Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 14
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
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Record Year: University Admits 8.18 Percent of Applicants for Class of 2014, Boosts Aid

Dilshanie Perera

Princeton University saw a record number of applications this year, with 26,247 students vying for space in the class of 2014. The number of candidates represents a 19.5 percent increase over the previous year’s 21,963 applicants. This year, admission has been offered to 8.18 percent of students for a total of 2,148 acceptances.

Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye suggested that the increased volume of applicants could be due in part to the current fiscal climate, as well as Princeton’s strong financial aid program. “We’re mindful that many families are still struggling, even with the recent signs of economic recovery … the fact that we can help support families and students in their aspirations for higher education with our financial aid program is something we value at the highest levels.”

The University’s scholarship budget for the next fiscal year is anticipated to rise from $103 to $112 million. In January, Princeton Trustees approved a 3.3 percent increase in undergraduate tuition rates while also allowing for an increase in the financial aid budget.

Upwards of 60 percent of the class of 2014 will likely receive aid, with the average grant totaling more than $36,000. The University’s “no-loan” policy ensures that all students qualifying for financial aid graduate debt free, since aid takes the form of grants and not loans.

The work of reconfiguring the financial aid program at Princeton began in 1998, with the average student grant covering 65 percent of tuition expenses. In 2001, the University implemented its “no-loan” policy, and today, the average aid grant for the class of 2014 is projected to cover over 98 percent of tuition fees.

Total estimated cost of attendance for the 2009-10 school year is $50,620, with a tuition charge of $35,340, and combined room and board charge of $11,680.

The University hopes for an enrollment of approximately 1,300 students this year, which is the last part of a gradual expansion of the undergraduate student body begun in 2005.

Admitted students hail from each of the 50 states, as well as Washington D.C., with international students from 64 countries comprising 10.3 percent of the acceptances. They were notified of the decisions on April 1.

“We were impressed with the superb intellect, talent, and character of the candidates presented,” Ms. Rapelye said, adding that “we had to make some extremely difficult decisions.”

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