How to Get into Princeton: Admission Requirements and Tips

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

How to Get into Princeton: Admission Requirements and Tips

As a student, you might be wondering how to get into Princeton University. Schools with an Ivy League reputation can seem untouchable at times. Although the admissions processes of these schools are certainly challenging, they’re not impossible.

This comprehensive guide is your roadmap to Princeton. It’s packed with important data on Princeton admissions, as well as tips and advice. Ready to start? Read on.

Overview of Princeton University

Princeton University is always in the conversation when people speak of the country’s best universities, and rightfully so. With a rich history of world-class academic offerings and a proven track record of producing some of the most successful alumni, it’s no wonder Princeton is revered so highly.

Princeton’s story began in 1746. As the fourth-oldest college in the United States, its roots are deeply embedded in the foundation of American education. It was initially called the College of New Jersey, changing to its current name in 1896.

Over the centuries, Princeton has been a witness to history, shaping leaders who have gone on to make significant contributions across various fields. Fast forward to today, Princeton’s name resonates with prestige. Its alumni list includes Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and influential leaders.

So, why Princeton? Beyond the history and the prestige, it’s a place where education is about more than just textbooks. It’s about fostering a spirit of discovery and being part of a community that values deep intellectual engagement.

At Princeton, you join a lifelong network of leaders and changemakers. It’s a chance to carve your own niche in Princeton’s storied tradition.

Princeton’s Acceptance Rate

Princeton University’s acceptance rate has been consistently low over the past five years, making it one of the most competitive universities in the United States:


Class Acceptance Rate
Class of 2023 5.5%
Class of 2024 5.63%
Class of 2025 4.38%
Class of 2026 Officially Undisclosed
Class of 2027 Officially Undisclosed

Princeton University has chosen not to release admissions statistics for the Class of 2027 for the second consecutive year. However, an analysis by The Daily Princetonian suggests that the acceptance rate for the Class of 2027 could be around 5.82% or higher.

As the number of applications to Princeton has increased, acceptance rates have declined, making admissions more competitive. Despite the lack of official acceptance rate data for the past two years, it is clear that Princeton University remains one of the most competitive universities in the United States.

However, when you consider that Princeton is an Ivy League school, its acceptance rate doesn’t appear as challenging. In fact, there are still some universities such as Harvard and Yale that are more selective.

Factors that influence the acceptance rate

The acceptance rate is a reflection of several intersecting factors. Here’s what contributes to making Princeton so selective:

  • Academic Excellence: Princeton seeks students who have excelled academically throughout their high school careers. This is evidenced by top grades, challenging course loads, and outstanding standardized test scores.
  • Holistic Admissions: The admissions committee looks at the whole picture—extracurricular activities, leadership roles, essays, and letters of recommendation. They’re searching for well-rounded individuals who will contribute to campus life in meaningful ways.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Princeton values a diverse student body. Factors such as ethnicity, geography, and socioeconomic background play a role in the admissions process to ensure a rich and varied campus community.
  • Early Action vs. Regular Decision: Applying through Early Action can sometimes offer a slight advantage, as students demonstrate their commitment to Princeton as their first choice. However, this also means a pool of applicants that may be more self-selective and competitive.
  • Increased Applications: Over the years, there has been a steady increase in the number of applications to Princeton, which naturally lowers the acceptance rate. The ease of applying through common application platforms contributes to this surge.

The acceptance rate at Princeton is shaped by these and other considerations, all woven into the fabric of the university’s mission to admit the best and brightest. Each year, as thousands of students apply, the rate provides a snapshot of the competitive landscape that hopeful applicants are up against.

Princeton GPA and SAT Requirements

At Princeton, your GPA and SAT scores are important. Your GPA is a testament to your academic diligence and intellectual resilience, qualities that the university holds in high regard. Your SAT scores offer a comparative benchmark, essential for Princeton’s assessment of your academic readiness on a national scale.

Aim to excel in both, as they are critical indicators of your potential to succeed in Princeton’s challenging academic environment. Still, be aware that these are components of a larger portrait, with your personal essays, recommendations, and extracurricular achievements also playing a vital role in the admissions decision.

Princeton GPA Requirements

Princeton students typically boast top-tier high school academic records. When setting your sights on Princeton, understanding the GPA landscape is essential. Let’s break down what you’re up against and how your GPA factors into the equation.

As mentioned earlier, the university has not released admissions data on the pool of applicants to the Class of 2026 or 2027. However, historically, the average high school GPA for incoming Princeton University freshmen has hovered around 3.9 out of 4.0. It means mostly A’s in the most challenging courses available—AP, IB, or Honors classes.

GPA recommendations

To align your GPA with Princeton’s standards, aim for the best possible grades, especially in advanced-level courses. Princeton wants to see that you’re not just coasting by but challenging yourself and succeeding.

Moreover, a consistently high GPA is preferable to one that fluctuates. Show that you can maintain excellence over time.

But if your GPA isn’t where it should be, focus on showing an upward trajectory in your grades. Improvements over your high school career can demonstrate your growth and potential. If there are reasons why your GPA isn’t reflective of your abilities, such as personal circumstances, make sure to explain this context in your application.

Princeton SAT Requirements

The SAT serves as a benchmark for comparing students from different schools and backgrounds on a consistent scale. If Princeton University is on your radar, you’ll need to pay close attention to the SAT scores that the institution considers:

Average SAT Score 25th Percentile SAT Score 75th Percentile SAT Score
1495 1440 1570

Understanding the 25th and 75th percentile scores can give you a clearer picture of where your SAT scores stand in relation to those typically admitted to Princeton. The table shows that 25% of the students enrolled scored below 1440, while the remaining 75% scored higher. This percentile gives you a sense of the lower end of the score range for admitted students.

Conversely, the 75th percentile score—in this case, 1570—tells you that 75% of new Princeton students scored at or below this number, and 25% scored above it. This figure represents the higher end of the score spectrum.

SAT Recommendations

Aim for the 75th percentile (1570) to put yourself in the most competitive position.

Scoring above the 75th percentile makes you a strong candidate, indicating that your SAT score is above that of most students accepted to Princeton.

However, if your score is closer to the 25th percentile, you’re in the range of scores that the lower quarter of admitted students have achieved. It doesn’t rule you out, but it does mean you should ensure the other aspects of your application are particularly strong to compensate.

Princeton ACT Requirements

Princeton values the ACT as it provides a standardized measure of your academic capabilities across multiple subjects: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Understanding these requirements can help you gauge where you need to be with your own ACT scores.

Princeton applicants typically showcase high ACT scores:

Average ACT Score 25th Percentile ACT Score 75th Percentile ACT Score
34 33 35

For students admitted to Princeton, the ACT scores tend to be just as competitive as their SAT counterparts. Princeton students tend to have ACT composite scores between 33 and 35. This means that if you score a 33, you’re at the lower end of what admitted students typically score, while a 35 places you at the upper end.

ACT Recommendations

Achieving a score at or above the 75th percentile (35) places you among the top applicants. If your ACT score falls into the 75th percentile, it’s an indication that your academic preparation is robust, and you’re well-positioned in at least one aspect of the admissions criteria.

However, a score in the 25th percentile doesn’t automatically disqualify you; it just means that to bolster your application, you may need to highlight your strengths in other areas, such as leadership, community service, extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendations.

