's offer until the end of the regular admission process in the spring.

Up to 35 members of the new class are expected to defer their enrollment for a year to participate in Princeton's Bridge Year Program. The University-sponsored program allows incoming first-year students to spend a tuition-free year engaging in international service work abroad in Bolivia, China, India, Indonesia or Senegal. Applications for the Bridge Year Program will be due in May from students who accept the University's offer of admission.

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