Princeton Acceptance Rate: 3.98%
As one of the oldest and most esteemed Ivy League schools, Princeton’s acceptance rate is one of the lowest in the country at less than 4%. Let’s take an in-depth look at the historical trends of Princeton’s acceptance rates, providing context and insights into the highly competitive nature of its admissions.
Overview of Princeton University
Founded in 1746, Princeton University is not only one of the oldest educational institutions in the United States but also a member of the esteemed Ivy League, symbolizing both academic excellence and a rich historical legacy.
Nestled in the quiet town of Princeton, New Jersey, the university boasts a sprawling campus renowned for its picturesque beauty, Gothic architecture, and vibrant scholarly community that champions intellectual curiosity and innovation.
Princeton has long upheld a tradition of producing leaders and thinkers who excel across diverse fields, from public service and the sciences to the humanities and the arts, underpinned by a mission to serve the nation and humanity at large.
Its commitment to providing financial aid through generous scholarships ensures a diverse cohort of the brightest minds, regardless of economic background, fostering an environment where academic rigor is matched by an ethos of inclusivity and accessibility.
With a wide range of student groups, numerous research initiatives, and a faculty that includes Nobel Prize winners and leading experts in their fields, Princeton creates a dynamic and nurturing environment that not only attracts students from all corners of the globe but also prepares them to make significant impacts in their respective fields.
What is Princeton’s Acceptance Rate?
Acceptance rates are key indicators of a university’s selectivity and the competition intensity for admissions.
Princeton’s acceptance rate reflects its prestige and the high standards of its admissions, with its low acceptance rate indicating fierce competition among a global pool of applicants. This figure not only signifies academic prestige but also changes yearly, shaped by demographic trends, economic factors, and the university’s focus areas like diversity and interdisciplinary studies.
So, what is Princeton’s acceptance rate? In the admissions cycle of 2021, Princeton University reported an acceptance rate of just under 4 percent, which aligns with the competitive stance of similar Ivy League schools.
Detailed demographics of the admitted cohort, encompassing SAT scores and geographic distribution, were also made public, in addition to the total number of applications received.
In a break with tradition, Princeton University did not release its usual admissions statistics starting from the Class of 2026, which includes figures from both the regular decision and early admissions applicants.
The university only shared the total enrollment figure of 1,366 first-time, first-year students for the Class of 2027, giving a basic idea of the class size, and withholding the usual detailed admissions data.
Princeton Acceptance Rate Trends
Princeton University has seen a stark increase in applications over the last decade, leading to a more competitive admission process. The rise in applications, from 26,000 for the entering class in 2013 to over 37,000 for the class in 2025, points to Princeton’s growing popularity among applicants.
This increase in interest has resulted in a tighter acceptance rate. In the span of ten years, the chance of getting into Princeton has dropped from 7 percent to just under 4 percent, reflecting the tougher competition for a place at this prestigious Ivy League school.
Let’s go over the Princeton acceptance rate trends over the last 10 years.
|Academic Year||Total Number of Applications||Acceptance Rate|
Princeton Admissions Statistics
Princeton University, an institution that epitomizes scholarly prestige, has welcomed a new class embodying its rigorous academic standards and a strong commitment to diversity. As we examine the data for the Class of 2027, it is worth noting that the university has opted to withhold its admissions statistics, without releasing the total number of applicants for the current cycle.
The fact that Princeton has withheld its acceptance rate illustrates the highly competitive nature of college admissions, which speaks to the culture that high schools across the country try to mitigate by capping the number of AP’s that students are allowed to take to avoid overly fierce competition among students.
The Class of 2027 at Princeton has a student body with diverse backgrounds, illustrating the university’s wide-reaching influence. Students hail from all corners of the United States, with the inclusion of Washington, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico. This balance is further highlighted by the gender composition, with 51% of the students identifying as female and 49% as male.
This class is globally inclusive, with its composition of international scholars representing 64 countries, including Afghanistan, Guatemala, Hungary, New Zealand, Portugal and Zimbabwe.
In an affirmation of its inclusive ethos, Princeton’s incoming class includes 17% who are pioneering as the first in their family to attend college, while 13% are continuing a familial legacy.
Financial accessibility is also evident, with 66% of the class being financial aid recipients, and 22% are eligible for federal Pell Grants, designated for lower-income students.
Now, let’s delve into the diverse educational and cultural backgrounds that characterize the Princeton Class of 2027.