A quick reminder: Princeton’s admissions process is holistic, so while standardized test scores are important, the admissions committee will also weigh many other factors. Keep your achievements, essays, and recommendations in tip-top shape as well.

Is Princeton Test-Optional?

Princeton University is currently test-optional and has extended its test-optional policy for the next three admission cycles, which means that the policy will be in place for applications due through the 2024-25 academic year. The university has not yet announced whether the test-optional policy will be extended beyond that point.

This means that applicants are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their application. However, students can still choose to submit their test scores, and doing so may enhance their chances of admission.

Test-optional policies are designed to create a more equitable admissions process for first-generation, low-income applicants, as well as for students who may not perform well on standardized tests. By becoming test-optional, Princeton University removes a barrier for students who may have hesitated to apply had they been required to submit scores deemed too low for an Ivy League school.

What Does Princeton Look for in Students?

As you can tell from the previous sections, it’s difficult to get accepted into this world-class university. Fortunately, this college takes a comprehensive approach to its admissions process.

In other words, admissions staff take a wide variety of factors into account when determining which applicants get accepted. This gives you plenty of opportunities to stick out from the competition when you’re filling out your application.

Now, let’s delve into each of these areas to understand how you can shape your application to resonate with Princeton’s admissions committee:

1. Academic excellence

At its core, Princeton is looking for students who thrive in an academic setting. High GPAs and standardized test scores are common among those admitted, indicating strong intellectual ability and a solid work ethic.

2. Intellectual curiosity and engagement

Princeton values students who show a love for learning beyond grades and test scores. They seek individuals who ask insightful questions, delve into research opportunities, and engage with material in a way that demonstrates genuine interest.

3. Leadership qualities

The university is on the lookout for future leaders. This can be showcased through leadership roles in school clubs, sports teams, or community organizations. They appreciate students who can inspire and manage groups to achieve common goals.

4. Diverse perspectives and backgrounds

Princeton aims to create a diverse and dynamic community. Your unique experiences, cultural background, and personal story contribute to the richness of the university’s collective experience.

5. Extracurricular achievements and passions

Your activities outside the classroom tell Princeton what you might contribute to their community. Whether it’s music, sports, volunteer work, or entrepreneurship, your passions can distinguish you from other applicants.

6. Character and personal qualities

Integrity, resilience, and kindness are qualities that Princeton admires. Admissions officers look for evidence of these traits in your recommendations, essays, and interviews.

7. Contribution to campus life

Finally, Princeton wants students who will add to campus life. They are interested in applicants who have ideas and plans for how they will engage with the various opportunities the university offers, from clubs to research, and how they will leave their mark on the Princeton community.

How to Boost Your Princeton Application

Now that you have a better idea of Princeton University’s admissions process, what its admissions data looks like, and what it expects from applicants, it’s time to take a deeper dive into some strategies you can use to improve your chances of getting into Princeton University.

1. Start the process as early as you can.

Although you might have been able to get by in high school with procrastination, college is the time when this bad habit can sneak up from behind and negatively impact you, especially when applying to Princeton.

Keep in mind that you’re not only spending time filling out the application, there are also many documents you have to request such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and more.

Requesting these documents takes a significant amount of time. That’s why we advise applicants to get started as early as possible on the Princeton University application. If you continue pushing off the application, you increase your chances of turning in something that’s not the best reflection of your capabilities or—even worse—incomplete.

2. Consider applying during early admission.

Most Ivy League colleges allow students to apply during two different timelines. While the vast majority of students will opt for the standard deadline, some will decide to submit their applications beforehand.

If you’re wondering how to get into Princeton early action, you’ll be pleased to know it’s not too difficult at all. The only significant difference is that you’ll have to prepare your application even earlier in order to make the deadline.

You’ll be pleased to know that Princeton’s early action has a higher acceptance rate than its standard application deadline. Although significantly fewer students apply, a larger percentage are accepted.

Be sure to pay attention to the deadlines. You don’t want to end up putting in all of the extra work just to realize you’re late for early admission. We advise students to apply early action only if they’re confident Princeton is their first choice.

3. Speak with alumni.

Ivy League alumni have a long and rich tradition of staying connected. In fact, perhaps the best long-lasting benefit of attending one of these eight prestigious universities is the networking opportunities. Graduates of these well-known schools are known for looking out for each other well-after their senior year.

This connectivity can help students land internships, get jobs, earn promotions, and a host of other professional advantages. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until you graduate or even attend Princeton to tap into this network. A great way to improve your chances of getting into this school is to speak with an actual alum.

During this meeting, you’ll be able to ask any questions you have about Princeton, the admission process, how it is to attend the school, along with some tips about how to secure a spot in the incoming class. When speaking with alumni, you’ll have a direct connection with someone who has successfully accomplished what you’re attempting.

In order to connect with alumni, you can speak directly with the university or even reach out to your own network of friends, family members, teachers, and acquaintances. You might be surprised to find out who you know who might know someone who attended Princeton.

4. Pursue your passion through extracurricular activities.

Your involvement in extracurricular activities is crucial when applying to Princeton, as it showcases your leadership skills, dedication, and potential to contribute to the university’s vibrant community. Taking on leadership roles demonstrates your initiative and ability to influence others, while a deep commitment to your interests signals intellectual curiosity.

By engaging in research or academic exploration, you show a proactive approach to learning, aligning with Princeton’s research-centric values. Volunteering reflects your social responsibility and aligns with Princeton’s ethos of service.

These pursuits give admissions officers a comprehensive view of you, setting you apart in a field of academically qualified applicants and highlighting your readiness for Princeton’s challenges and opportunities.

5. Collect excellent letters of recommendation.

Princeton University, along with most universities in the US, require applicants to provide letters of recommendation. These letters are designed to help admissions officers gain a better understanding of an applicant’s personal attributes, academic performance, and overall strengths.

And who better to provide this insight than people who know you personally? That’s why most students request a letter of recommendation from a teacher or high school counselor. However, just because someone knows you personally doesn’t mean their letter of recommendation will be sufficient.

Think back about your time throughout high school. Do any teachers, counselors, coaches, or other role models stick out amongst the others? Did any make an extra effort that made an impression on you? Asking these questions can help you determine the best writers for your letters of recommendation.

It’s important to choose somebody who knows you on a personal level so that they can speak to your unique abilities. Admissions counselors will respond best to these types of letters.

6. Get great test scores and grades.

Princeton University is one of the top-rated universities in the country. As we discussed before, this prestige attracts some of the best talents from across the country. As a result, Princeton’s application process is highly competitive.

In order to boost your chances of getting in, you’ll need to perform well on both standardized test scores and in your high school classes. Although Princeton has a comprehensive admissions process that takes multiple factors into account, it’s tough to understate the importance of these highly objective stats.

These scores give admissions officers a better idea of how applicants perform academically. They’re also used to determine how you’ll perform in a collegiate environment. The best way to secure a high GPA is to take weighted classes such as advanced placement courses.

However, you want to make sure that the classes aren’t too difficult that your grades would start to slip. For the ACT and SAT, you can take preparatory classes to better prepare. You’re even allowed to take these standardized tests more than once in order to ensure you have the best score possible.

