Students sitting on lawn on campus by Morrison Hall and Oval With Points sculpture

Princeton offers admission to 13 students in second year of reinstated transfer program

Students sit on Cannon Green during a spring day on Princeton University's campus. 

Princeton University has offered admission to 13 transfer students for entry in fall 2019. Since being reinstated in 2018, the renewed program is aimed at especially encouraging applicants from low-income, military or community college backgrounds.

The University received 1,003 applications for the transfer program, which sought to enroll a small group of exceptionally well-prepared transfer students from a range of backgrounds. The University’s undergraduate admission office has mailed letters to students in the transfer pool, and applicants were able to see their decisions via secure online access beginning May 7. 

Of the students offered admission, eight have served on active duty in the U.S. military or are currently serving. Five of the students offered admission are women; eight are men. Eight are first-generation college students. Admitted candidates have until May 21 to accept Princeton’s offer of admission. 

“Last year, our transfer program brought to campus many more military-affiliated and community college students, who’ve enhanced our campus community in numerous ways,” said Jill Dolan, dean of the college and acting dean of admission. “This year’s admitted transfer class will make our veteran community even more robust, and will bring to campus the rich experiences of people whose lives have taken other paths. We are pleased to be able to continue increasing the diversity of life experiences our students share with one another.”

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 transfer and international students. More than 60% of Princeton undergraduates receive financial aid. The average grant is greater than the cost of tuition, while lower-income students receive aid that covers full tuition, room and board. Students who applied for aid with family incomes up to $160,000 typically pay no tuition. 

Princeton is further distinguished from many peer institutions because its financial aid can replace veterans benefits toward the total cost of attendance, meaning that many undergraduate veterans do not have to use their benefits to attend Princeton. 

In 2018, 13 students were offered transfer admission and nine enrolled at Princeton last fall. 

Keith Shaw, director of Transfer, Veteran and Non-Traditional Student Programs, said he’s excited to welcome a new group of transfer students to Princeton. 

“Working with the students has been a privilege and a delight,” Shaw said. “Beyond the prodigious intellectual gifts they share with every Princeton undergraduate, transfer students bring an emotional maturity and discipline to their work earned through their life experiences. The whole motivation of the transfer program was to bring students with a broader array of perspectives to Princeton, and it has certainly accomplished that. Transfer students have become a thriving, tight-knit community on campus.” 

Transfer students, like first-year undergraduates, must begin their enrollment in the fall semester. Most students will begin as sophomores (in their second year of study). However, in some cases, students may begin as juniors, or be required to enter as first-year students. In all cases, Princeton faculty and college deans determine this standing after an evaluation of transfer credit.

“I’m very excited for our transfer and veteran population to grow,” said Sam Fendler, Class of 2021 and president of the Princeton Student Veteran Alliance. “I think our transfer cohort bonded really quickly and I’m sure the new cohort will have the same experience. Moreover, I think the new cohort will be an extension of ours. Transfer students are a small group, though there’s something special about being a non-traditional student at Princeton.”

In January 2016, Princeton’s Board of Trustees adopted a strategic planning framework identifying key goals and priorities for Princeton and authorized reinstating a transfer program. This ended a moratorium on the transfer process that had gone into effect in 1990.