Type of Secondary School
|Type of School||Percentage|
|Black or African American||9|
|Hispanic or Latino/a/x||10|
|Native American, Hawaiian American, or Pacific Islander||< 1|
The Class of 2027 stands as a vibrant illustration of Princeton’s dedication to assembling a student body that is not only diverse and academically exceptional but also reflective of a world that values inclusiveness, intellectual pursuit, and a broad worldview.
SAT/ACT Scores for Princeton Admits
As we delve into the academic credentials of Princeton’s admits, the SAT and ACT scores from the Class of 2026 serve as a testament to the university’s rigorous academic standards.
Although the Class of 2027 has withheld specific admissions statistics, the previous year’s data provide valuable insights into the high caliber of students Princeton attracts.
Admitted students in 2022 who took the ACT:
- 25th percentile score: 34
- 75th percentile score: 35
Admitted students in 2022 who took the SAT:
- 25th percentile score: 1510
- 75th percentile score: 1570
Princeton’s acceptance rate is among the toughest in the country and the high bar for test scores does not make getting in any easier.
In general, you need to be at the top of your class with a GPA of at least 3.9. This means straight A’s in all your classes. You also need to take plenty of IB and AP classes to show that you are excellent with academic challenges.
It can be difficult to change your GPA if you are already a senior or a junior. However, you can ensure a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate for a lower GPA.
This will help the admission board at Princeton University understand that you are ready to tackle college academics. This will also give you a better chance to compete with other applicants.
Getting a high GPA and SAT/ACT score is extremely important to get your foot in the door. Princeton’s acceptance rate is notoriously low and makes the school highly selective.
Your application will more likely be rejected without consideration if you are unable to match the school’s GPA and SAT/ACT requirements.
Always aim for the 75th percentile to be safe. This means you need a 1570 SAT or 35 ACT and a 4.0 GPA or higher to be a cut above the rest. Scores are just the beginning of the challenge. You still need to impress the board with your non-academic endeavors and accomplishments.
What Princeton Looks For
Princeton University is renowned for its strong academic programs, seeking students who are likely to thrive in a stimulating intellectual climate.
Aspiring to join this prestigious institution involves understanding what Princeton values in its applicants, both in terms of academic preparedness and the richness of experiences that contribute to its diverse community.
Princeton’s suggested course of study for incoming students isn’t a set of rigid prerequisites but a blueprint for success in its rigorous academic environment.
The university expects applicants, if possible, to have engaged in the following:
- four years of English with an emphasis on writing
- four years of mathematics, including calculus for engineering prospects
- four years of study in one language
- at least two years of foundation in laboratory science, including physics and chemistry for those drawn to engineering
- at least two years of history
Moreover, many applicants have also taken classes in visual or performing arts.
The university values the pursuit of academic challenges. It encourages students to take on the most rigorous coursework available to them, such as honors, Advanced Placement (AP), or dual-enrollment classes. International credentials like the International Baccalaureate (IB) or A-levels are also assessed within the context of the program’s rigor.
Advanced Placement Policy
Those who have undertaken advanced or college-level courses during high school might find Princeton’s AP policy particularly beneficial. This policy acknowledges the level of preparation students have achieved prior to admission and may allow them to bypass introductory courses in favor of more advanced studies.
While stellar academic records are important, Princeton looks beyond the transcripts and test scores. It seeks insight into who the applicants are as individuals—their personal stories, talents, and accomplishments.
Recommendation letters and transcripts help form a picture, but the nuances of a student’s character and potential to flourish at Princeton are often conveyed through personal essays and stories. These narratives provide a platform for applicants to reveal their voices and demonstrate how they would seize both the academic and non-academic opportunities available.
Rather than aiming to check off a specific set of criteria, Princeton advises applicants to present an application that contextualizes their achievements and potential to utilize the university’s resources. It’s about showing engagement with what their high school offers and how they have excelled and contributed within their unique environments.
Princeton seeks students who have made a mark in their schools and communities. Leadership roles, special skills, extracurricular involvements, job experiences, or home responsibilities—all paint a picture of the applicant.
The university has a history of attracting high school academic standouts who also dedicate their energy and talents outside the classroom. What Princeton is interested in is what applicants care about, the commitments they have made, and the actions they have taken in service of those commitments.
Essays and Personal Expression
The application process at Princeton includes a requirement for essays and short answers. This is where applicants can showcase not only their writing skills but also their ability to express ideas authentically. Princeton values intellectual integrity and expects all application materials, especially essays, to be the original work of the applicant.
In essence, Princeton seeks individuals who have demonstrated significant passion for a particular area, have maximized their high school experiences, and are poised to contribute to and benefit from the rich, diverse fabric of its community. Understanding what Princeton looks for is the first step for any hopeful applicant in crafting an application that resonates with the values and expectations of this esteemed institution.
