Princeton vs Bryn Mawr: A Comprehensive Overview

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a father helping her daughter to make recommendation letter

Princeton vs Bryn Mawr: A Comprehensive Overview

If you’re a high school student nearing graduation, you may be considering attending a top-tier college or university. Two great choices to consider are Princeton and Bryn Mawr. While both schools have earned esteemed reputations, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is right for you. In this article, we’ll compare Princeton vs Bryn Mawr, the two schools in-depth to help you make an informed decision.

Introduction: Why Compare Princeton vs Bryn Mawr

At a high level, both Princeton and Bryn Mawr are similar in terms of prestige, accolades, and overall quality of education. However, there are several key differences between the two schools in terms of campus life, academics, admissions, and student experience. We aim to provide a comprehensive comparison of both schools to help you make the right choice for your academic journey.

One of the major differences between Princeton vs Bryn Mawr is their location. Princeton is located in a suburban area in New Jersey, while Bryn Mawr is located in a suburban area outside of Philadelphia. This difference in location can greatly impact the overall experience of attending each school, as students may have different opportunities for internships, cultural experiences, and social activities.

Another key difference between the two schools is their approach to undergraduate education. While both schools offer a liberal arts education, Bryn Mawr has a strong focus on women’s education and gender studies. This can be a major draw for students who are interested in exploring these topics in depth, but may not be as appealing to students who are looking for a more traditional liberal arts education.

Princeton vs Bryn Mawr: A Brief History

Princeton University was founded in 1746 and is located in Princeton, New Jersey. It is known for its rigorous academic programs and boasts several notable alumni, including Michelle Obama and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Bryn Mawr College has a more recent history, founded in 1885 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is a women’s liberal arts college with an emphasis on research and academic excellence. Notable Bryn Mawr alumni include Margaret Mead and Katharine Hepburn.

one of Bryn Mawr College buildings

Despite being founded over a century apart, Princeton and Bryn Mawr have had a close relationship throughout their histories. In the early 20th century, Bryn Mawr students were able to take courses at Princeton through a cross-registration program. Today, the two institutions continue to collaborate on research projects and academic programs.

Both Princeton and Bryn Mawr have also been recognized for their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Princeton has implemented several initiatives to increase diversity among its student body and faculty, while Bryn Mawr has a long-standing tradition of promoting women’s education and leadership.

Campus Life: Facilities and Amenities

In comparing Princeton vs Bryn Mawr, both offer students top-tier campus facilities and modern amenities. Princeton’s campus covers over 600 acres of land with beautiful historic buildings and state-of-the-art laboratories, libraries, and research centers.

Bryn Mawr’s campus features a mix of architectural styles, including Collegiate Gothic and modern buildings, and has several on-campus resources, including a performing arts center and health center. Both schools offer students access to a range of athletic facilities, including fitness centers, sports fields, and courts.

Additionally, Princeton has a world-renowned art museum, which houses over 100,000 works of art from around the globe. The museum offers free admission to students and hosts a variety of exhibitions and events throughout the year. Bryn Mawr also has a strong arts program, with a dedicated arts building that includes studios for painting, sculpture, and printmaking, as well as a black box theater for student productions.

Both schools also prioritize sustainability and have implemented eco-friendly initiatives on their campuses. Princeton has a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2046 and has installed solar panels and geothermal systems to reduce energy consumption. Bryn Mawr has a student-led sustainability committee that works to promote environmentally conscious practices on campus, such as composting and reducing waste.

Academics: Programs and Curriculum

When it comes to academics, both schools have a strong reputation in their respective areas of focus. Princeton offers over 50 majors and around 300 courses across different academic departments, such as the humanities, natural sciences, and engineering. Bryn Mawr offers around 38 academic majors ranging from the sciences to the humanities, including art history, biology, and physics. Both universities emphasize research and offer students unique opportunities to collaborate with faculty members and participate in research projects.

Princeton is known for its rigorous academic programs and challenging curriculum. The university offers a variety of interdisciplinary programs, such as the Program in Law and Public Affairs and the Program in Neuroscience, which allow students to explore different fields of study and gain a well-rounded education.

Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum and emphasis on critical thinking and analysis. The college offers a variety of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, which help students develop a broad understanding of the world around them.