7. Don’t worry too much about the admissions data.

If you want to know how to get into Princeton, you’re going to be looking at admission data. While this information can give you a better idea of what admissions officers are looking for, you shouldn’t get too caught up in this data. If you focus on it too much, you can end up feeling discouraged.

Perfect test scores, high GPAs, and low acceptance rates are enough to make even the most talented students second-guess their acceptance into Princeton. When it comes to the admissions data, you should learn what you can from them and then not let them bother you.

8. Write excellent supplemental essays.

Princeton University requires all applicants to fill out a series of supplemental essays. These prompts cover a wide array of topics and change from year to year. While the standard application covers test scores, GPAs, high school courses, and extracurricular activities, these supplemental essays are more personal.

They’re designed to give students a chance to reveal more about their personal goals, strengths, and interests while, at the same time, helping admissions officers get a clearer picture of each student. After all, the standard application isn’t very revealing.

In order to greatly increase your chances of getting into Princeton, you can work with a dedicated admissions counselor to nail your supplemental essays. AdmissionSight offers personalized editing services and guidance to help you perfect your responses. You’ll have a better understanding of what the prompts are asking, what admissions officers at Princeton are looking for, and how you can best tailor your responses.

Specific Areas that Can Bolster Your Princeton Application

Princeton University is looking for well-rounded individuals who show promise beyond their academic scores. Specific extracurricular activities can help you stand out from the crowd. Here’s how:

Leadership and passion

Take on a leadership role in a subject area you’re passionate about, such as becoming the captain of the robotics team, and lead them to a regional victory or significant accomplishment. You may also join the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth or the UPenn Leadership in the Business World.

Academic research

Join a research project in an area you’re interested in and aim to co-author a paper or present your research at a recognized event like the Regeneron Science Talent Search.

School clubs and organizations

Start a new initiative or club, like an investment and finance group, and grow its membership to include a significant portion of the student body while achieving measurable impacts, such as fundraising for financial literacy.

Community service

Initiate and sustain a community service project, like a technology education program for seniors, showing long-term engagement and measurable improvements in community tech literacy.

Academic competitions

Excel in academic contests by winning a state-level Olympiad or achieving a top percentile rank in a national language or writing competition like the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition and the Emerson Prize.

Summer programs

Gain admission to and thrive in a competitive summer program like the Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC), culminating in a project or presentation. Also consider applying to the Princeton Summer Journalism Program or Stanford Summer Arts Institute.


Attain a high level of recognition in music, such as winning a soloist award in state competitions or earning a Grade 8 certificate from the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music).

Sports and athletics

Demonstrate both skill and leadership in sports by leading your team as a captain to a significant win or by achieving individual recognition such as MVP in a statewide tournament.


Seek out and excel in an internship that aligns with your intended major, like a hands-on engineering internship where you contribute to a patentable project or a public policy internship where you draft a proposal that’s adopted by the local government.

Important tip: For each of these areas, provide specifics. Instead of simply stating “I was in the science club,” explain your role in depth: “As vice-president of the science club, I organized the annual citywide Young Inventors Fair, increasing community participation by 25%.”

It’s the specificity and the measurable impact of your involvement that can truly make a difference in your Princeton application.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Princeton Application

When you’re applying to a school as competitive as Princeton, it’s crucial to present an application that’s as close to perfect as possible. Here are some common pitfalls you should avoid to enhance your chances of success:

1. Not demonstrating interest

Colleges want to admit students who are likely to enroll, and Princeton is no exception. Make sure to express your interest through all channels available to you, whether that’s a campus visit, an interview, or contact with admissions officers.

Show that you have done your research and are applying to Princeton not just for its prestige but for what the university specifically offers that aligns with your goals and interests.

2. Failing to showcase personality

Remember that the admissions committee is looking to learn about who you are beyond your grades and test scores. Your essays, recommendation letters, and extracurricular activities should paint a picture of your personality.

Be authentic, and let your unique voice and character shine through.

3. Disregarding the importance of demonstrated talent or skill

While academic prowess is critical, so is demonstrating a high level of skill or talent in an area. Princeton looks for students who can contribute to their community in significant ways, so whether you’re an athlete, musician, or scientist, it’s important to clearly and effectively demonstrate your talents and achievements.

4. Not seeking help

The application process is complex and often overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from counselors, teachers, family, or professional services. Getting a second or third pair of eyes on your essays, for example, can provide critical feedback that will strengthen your application.

5. Missing deadlines

One of the most critical mistakes is missing application deadlines. Princeton won’t accept late applications, so make sure you know the deadlines for every part of the application process and plan to submit well in advance.

In summary, be meticulous, be genuine, and be mindful of the story you’re telling Princeton. Your goal is to make every piece of your application compelling and cohesive, forming a clear picture of who you are and what you would bring to Princeton University.

Princeton Admission Requirements

To help prospective students ensure they submit a complete and compelling application, we’ve compiled an essential checklist and guide:

Mandatory Requirements

  • A Completed Application: The journey to Princeton begins with submitting your application through either the Coalition Application or Common Application platforms.
  • Princeton Supplement: Beyond the standard application queries, you’ll need to tackle additional questions unique to Princeton. These can be found and submitted through the same platforms.
  • Application Fee or Fee Waiver: The fee can be an obstacle for many; hence, Princeton provides options for a waiver. You can request a waiver directly on the Coalition or Common App.
  • Graded Written Paper: Submit a paper from English or history, ideally one that showcases your analytical and writing abilities.
  • Transcript: An official transcript must be sent directly by a school counselor or official.
  • School Report: Found on the application platforms, this must be completed and submitted by a school official.
  • Counselor Recommendation: This is separate from the SR and should be submitted by your counselor.
  • Teacher Recommendations: Request these from two teachers in different core academic subjects who know your work in advanced-level classes.
  • Midyear School Report: When midyear grades are released, have your counselor or school official send this through as well.

Optional Requirements

  • SAT or ACT: Princeton has adopted a test-optional policy for the upcoming admission cycles. Should you choose to include test scores, schedule to take these exams early enough to meet the application deadlines.
  • SAT Subject Tests: These are not required, but if you have taken them before they were discontinued and wish to submit scores, you may do so.
  • English Proficiency Tests: Non-native English speakers from non-English medium schools must submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores.
  • Arts Supplement: If the arts are your forte, you have the option to submit a supplement. Remember, your main application must be submitted before the supplement.
  • Interview: These optional conversations with alumni are offered after your application is submitted. While interviews are not guaranteed for all due to alumni availability, not having one won’t count against you.

How to Apply to Princeton

Embarking on the journey to join the ranks of Princeton University starts with a series of deliberate and meticulous steps. The following guide will walk you through the process from the initial application to the final decision:

1. Complete the Common Application or Coalition Application

Your first step is to choose between the Common Application and the Coalition Application. Both platforms are widely used and accepted by Princeton University. Sign up on either platform.

Each platform will list Princeton’s specific application requirements. Fill out every section of the application, which includes personal information, educational history, extracurricular activities, and essays.

Answer additional questions specific to Princeton, which will be part of the application on both platforms.

2. Gather all requirements and documents

Princeton University has a comprehensive list of requirements that you must meet to complete your application. Refer to the comprehensive list in the previous section.