How Hard Is It to Get Into Princeton?
Gaining admission to Princeton University is an ambition held by many, yet achieved by few. This Ivy League institution is renowned for its academic rigor, historic campus, and highly selective admissions process.
Looking back at the Class of 2025 admissions statistics, Princeton University received 37,601 applications, with only 1,498 students being offered admission. This reflects the university’s highly competitive selection process, culminating in an admission rate of just 3.98 percent.
So, how hard is it to get into Princeton? Let’s break down the components and challenges of the Princeton admission process.
Princeton Application Requirements
To apply to Princeton, students can utilize the Common Application or Coalition Application. These platforms streamline the process, but the requirements are rigorous.
Here’s what you need to ensure a complete application:
- Complete application (Common Application or Coalition Application)
- Princeton-specific Questions (submitted through the Common Application or Coalition Application)
- Application fee or apply for a fee waiver
- Graded written paper (preferably English or History)
- Official transcript from school counselor or school official
- School report (SR form is available from the Coalition Application or Common Application)
- Counselor recommendation
- Two teacher recommendations (request recommendations from two teachers who have you in advanced-level classes, such as AP, IB, or A-Levels, across two separate core academic disciplines, such as English, language, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences or math)
- Mid-year school report
- SAT or ACT test scores (optional)
- Two SAT subject tests (recommended)
- TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores (required for applicants whose native language is not English and who are enrolled in institutions where English is not the medium of instruction)
Optional Application Components
- Arts supplement (if applicable)
- Princeton alumni interview
Standardized test scores were once a staple of the application, but Princeton, like many institutions, has adopted a test-optional policy for recent admissions cycles. Nonetheless, submitting high SAT or ACT scores can bolster an applicant’s chances if they are within or above the school’s historically high middle 50% range.
Beyond academics, Princeton seeks students who demonstrate exceptional personal qualities, extracurricular achievements, and potential to contribute to the campus community. It’s not just about being a stellar student; it’s about being an engaged and proactive individual.
Princeton Application Deadlines
To navigate the admissions timeline successfully, applicants must adhere to Princeton’s deadlines. The Single-Choice Early Action (SCEA) deadline is usually set in early November, with admissions decisions released by mid-December — a route for those with Princeton as their clear first choice. For the Regular Decision pool, the deadline extends to early January, with notifications by late March.
Let’s take a closer look at the Princeton application deadlines.
Single-choice Early Action Candidates
- Application opens – Mid-August
- SAT/ACT test – The last month to take the ACT and SAT is in October for Single-choice Early Action applicants
- Application deadline – November 1
- Optional Arts Supplement deadline – November 6
- Financial aid application due – November 9
Regular Decision Candidates
- Application opens – Mid-August
- Application deadline – January 1
- Optional Arts Supplement deadline – January 8
- SAT/ACT test – Regular decision applicants must take SAT/ACT by the December test date
- Financial aid application due – February 1
Single-choice early action candidates are usually notified of the admission review board’s decision by mid-December. Meanwhile, regular decision candidates are typically notified by late March. Applicants from both pools will be required to send their replies to the university by May 1st.
Princeton Tuition for 2023-2024
As prospective students consider the path to Princeton University, the financial aspect of this prestigious academic journey for the 2023-2024 academic year merits careful consideration. Here’s a breakdown of the Princeton tuition and other costs:
- Tuition: $59,710
- Housing: $11,400
- Food: $7,980
- Estimated miscellaneous expenses: $4,050
Housing and meal plan costs correspond to the standard offerings of University dormitories and dining services. The miscellaneous expenses cover fees for student activities and class dues. For the $4,050 allocated for books and personal items, the university bills $250 directly along with other costs like tuition, room, and board.
For those eligible for financial aid, any awarded amounts are applied to reduce the overall university bill, with any remaining balance to be paid by the student or their family, either in full each semester or through a monthly payment plan.
Please note that these costs do not account for travel expenses, which can vary greatly from $300 to $5,000 depending on individual circumstances. Additionally, students without family health insurance coverage are required to enroll in the Student Health Plan, which costs roughly $3,150.
Princeton University stands out for its exceptionally generous financial aid offerings, extending this commitment to both domestic and international students alike — a policy matched by only a select few institutions. With an admissions process that’s need-blind, applicants seeking financial aid face no disadvantages, fostering a diverse and inclusive student body across all economic tiers.
In the academic year of 2022-23, over half the student population, specifically 66%, received financial aid, with the average grant awarded to the incoming class reaching approximately $70,000.