Both universities also offer a range of academic resources to support student learning and success. Princeton has a Writing Center, a Quantitative Reasoning Center, and a McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, which provide students with individualized support and guidance. Bryn Mawr has a Writing Center, a Speaking Center, and a Quantitative Skills Center, which offers similar resources to help students improve their academic skills and achieve their goals.

Admissions: Requirements and Processes

In Princeton vs Bryn Mawr’s student admissions, both have similar admissions requirements, including submitting an application, transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation. Princeton’s application process is more competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 5%. Bryn Mawr’s acceptance rate is slightly higher at around 39%. Both schools encourage applicants to participate in on-campus interviews, but they are not required.

In addition to the standard admissions requirements, both Princeton and Bryn Mawr offer optional interviews with alumni in various locations around the world. These interviews provide an opportunity for applicants to learn more about the schools and to showcase their personality and interests beyond what is included in their application materials.

Princeton also offers an early decision application option, which is binding for students who are accepted. This means that if a student applies for early decision and is accepted, they must attend Princeton and withdraw all other applications. Bryn Mawr does not offer an early decision option, but they do offer an early action option, which is non-binding and allows students to receive their admissions decision earlier than regular decision applicants.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

As with most prestigious universities, tuition for both schools is high. According to their websites, for the 2021-2022 school year, Princeton’s tuition and fees amount to $54,780 per year, while Bryn Mawr’s is $54,880. However, both schools offer robust financial aid programs, including scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans.

Princeton offers a “no-loan” financial aid policy, which means that eligible students receive grants instead of loans, reducing their overall debt burden. Bryn Mawr has a similar program offering grants instead of loans to eligible students with demonstrated financial need.

Additionally, both Princeton and Bryn Mawr offer various resources to help students navigate the financial aid process. They have dedicated financial aid offices that provide personalized assistance to students and families, helping them understand the different types of aid available and how to apply for them. Both schools also have online resources, such as calculators and guides, to help students estimate their costs and plan their finances.

It’s worth noting that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition and fees. Students also need to consider other expenses, such as room and board, textbooks, and personal expenses. Both Princeton and Bryn Mawr provide estimates for these costs on their websites, and they vary depending on factors such as the student’s housing choice and spending habits. However, both schools offer options for students to reduce these costs, such as living off-campus or participating in work-study programs.

Student Body: Demographics and Diversity

The student population at both universities is diverse. According to their respective websites, Princeton’s student body is made up of around 5,422 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and over 100 countries worldwide, with a 50:50 gender ratio. Bryn Mawr’s undergraduate population is around 1,300 women from all over the world, with a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusivity. Both schools prioritize creating an inclusive and supportive community.

Group of students working together and talking.

Additionally, both universities have a significant number of first-generation college students and students from low-income backgrounds. Princeton’s “Princeton First” program provides support and resources for first-generation and low-income students, while Bryn Mawr’s “Posse” program offers full-tuition scholarships and support for students from diverse backgrounds. Both universities also have active student organizations and initiatives focused on promoting diversity and inclusion on campus.

Athletics: Sports Programs and Facilities

Both Princeton and Bryn Mawr have comprehensive athletics programs with state-of-the-art facilities. Princeton is a member of the Ivy League and has 37 varsity sports teams, including soccer, rugby, and lacrosse. Similarly, Bryn Mawr also has a range of athletic programs, including basketball, tennis, and field hockey. Both schools prioritize fitness and wellness, with access to fitness centers, weight rooms, and outdoor facilities.

In addition to the varsity sports teams, both Princeton and Bryn Mawr offer a variety of intramural and club sports for students to participate in. These programs allow students to engage in sports and physical activity in a more casual and social setting.

Additionally, both schools have dedicated staff and resources to support student-athletes, including athletic trainers, coaches, and academic advisors. Overall, athletics plays an important role in the student experience at both Princeton and Bryn Mawr, promoting physical health, teamwork, and personal growth.

Career Services: Job Placement and Networking Opportunities

Both Princeton and Bryn Mawr offer robust career services to students. Princeton’s Office of Career Services provides students with access to internships, job fairs, and networking events with alumni.

The school has a strong reputation for job placement, with around 90% of graduates employed or pursuing higher education within six months of graduation. Bryn Mawr has a similar career services department, with a focus on providing students with practical skills, professional development, and networking opportunities.