3. Submit your application

After ensuring that each part of your application is complete, go through your application with a fine-tooth comb. Check for any errors or omissions.

Keep track of the application deadlines—there are different dates for early action and regular decision applications.

After submitting, you should receive confirmation that your application has been received.

4. Attend the Princeton interview (Optional)

If you are offered an interview, prepare to discuss your interests, experiences, and why you’re interested in Princeton. This is also a good opportunity to ask questions about the university.

Treat the interview as a formal conversation. Be professional, courteous, and genuine.

5. Wait for your admissions decision

After submitting your application and completing an interview (if applicable), the next step is to wait for the admissions decision.

You will typically be notified by email, and you can also check your application status online through the portal you used to apply.

How to Submit Supplemental Materials to Princeton

As you consider applying to Princeton University, understanding their policy on supplemental materials is crucial for a well-rounded application.

Princeton University offers the option to submit an Optional Arts Supplement for students who have excelled in the arts. This supplement is a way for students to showcase their talents in various artistic areas, such as architecture, creative writing, dance, music, theater, and visual arts.

It’s important to note that these supplements are not mandatory and should be submitted only if they significantly enhance your application. The arts supplement should reflect your training and experiences in the field and is intended for those who consider their artistry an important aspect of their application and future contribution to the Princeton community​​.

Submission methods

For submitting your Optional Arts Supplement, you should first indicate your intention to submit this supplement in Princeton’s member questions on the Common or QuestBridge Application. After submitting your application to Princeton, you can access the link to submit your Optional Arts Supplement through your Princeton Applicant Status Portal.

It is important to note that the supplement must be submitted after your application and within the specified deadlines. The acceptable formats for submission include various media file types and external media from YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud, with specifications detailed on their website​​.

Step-by-step guide

  1. On your Common or QuestBridge Application, indicate your intention to submit an Optional Arts Supplement.
  2. Complete and submit your application to Princeton University.
  3. After submitting your application, access your Princeton Applicant Status Portal to submit your Optional Arts Supplement.
  4. Compile your arts supplement according to the guidelines provided by Princeton. This includes choosing the correct category and ensuring your files are in the acceptable formats.
  5. For regular decision applicants, the arts supplement should be submitted on or before January 8 at 11:59 p.m. (applicant’s local time). For transfer applicants, the deadline is on or before March 8 at 11:59 p.m. (applicant’s local time).
  6. Once submitted, your completed arts supplement will be reflected on your Princeton Applicant Status Portal within 24 hours.
  7. If you have materials that do not fit the arts supplement categories but still highlight your talents, you can submit these additional materials or links to your work through your application or on your Princeton Applicant Status Portal.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively showcase your artistic talents to Princeton and potentially enhance your application.

Other Princeton Application Matters

The application process is not just about getting accepted into Princeton University; it’s also about planning how to finance your education and deciding when to apply. Here’s what you need to know about scholarships, financial aid, and the different application timelines.

Scholarships and financial aid

Princeton University is known for its generous financial aid program, which aims to make education affordable for all admitted students.

When you apply for admission, also apply for financial aid. Princeton provides instructions for financial aid on their website, which typically includes filling out forms such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Princeton Financial Aid Application.

You are also encouraged to apply for outside scholarships. If you receive any, notify Princeton’s financial aid office, as this can affect your aid package.

Lastly, Princeton offers financial aid to international students as well. The process is similar to that for U.S. students, ensuring equitable access to financial assistance.

Regular Decision vs Early Action

Choosing between Regular Decision and Single-Choice Early Action (SCEA) is an important strategic decision:

  • Single-Choice Early Action (SCEA): This non-binding option allows you to hear back from the university earlier without the obligation to commit if accepted. Remember that applying SCEA restricts you from applying to any other school’s early decision, early action, or restrictive early action programs.
  • Regular Decision: This traditional option gives you more time to improve your application, gather materials, and decide where you want to apply. You are not restricted from applying to other schools’ early application programs if you choose Regular Decision for Princeton.

In both cases, Princeton’s admissions policies are designed to give applicants the flexibility to choose the best path for their circumstances. Make sure to evaluate all factors, including your readiness to apply, your preference for the university, and your need to apply to other early programs, before deciding which route to take.

How Hard Is It to Get Into Princeton?

Gaining admission to Princeton University is widely recognized as a challenging feat, reflective of its prestige as one of the most esteemed institutions of higher education globally.

For the Class of 2027, the acceptance rate was approximately 5.82%, underscoring the highly selective nature of Princeton’s admissions process. This figure illustrates the stringent selection criteria and the exceptional quality of the applicant pool.


Applicants are evaluated through a comprehensive review process, considering various facets of their application. This includes academic records, standardized test scores, extracurricular involvements, essays, and recommendations.

For instance, the middle 50% SAT range for the Class of 2027 in Math 780-800 and Evidenced-based Reading and Writing: 760-780, and the ACT range was 34-35. Remarkably, over 90% of enrolled students were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class, and the average unweighted GPA was above 3.9, indicating a highly academically accomplished student body.

Princeton seeks students who exhibit not only academic excellence but also a diverse array of talents, personal qualities, and perspectives. The university values integrity, a profound interest in learning, and dedication to academic and extracurricular pursuits.

Over recent years, Princeton has seen a consistent rise in applications, indicating an increasingly competitive landscape. This scenario emphasizes the need for applicants to present a robust, well-rounded application to distinguish themselves in this highly selective admissions environment.

In addition to academic credentials, Princeton places a strong emphasis on the personal qualities of its applicants. Prospective students are encouraged to demonstrate leadership, creativity, and a commitment to community service.

Essays are a critical component of the application, offering a platform for students to articulate their personal stories, achievements, and what sets them apart from other candidates. The recommendation letters should ideally reflect the applicant’s potential for growth and contribution to the Princeton community.

Overall, gaining admission to Princeton requires a combination of outstanding academic achievement, strong personal qualities, and a well-crafted application that holistically presents the applicant’s capabilities and aspirations. The competitive nature of Princeton’s admissions process makes it essential for applicants to prepare and showcase their best selves diligently.

Benefits of Attending Princeton

Attending Princeton University opens the door to unparalleled academic opportunities and personal development. This prestigious institution is a pathway to higher education and a journey toward intellectual enlightenment and professional growth.

Academic Prestige and Rigorous Curriculum

Princeton University is acclaimed for its academic prestige, consistently ranking among the world’s top universities. It offers a rigorous curriculum across various disciplines, with particular strengths in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

The university’s reputation is built on a foundation of scholarly excellence, attracting some of the most distinguished faculty and researchers in their fields. This academic environment fosters intellectual growth and prepares students for successful careers in various sectors.

Personalized Attention and Mentorship

One of the standout features of a Princeton education is the personalized attention students receive due to small class sizes. This aspect of the Princeton experience allows for more in-depth discussions, personalized feedback, and mentorship opportunities with faculty members.

Such an environment enhances the learning experience and fosters lasting academic relationships that can extend beyond the university.

Diverse Campus Life and Extracurricular Opportunities

Princeton’s campus life has a rich diversity and many extracurricular opportunities. Students come from all over the United States and over 100 countries, contributing to a vibrant and inclusive campus culture.

With various student organizations and clubs, Princeton offers many activities catering to various interests and passions. This diversity of experiences enables students to develop a well-rounded perspective, essential for personal and professional growth.