Princeton University stands out for its financial aid program, which fully covers tuition, room, and board for students from families earning up to $65,000. This benefit will expand to include families making up to $100,000 starting in the fall of 2023.
The aid comes as grants, meaning it’s free money that students don’t need to pay back. Princeton led the way by getting rid of loans in its financial aid offers, helping 83% of its recent graduates to finish school without any debt.
The university also welcomes international students when it comes to financial aid, treating them the same as students from the U.S. and covering their full financial needs. This means that a student’s ability to pay doesn’t affect their chances of admission or the quality of their education at Princeton.
This level of support underscores Princeton’s dedication to making top-tier education accessible to all qualified students, irrespective of their financial situation.
What Are the Best Majors at Princeton?
While “best” is subjective, depending on individual interests and career goals, some majors at Princeton have gained exceptional recognition.
Princeton University offers a diverse array of 37 undergraduate concentrations that span various fields of study. These academic disciplines are categorized into four main areas: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.
Each area offers a breadth of options, allowing students to tailor their education to their interests and career aspirations.
The university is renowned for its strong programs in Public and International Affairs, Engineering, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Computer Science, which are consistently ranked among the top in the nation. The humanities and social sciences, including History, English, and Economics, also stand out for their comprehensive curriculum and research opportunities.
Princeton’s unique academic offerings, like the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, provide students with interdisciplinary education combining rigorous coursework with hands-on experiences.
The university also emphasizes independent work, with all undergraduates completing a senior thesis or project, which is a testament to Princeton’s commitment to in-depth scholarship.
What Is Princeton Student Life Like?
Princeton University is not just a place of higher learning; it’s an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity, a sense of community, and the development of leadership skills. Student life at Princeton is as vibrant and diverse as its student body, and it extends far beyond the classroom walls.
Here’s an insight into what life is like for a Tiger.
Academics at Princeton
At its core, Princeton’s academic ethos is built around a commitment to excellence. Students are engaged in a rigorous curriculum designed to challenge their understanding and expand their horizons.
With a student-to-faculty ratio of 5:1 and approximately 74% of classes with fewer than 20 students allowing personalized attention, learners at Princeton enjoy a rich academic experience characterized by close interaction with some of the world’s most distinguished scholars.
Classes at Princeton are known for their intense discussions, innovative research opportunities, and the development of critical thinking skills. Furthermore, the university’s academic calendar is structured to include a ‘reading period’ before final exams, giving students the chance to deeply engage with their studies without the pressure of classes.
Extracurriculars at Princeton
Beyond the rigorous academic landscape, Princeton University’s extracurricular scene is a vibrant environment of student-led initiatives, clubs, and organizations that cater to a wide spectrum of interests and passions.
With over 500 student organizations, Princeton provides a fertile ground for extracurricular engagement, ranging from performing arts groups, cultural associations, and athletic teams to special interest groups, such as environmental clubs, political organizations, and volunteer services.
In terms of athletics, Princeton proudly competes in the NCAA Division I Ivy League, fielding teams in 38 intercollegiate sports. The university’s athletic lineup features a wide array of sports such as baseball, cross country, football, hockey, lacrosse, squash, and golf, showcasing a commitment to excellence and sportsmanship across all arenas.
Princeton Notable Alumni
The Princeton alumni network is as prestigious as it is extensive, encompassing leaders in various fields. Notable alumni include former U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and James Madison, Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and pioneering mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing.
In the arts, Princeton boasts alumni like Academy Award-winning actor and director Jimmy Stewart. The realm of business is also well-represented with leaders like former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The achievements of Princeton alumni serve as an inspiration to current students, who are encouraged to dream big and work hard to make their mark on the world.
Princeton student life is a blend of challenging academics, personal development opportunities, and a launchpad for future achievements. It’s a place where longstanding traditions blend with cutting-edge innovation, equipping students not only for their future professions but also for active participation in a global community.
As we look at the student life and the admissions process at Princeton, it’s clear that the Princeton acceptance rate reflects its historical selectivity and prestige.
Over the years, acceptance rates have trended downwards, underscoring the competitiveness of gaining admission. For future applicants, this means that every aspect of their application needs to shine—from academic achievements to personal pursuits.
The competitive Princeton acceptance rate reflects its stature as a premier institution with a rich historical legacy. As prospective students face this challenging admissions landscape, remember that specialized guidance, like that from AdmissionSight, can demystify the process of how to get into Princeton and elevate your application.
Our team’s in-depth knowledge and tailored approach provide strategic guidance to highlight your strengths, refine your essays, and prepare you for interviews. Partner with AdmissionSight to enhance your application, making your Princeton dream more attainable.