Princeton’s career services also offer students access to career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, and mock interviews to help them prepare for the job search process. Additionally, the school has partnerships with various companies and organizations, providing students with exclusive job opportunities and connections.

Bryn Mawr’s career services department also offers students the opportunity to participate in career-related workshops and events, such as industry-specific panels and alumni networking receptions. The school’s Career and Professional Development Office also provides students with access to job and internship databases, as well as resources for graduate school applications and fellowships.

Alumni Network: Connections and Benefits

Both universities have active alumni networks that provide graduates with career support, mentorship opportunities, and social events. Princeton’s alumni network is particularly active and boasts several notable members, including former US presidents and Nobel laureates. Bryn Mawr’s alumni network is similarly active, with notable members such as Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Aside from career support and mentorship opportunities, alumni networks also offer various benefits to their members. For instance, both Princeton and Bryn Mawr alumni can access exclusive discounts on products and services from partner companies. These discounts can range from travel packages to insurance policies, providing alumni with tangible benefits that can help them save money.

Moreover, alumni networks can also serve as a platform for alumni to give back to their alma mater. Many alumni networks organize fundraising campaigns to support various initiatives of their universities, such as scholarships, research projects, and infrastructure improvements. By contributing to these campaigns, alumni can help ensure that future generations of students can benefit from the same quality education that they received.

Extracurricular Activities: Clubs, Organizations, and Events

Both schools offer a plethora of extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations to get involved with on campus. Princeton has over 300 student organizations, including cultural groups, service organizations, and art clubs. Similarly, Bryn Mawr has over 100 organizations, including clubs for activism, outdoor recreation, and the performing arts. Both schools have a vibrant campus life and offer students ample opportunities to engage with their peers and pursue their interests outside of the classroom.

Group of young people in casual wear playing ultimate frisbee

In addition to the numerous clubs and organizations, both Princeton and Bryn Mawr also host a variety of events throughout the year. These events range from guest lectures and performances to cultural festivals and community service projects. Students can attend these events to learn new things, meet new people, and have fun.

Some of the most popular events at Princeton include the annual Princeton Preview, a weekend-long event for admitted students, and the Princeton Reunions, a massive alumni gathering. At Bryn Mawr, students look forward to the annual Lantern Night, a tradition where first-year students receive lanterns and walk through campus with upperclassmen. These events add to the vibrant campus life and provide students with even more opportunities to get involved and make the most of their college experience.

Faculty Profile: Qualifications, Research, and Publications

Both Princeton and Bryn Mawr have faculty members that are experts in their respective fields, with many holding prestigious positions in academia and research. Princeton has over 1,200 full-time faculty members, 83 of whom are Nobel laureates, making it one of the most distinguished faculties in the world. Similarly, Bryn Mawr has a distinguished faculty, with over 100 tenured or tenure-track professors notable for their expertise in fields such as biology, chemistry, and psychology.

Princeton’s faculty members are not only experts in their fields but they are also actively engaged in research. The university has a strong commitment to research, with over 100 research centers and institutes. Faculty members at Princeton are involved in cutting-edge research in fields such as astrophysics, neuroscience, and computer science.

Bryn Mawr’s faculty members are also actively engaged in research, with many receiving grants and awards for their work. The college has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, with faculty members collaborating across departments and fields. Bryn Mawr’s faculty members have published numerous articles and books, contributing to the advancement of knowledge in their respective fields.

Conclusion: Which School is Right for You?

Overall, there is no clear winner between Princeton vs Bryn Mawr. Both schools offer top-notch academics, a diverse student body, and a vibrant campus life. The decision between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference, including factors such as geographic location, campus size, academic program offerings, and financial considerations. We encourage prospective students to conduct thorough research and consider a campus visit to determine which school may be the best fit for their unique academic journey.

a female intern talking to a male employee

It is important to note that while both Princeton and Bryn Mawr are highly respected institutions, they have distinct differences in their academic and social environments. Princeton is known for its strong emphasis on undergraduate research and its competitive pre-professional programs, while Bryn Mawr is recognized for its commitment to women’s education and its focus on interdisciplinary studies.

Additionally, Princeton’s campus is located in a suburban area of New Jersey, while Bryn Mawr is situated in a suburban area of Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. These factors may play a significant role in a student’s decision-making process and should be carefully considered when choosing between the two schools.

Want to learn more about getting into your dream school? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.



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