Strong Alumni Network and Career Opportunities

Princeton’s extensive alumni network is a significant asset for current students and graduates. This network includes leaders in various fields, offering students and alumni unparalleled opportunities for networking, mentorship, and career advancement.

The university’s career services and alumni associations actively facilitate connections, helping students leverage this powerful network for internships, job placements, and professional development.

Commitment to Financial Aid and Accessibility

Princeton’s commitment to financial accessibility is evident in its generous financial aid program, which aims to make a Princeton education affordable for all admitted students, regardless of their financial background.

The university’s financial aid policies are designed to meet 100% of the demonstrated needs of its students, ensuring that financial barriers do not hinder access to its world-class education.

How Can an International Student Get into Princeton?

Princeton University, a prestigious Ivy League institution, maintains a welcoming and inclusive stance towards international applicants, ensuring that students from around the globe have equal opportunities to become a part of its vibrant academic community.

This commitment to diversity and excellence is evident in their thorough and equitable review process of all applications, irrespective of the applicant’s nationality or country of residence.

When evaluating international students, Princeton’s admission committee takes a contextual approach. Key aspects of this process include:

  • Contextual Evaluation: Your application will be assessed considering your country’s educational system and opportunities. Whether educated under systems like India’s Std X/Std XII exams, the International Baccalaureate, or the British A-Level system, Princeton understands the diversity in global education standards.
  • Financial Aid Considerations: International students who demonstrate financial need will receive aid like their U.S. counterparts. Princeton’s need-blind admission policy ensures that applying for financial aid does not disadvantage you in the admission process. The aid provided is a grant, not a loan, based on your family’s financial circumstances.
  • Academic Record Submission: Your academic record should include grades from classes and marks from external exams, if applicable. Princeton evaluates these within the context of your educational system. If your system does not provide internal grades or GPA, you must not submit them.
  • English Proficiency Requirements: If English is not your first language and you attend a non-English medium school, you must take an English proficiency test like TOEFL, IELTS Academic, or PTE Academic. However, this requirement is waived if you have spent at least three years in a school where English is the primary language of instruction.
  • Standardized Testing Policy: Princeton has extended its test-optional policy for the next few admission cycles. While submission of SAT or ACT scores is not mandatory, those who wish to submit should ideally do so by the December test date. Note that SAT Subject Tests are not required.
  • School Reports and Recommendations: These should be completed by a school official if no counselor is available. If necessary, documents not in English must be officially translated before submission.

Princeton’s holistic review process ensures that each aspect of your background is considered, providing a fair chance for all applicants, regardless of their international status.

How to Get into Princeton as a Transfer Student

Princeton looks for a small but diverse group of transfer students, including those from lower-income families, community colleges, and military veterans. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you navigate this journey:

  • Looking Beyond Grades: Princeton doesn’t just check your grades. They look at everything you’ve achieved, your skills, and how you can add to the university’s community. They want students ready for the challenge of their tough and varied courses.
  • When to Join: Most transfer students start in the fall of their second year. But, depending on your past courses, you might start as a junior or even a freshman. Princeton’s faculty and deans decide this after looking at your previous credits.

  • Visit the Campus: Princeton holds special events called ‘Transfer Tuesdays’ (like on Jan. 30 and Feb. 13, 2024), where you can learn more about the university, meet people, and tour the campus. These are great for students from community colleges, the military, or low-income students.
  • Who Can Transfer:
    • You need at least one year of college credits to transfer in the fall.
    • How many credits you have will decide if you start as a sophomore or junior.
    • You might need to apply as a freshman if you have less than a year of college.
    • Credits earned in high school don’t count for your degree at Princeton.
    • If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can’t transfer unless it’s just an associate’s degree.
  • Credit Rules:
    • Your courses must be from a recognized college.
    • Princeton prefers to transfer credits that meet their general education requirements.
    • Credits for major-specific courses might not transfer, so check the Undergraduate Announcement for more info.

To sum up, getting into Princeton as a transfer student requires good preparation and understanding of their specific requirements. It’s a process that looks at your overall potential, not just your academic record, and is designed to find students who will thrive in Princeton’s unique and challenging environment.

Can an Average Student Get into Princeton?

While Princeton is known for admitting students with exceptional academic and extracurricular achievements, it’s important to understand that they employ a holistic admissions process. Your application is more than just your GPA or test scores.

  • Personal Qualities and Contributions: Princeton values diverse talents, personal qualities, and experiences. If you have unique skills, talents, or perspectives, these can significantly bolster your application.
  • Extracurricular Excellence: If you excel in non-academic areas such as arts, sports, or community service, this can also enhance your application. Princeton appreciates students who will contribute to the campus community in various ways.
  • Essays and Recommendations: Your essays and letters of recommendation offer opportunities to showcase your personality, character, and potential. Well-crafted essays that reflect your passion and determination can compensate for less-than-stellar grades.
  • Overcoming Challenges: If your average grades are due to extenuating circumstances, such as personal or family challenges, explain this context in your application. Colleges often consider this.
  • Continual Improvement: Showcasing an upward trend in your academic performance can also work in your favor. It demonstrates resilience and a commitment to academic improvement.

How to Get into Princeton with a Low GPA

Achieving admission to Princeton University with a low GPA requires a strategic approach to highlight other strengths in your application. Here’s how you can enhance your application:

Emphasize Your Strengths

  • Exceptional Talents or Skills: Showcase any exceptional talents or skills, especially those at a national or international level. This could include achievements in arts, sports, or other areas.
  • Leadership and Community Engagement: Significant involvement in community service or leadership roles. Highlight how these experiences have shaped you.

Compensate with Strong Test Scores

Aim for high scores on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT if possible. Strong test scores can partially offset a lower GPA and demonstrate your academic potential.

Powerful Essays and Recommendations

  • Personal Essays: Use your essays to tell a compelling story about your journey, the challenges you’ve overcome, and your academic and career aspirations.
  • Recommendations: Obtain strong letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors who can vouch for your abilities and character.

Additional Academic Indicators

  • Rigorous Coursework: If you’ve taken challenging courses, such as AP or IB classes, highlight this. It shows your willingness to engage with difficult material.
  • Upward Grade Trend: An upward grade trend can demonstrate improvement and commitment to academic excellence.
  • Supplemental Academic Achievements: Include additional academic achievements, such as research projects, publications, or academic competitions.

Remember, Princeton’s admissions are holistic. A low GPA is a hurdle, but not an insurmountable one. Focus on presenting a well-rounded application highlighting your strengths, character, and potential contributions to the Princeton community.

What Makes Princeton Unique?

Princeton University, an esteemed member of the Ivy League, stands apart for several key reasons. This section explores the unique aspects that make Princeton a distinguished institution.

A Legacy of Academic Excellence

Princeton’s legacy as one of the oldest universities in the United States, founded in 1746, is a cornerstone of its identity. The university has a rich history intertwined with significant events and figures in American history, giving it a unique place in academia.

This historical depth contributes to a strong sense of tradition and pride among students and faculty.

Pioneering Research and Innovation

Princeton is renowned for its contributions to research and innovation. The university is home to groundbreaking research in various fields, including physics, public policy, and humanities.

Its research facilities and initiatives offer students and faculty opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research, pushing the boundaries of knowledge and discovery.

Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching

Unlike many top-tier research universities, Princeton does not have a medical, law, or business school. This unique focus on undergraduate education ensures students receive unparalleled attention and resources.

The low faculty-to-student ratio allows for more personalized and engaging academic experiences. This commitment to undergraduate teaching is a defining feature of Princeton’s educational approach.

Vibrant Campus Life

Princeton’s vibrant and diverse campus life offers various activities, clubs, and organizations. The residential college system creates a close-knit community atmosphere, enhancing the student experience.

The university also boasts a rich arts culture, with numerous museums, theaters, and galleries, providing a dynamic environment for students to explore and express their creativity.

Financial Aid and Accessibility

Princeton’s financial aid program is one of the most generous among private universities in the United States. Its need-blind admission policy ensures that financial circumstances do not affect admission decisions.

The university’s commitment to affordability makes it accessible to a wide demographic, fostering a diverse and inclusive student body.

What Does the Princeton Application Look Like?

The Princeton University application process is comprehensive and designed to evaluate candidates holistically. This section breaks down the key components of the application.

  1. Academic Transcripts: Princeton places significant emphasis on academic transcripts. They reflect the rigor of the courses undertaken. The university looks for students who have challenged themselves with advanced courses relevant to their interests.
  2. Standardized Test Scores: While Princeton has adopted test-optional policies for recent admission cycles, strong SAT or ACT scores can enhance an application. Applicants should consider submitting their scores if they believe they reflect their academic potential effectively.
  3. Essays: The Princeton application includes several essays, each offering a chance to showcase the applicant’s personality, intellect, and experiences. These essays are crucial in helping the admissions committee understand the applicant beyond grades and test scores.
  4. Letters of Recommendation: Princeton requires letters of recommendation from teachers and a school counselor. These letters provide insight into the applicant’s academic abilities, character, and contributions to their school community.
  5. Extracurricular Activities: The university values well-rounded individuals. Participation in extracurricular activities demonstrates interests, skills, and contributions outside the classroom.
  6. Alumni Interview: If offered, the alumni interview is a valuable opportunity for applicants to discuss their aspirations and experiences. It’s also a chance to demonstrate interest in the university and learn more about the Princeton community.
  7. Application Fee or Fee Waiver: An application fee is part of the process, but fee waivers are available for eligible students, ensuring that the application process is accessible to all, regardless of financial background.
  8. Additional Components: For some applicants, there may be additional components, such as portfolios for arts applicants or supplementary materials for those with significant achievements in specific areas.

Is Princeton a Good School for You?

Deciding whether Princeton University is the right fit is a personal decision that depends on various factors. This section will help you consider if Princeton aligns with your academic and personal aspirations.

Academic Rigor and Opportunities

Princeton’s rigorous academic environment is suited for intellectually curious individuals who thrive in challenging settings. The university offers various courses, majors, and opportunities for research and independent projects.

Prospective students should consider whether Princeton’s academic intensity and opportunities align with their educational goals.

Campus Culture and Community Life

Princeton’s campus culture is rich and multifaceted, with a strong sense of community and tradition. The residential college system fosters a supportive environment, while many clubs and organizations ensure students can pursue diverse interests.

Evaluate if this vibrant community life and the values upheld by the university resonate with your personal preferences and lifestyle.

Financial Considerations and Support

Financial aspects are a crucial factor in choosing a university. Princeton’s generous financial aid policies aim to make education accessible regardless of financial background.

Prospective students should assess how Princeton’s approach to financial aid fits with their financial circumstances and educational aspirations.

Location and Environment

The university’s location in Princeton, New Jersey, offers a unique blend of a small-town feel with easy access to major cities like New York and Philadelphia. This setting provides a tranquil yet stimulating environment for study and exploration.

Consider if the location and the opportunities it offers align with your preferences and career aspirations.

Alumni Network and Career Prospects

Princeton’s extensive alumni network and reputation open doors to numerous career opportunities post-graduation. The university’s career services and alumni connections can be pivotal in shaping your professional path. Reflect on how these factors align with your long-term career goals and aspirations.

How Selective is Princeton?

Understanding Princeton University’s selectivity is a crucial aspect for potential applicants. Princeton’s admission process is understandably stringent as one of the world’s most prestigious and competitive universities. The acceptance rate for the Class of 2027 is 5.82%, and historical trends show a consistently competitive nature.

Princeton’s selectiveness is not solely based on academic achievements. The university employs a holistic review process to assess applications, considering various factors beyond grades and test scores.

Princeton also places significant importance on diverse talents, personal qualities, and experiences. Leadership potential, extracurricular involvement, integrity, deep interest in learning, and devotion to academic and non-academic pursuits are highly valued.

The university seeks students who can contribute to Princeton’s dynamic and intellectually vibrant community, emphasizing diverse experiences and perspectives. This approach aligns with Princeton’s commitment to building a diverse, inclusive, well-rounded student body.

Should You Apply to Princeton?

Choosing to apply to Princeton University is a significant decision that should be made after carefully considering various factors. Here are some points to ponder when determining whether Princeton is the right fit for you:

  • Academic Credentials: Princeton is known for its academic rigor. If your academic record is exemplary, with a GPA around 3.9 or higher and strong standardized test scores, you could be a competitive candidate.
  • Holistic Attributes: Beyond academics, Princeton values students who demonstrate leadership, creativity, and a commitment to community service. The university looks for individuals who can contribute to the diversity and dynamism of its community through their unique talents and experiences.

  • Interest in a Challenging Environment: Princeton might be a suitable choice if you are drawn to intellectually stimulating environments and seek challenging academic opportunities. The university’s rigorous curriculum is designed for students who are not only academically gifted but also eager to engage in deep, critical thinking.
  • Diversity and Community: Princeton’s commitment to fostering such an environment could be a significant draw for those who value a diverse and inclusive community. The university is dedicated to building a student body that represents a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Financial Considerations: Princeton’s generous financial aid policies ensure that all admitted students’ full needs are met. This commitment to financial accessibility should be a key consideration if finances are a concern.
  • Career and Research Opportunities: Consider your long-term goals and career aspirations. Princeton offers a wealth of research opportunities and resources to support students in their academic and professional development.
  • Personal Fit: Lastly, consider whether Princeton aligns with your personal values, interests, and academic goals. Choosing a university is about finding a place to thrive academically and personally.

How Does Princeton Review Applications?

Princeton University’s comprehensive and holistic application review process is designed to assess each applicant’s unique talents, achievements, and potential.

This approach means no single factor dictates an application’s success. Instead, each application component gives a detailed picture of the candidate’s abilities and fit for Princeton’s academic and community environment.

Key components of the application review process are as follows:

Academic Record

Your transcript is scrutinized within the context of your educational system and school’s curriculum. Princeton expects applicants to have undertaken a challenging course load throughout high school, including four years of English, mathematics, a language, and at least two years of laboratory science. For those interested in engineering, calculus, physics, and chemistry are crucial. The university also considers advanced or college-level courses, such as AP, IB, or A-levels, as part of its AP policy.

Standardized Testing

While Princeton has a test-optional policy for the next few admission cycles, standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) are still considered if submitted. The university employs no minimum test scores for admission, instead evaluating the entirety of a student’s background. The highest composite score on the ACT is considered for students who opt to submit scores, and the SAT score choice feature is allowed.

Graded Written Paper

A graded written paper, preferably in English or history, must assess your written expression in an academic setting. This paper provides insight into your analytical and writing skills.

Letters of Recommendation

Recommendations from teachers and counselors offer a perspective on your academic strengths, character, and potential for success at Princeton. They are an essential part of the holistic review process.


Optional alumni interviews provide an opportunity for a more personal insight into your interests, achievements, and potential fit with Princeton. While not guaranteed for every applicant, they are valuable if available.

Extracurricular Activities and Essays

Your involvement in activities outside the classroom and your responses to Princeton-specific essay prompts allow the admissions committee to understand your personality, interests, and how you might contribute to the Princeton community.

Does Princeton Require Interviews?

Princeton University’s admissions process includes a unique approach to interviews. While not mandatory, they are a significant component for many applicants. The university offers alumni interviews to a selected number of qualified applicants, depending on alumni availability in the applicant’s area.

The Significance of the Interview

The interview serves as a supplementary assessment tool in the Princeton admissions process. It’s a chance for the university to gain deeper insights into an applicant’s personality, interests, and fit for the Princeton community.

Conversely, it allows applicants to learn about the university from an alumnus’s perspective, providing a more personal understanding of the college experience at Princeton.

Impact on the Application

It’s crucial to understand that not being offered an interview does not disadvantage an application. The absence of an interview is typically due to logistical reasons and not a reflection of the applicant’s qualifications. However, if offered, it’s an opportunity that should be embraced fully.

Preparing for a Princeton Interview

Preparation is key for those offered an interview. Prospective students should be ready to discuss various aspects of their lives, including academic interests, extracurricular involvements, and motivations for applying to Princeton.

Importantly, the interview is a chance to showcase one’s personality and how it aligns with Princeton’s values and culture.

Key Topics to Cover

  • Academic Interests and Achievements: Be prepared to discuss your academic journey, favorite subjects, and any particular academic achievements.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Explain your involvement in extracurricular activities, emphasizing leadership roles and significant contributions.
  • Personal Motivations: Share why you are interested in Princeton, including academic programs, campus culture, and other unique features that attract you to the university.
  • Long-term Goals: Discuss how a Princeton education fits your goals and aspirations.

What Extracurriculars Do You Need for Princeton?

Princeton University values well-rounded applicants who demonstrate commitment and leadership in extracurricular activities. Participation in diverse activities can significantly enhance your application. Here’s a breakdown of types of extracurriculars that are viewed favorably by Princeton:

  • Leadership Positions: Leadership roles in clubs or organizations show your ability to lead and manage responsibilities.
  • Community Service: Involvement in community service projects indicates a commitment to positively impacting society.
  • Creative Pursuits: Engagement in arts, music, theater, or writing reflects creativity and passion.
  • Academic Competitions: Participation in competitions like Math Olympiads or Science Fairs showcases intellectual curiosity and expertise.
  • Athletics: Being an athlete, especially at a competitive level, signifies discipline and teamwork.
  • Internships/Research Projects: Internships or independent research projects demonstrate the pursuit of knowledge and practical experience.
  • Cultural Activities: Active participation in cultural clubs or events highlights appreciation for diversity and global awareness.
  • Entrepreneurial Initiatives: Starting a project or a community initiative shows innovation and proactive problem-solving skills.

Depth Over Breadth

Princeton looks for depth in involvement rather than a long list of activities. It’s more impressive to show sustained commitment and significant achievements in a few areas than to have a superficial involvement in many.

Unique Contributions

Consider how your extracurricular activities align with your personal strengths and interests. Princeton is interested in what makes you unique, so choose activities that genuinely interest you and where you can make a meaningful impact.

Making a Difference

Princeton values applicants who have made a tangible difference through their activities. Whether leading a project, excelling in a sport, or contributing to your community, your actions should demonstrate initiative and a positive impact.

Balancing Academics and Extracurriculars

While extracurricular activities are important, they should complement, not compromise, your academic performance. Balance is key – show that you can excel in your studies while being actively involved in activities outside the classroom.

What Should You Write About in Your Personal Statement to Get into Princeton?

The personal statement for Princeton University is an opportunity to showcase your unique story and qualities. It should reflect your personality, experiences, and aspirations, aligning with Princeton’s values and academic culture.

Demonstrating Intellectual Curiosity

Princeton values intellectual curiosity and passion for learning. Discuss experiences that have shaped your academic interests and how they have led you to pursue certain fields of study. Highlight any unique academic achievements or projects that showcase your love for learning.

Personal Growth and Resilience

Admissions officers are interested in your journey of personal growth. Reflect on experiences where you faced challenges and learned valuable lessons. Discuss how these experiences have shaped your character and prepared you for the rigors of a Princeton education.

Depth of Involvement and Leadership

Your personal statement should highlight your deep involvement in activities that are important to you. Whether it’s a leadership role, a community service project, or an artistic endeavor, show how these experiences have contributed to your personal and academic development.

Future Goals and Aspirations

Articulate how attending Princeton fits into your plans. Explain how the university’s resources, programs, and community will help you achieve your long-term goals. Demonstrating a clear vision of how Princeton aligns with your aspirations is crucial.

Authenticity is Key

Write in your voice and stay true to yourself. Authenticity resonates with admissions officers more than trying to fit a perceived ideal. Your statement should give a glimpse into who you are, what you value, and what you hope to achieve.

How do you write a Princeton supplemental essay?

Writing a Princeton supplemental essay requires a strategic approach to present yourself effectively to the admissions committee. Here’s a detailed guideline:

  1. Understanding the Prompt: Begin by thoroughly understanding what the prompt asks. Princeton’s supplemental essays are designed to evaluate your intellectual curiosity, character, and fit for the university. Reflect on how your experiences align with the prompt and what unique perspectives you can offer.
  2. Conveying Your Story: Your essay should tell a compelling story reflecting your personality, achievements, and aspirations. Use anecdotes, specific details, and vivid descriptions to bring your story to life. This narrative style helps to create a memorable essay.
  3. Demonstrating Intellectual Curiosity: Princeton values students who love learning and are eager to engage with complex ideas. Discuss how your academic interests have evolved and align with the opportunities at Princeton.
  4. Highlighting Personal Growth: Reflect on experiences that have shaped your outlook or character. This could be a challenge you’ve overcome, a meaningful achievement, or an experience that changed your perspective. Link this growth to your future goals and how it prepares you for university life.
  5. Balancing Creativity with Clarity: While being creative is important, clarity should not be compromised. Ensure your essay is well-structured, ideas flow logically, and the main message is clear. Avoid overusing jargon or complex language that might obscure your points.
  6. Connecting with Princeton’s Mission: Tailor your essay to reflect an understanding of Princeton’s values and mission. Research the university’s culture, academic programs, and extracurricular activities, and weave these aspects into your essay to demonstrate why Princeton is the right fit for you.
  7. Final Edits and Review: After writing your essay, take the time to revise and edit. Check for grammatical errors, clarity, and flow. Feedback from teachers, mentors, or peers who understand the admissions process can be helpful.

What enrichment opportunities will help you get into Princeton?

Engaging in enrichment opportunities can significantly boost your Princeton application by demonstrating your talents, interests, and dedication. Here’s a breakdown of activities that are highly regarded:

  • Leadership Positions: Leadership roles in school clubs, community groups, or sports teams illustrate your ability to lead and take initiative. Princeton values students who show potential to contribute positively to their community.
  • Community Service and Volunteering: Involvement in community service projects highlights your commitment to social responsibility and empathy. Princeton looks for students who seek to make a positive difference in the world.
  • Advanced Academic Programs: Participating in advanced academic programs, such as summer schools or research projects, shows your commitment to academic excellence and intellectual exploration. These experiences can be particularly valuable if they align with your intended major.
  • Creative Pursuits: Engaging in the arts, whether in visual arts, music, theatre, or writing, can demonstrate your creativity and ability to think outside the box. Showcasing any awards or recognitions received in these areas can further strengthen your application.
  • Athletic Achievements: Highlighting your athletic achievements can be beneficial if you excel in a sport. It shows your ability to balance academic and extracurricular activities and demonstrates qualities like discipline and teamwork.
  • Internships and Work Experience: Internships or part-time jobs related to your field of interest provide practical experience and a deeper understanding of the subject. They also show that you are proactive about your career aspirations.
  • Cultural and Language Immersion: Participation in cultural exchange programs or language study can showcase your adaptability, cultural sensitivity, and global outlook, qualities valued by a diverse and inclusive institution like Princeton.

Do you need to take AP courses to get into Princeton?

While Princeton University does not mandate AP courses for admission, their inclusion can be beneficial for several reasons:

  • Demonstration of Academic Rigor: AP courses are college-level classes demonstrating your willingness to take on challenging coursework. Excelling in these courses can showcase your academic preparedness and intellectual curiosity, which Princeton highly values.
  • Relevance to Intended Major: Pursuing AP courses in subjects relevant to your intended major can demonstrate your depth of interest and commitment to the field. This focused academic pursuit can set you apart in the application process.
  • Holistic Admission Process: While AP courses are a significant indicator of academic strength, Princeton employs a holistic admission process. This means they evaluate applicants based on various factors, including extracurricular activities, personal essays, recommendations, and character traits.
  • Contextual Evaluation: Princeton understands that not all high schools offer the same course rigor or variety in AP classes. Admissions officers consider the context of your educational background and evaluate your academic performance relative to the opportunities available.
  • Balancing Course Load and Grades: It’s important to balance challenging courses like APs and maintaining a strong GPA. Overloading AP courses at the expense of your grades can be counterproductive. Strive for a balance that allows you to excel academically while engaging in other areas of interest.
  • Beyond Academics: Princeton looks for students who bring diverse talents and perspectives. Involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, community service, and personal qualities also play a crucial role in the admissions process.

Does Princeton Accept AP Credit?

Princeton considers official score reports from AP exams, SAT Subject Tests, the International Baccalaureate (higher level), and British A-level examinations. To utilize these credits effectively, students should know how to apply this advanced standing toward their Princeton education.

  • Entering Upper-Level Courses: Advanced placement can allow students to bypass introductory courses and enroll directly into higher-level classes. This can be particularly beneficial in subjects where the student already has a strong foundation.
  • Fulfilling Language Requirements: AP credits can be used to satisfy language requirements at Princeton, allowing students to explore other areas of interest.
  • Eligibility for Advanced Standing: These credits can contribute towards advanced standing, potentially enabling students to graduate in three or three-and-a-half years. However, students should consider whether an accelerated path aligns with their academic and personal goals.
  • Major and Certificate Requirements: In some cases, AP credits can fulfill specific major or certificate requirements, providing flexibility in course selection.

It’s important to note that AP credits cannot be used for the writing requirement, to make up course deficiencies, or to reduce the course load in a given term.

Will Princeton Look at Your Social Media?

Students often wonder if their social media presence could impact their chances of admission to a prestigious institution like Princeton University.  While it’s unlikely that Princeton admissions officers will conduct an exhaustive review of applicants’ social media profiles, students should still exercise caution and responsibility online.

Like many other colleges, Princeton University expects applicants to uphold certain standards of integrity and character, both in real life and online. Here are a few tips for maintaining a responsible social media presence:

  1. Professional Usernames and Privacy Settings: Ensure your social media handles and email addresses are professional. Regularly check your privacy settings to control who can view your content.
  2. Curate Your Online Image: Review and manage the content of your social media profiles. Remove or untag yourself from photos or posts that may not present you in the best light.
  3. Positive Online Contributions: Use social media to showcase your achievements, interests, and positive aspects of your personality. This can include sharing academic accomplishments, creative works, or involvement in community service.
  4. Responsibility and Respect: Always post content that is respectful and considerate of others. Avoid sharing anything that could be deemed offensive or inappropriate.

While Princeton University does not make social media scrutiny a part of its official admissions process, it’s wise to remember that various audiences, including potential employers and other institutions, can view your online presence. Thus, it’s crucial to use social media platforms responsibly and thoughtfully.

Will Visiting Princeton Help You Get In?

Prospective students often wonder if visiting Princeton University can enhance their chances of admission. While touring the campus offers valuable insights into the university’s environment and culture, it’s important to understand that Princeton does not factor campus visits into its admissions decisions.

Visiting Princeton, whether in person or virtually, provides a deeper understanding of what the university offers:

  • Personal Insight and Connection: Experiencing the campus firsthand or through virtual tours can help you decide if Princeton’s atmosphere aligns with your academic and personal aspirations.
  • Engagement Opportunities: Students-led tours, information sessions, and Tiger Talks allow you to connect with current students and learn about their experiences. These interactions can provide valuable context for your application essays and interviews.
  • Demonstrating Interest: Although Princeton does not officially track demonstrated interest, a proactive approach to understanding the university can indirectly benefit your application by allowing you to tailor your essays and interview responses more effectively.
  • Informed Decision Making: A campus visit can equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision about applying to Princeton. It allows you to visualize yourself as part of the community and understand the opportunities available.


Applying to Princeton University is a rigorous process, and understanding the background of the school, as well as the admission requirements and steps, is crucial for any prospective student.

Yet, with these structured steps, it is the competitive nature of Ivy League admissions that remains a formidable aspect of the journey. Every year, the university’s applicant pool is replete with exceptional students, each bringing forward a blend of stellar academics and extracurricular prowess.

The true challenge for candidates lies in distinctively presenting their personal narratives and potential contributions to Princeton’s community, thereby distinguishing themselves in a sea of high-caliber applicants.

We can help you figure out how to get into Princeton

AdmissionSight has years of experience helping students from across the country get into the university of their dreams. Whether you’re looking to Princeton, Harvard, Yale, or any other Ivy League school, we’re a perfect resource.

Our highly specialized team lives and breathes college admissions. We know the admissions processes of these universities inside and out. Both parents and students often feel alone when it comes to applying to the Ivies. That’s the issue our services are designed to address.

Whether you want help choosing the best summer program, determining what high school courses you should take, or even pre-high school consultation, AdmissionSight has you covered. All of our services are personalized to make sure we’re taking your future goals, academic interests, and personal strengths.

Feel free to contact us for a free consultation to learn more about what we offer and how you can benefit from it.


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