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More International Students, Minorities Being Accepted by Princeton Graduate School

Linda Arntzenius

According to an announcement from Princeton University, the graduate school is attracting international applicants and a more diverse pool of applicants from within America’s minority communities.

Of the 9,237 applicants who applied for the 2008-09 academic year, almost half (49 percent) were American students of color or international students.

Efforts by Princeton University’s new Associate Dean For Academic Affairs And Diversity Karen Jackson-Weaver have been cited as helping to increase interest in graduate studies at the university by applicants of color. Ms. Jackson-Weaver was appointed to the post last July.

For the 2008-09 academic year, the school will admit 190 students of color out of 1,110 applicants, up from 169 students admitted last year.

Entry into the graduate school is highly competitive. Of the entire applicant pool of 9,237, only 1,203 students were admitted. This 13 percent overall admission rate is up only slightly from the 12.9 percent of applicants who were admitted last year. However, applications were up 5.2 percent over last year’s 8,778.

International applicants continue to be encouraged by the Graduate School’s decision four years ago to subsidize the visa application process. The school reimburses admitted foreign students for the $100 fee the federal government instituted in 2004 to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). While international students still pay the government the regular visa application fees, the University pays the additional fee associated with managing the federal visitor student database.

Applications from 61 foreign countries numbered 4,184, an increase of 9.9 percent from last year’s 3,805. Among the applicants, 404 were admitted, up slightly from 396 last year, with the largest number of admitted students this year hailing from China, India, Korea, and Canada.

Academic fields admitting the highest numbers of their applicants were natural sciences and engineering, which admitted about 17.6 percent and 16.5 percent of their applicants, respectively. The percentages of admitted applicants for other fields were 14.5 percent for the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, 9.6 percent for the social sciences, 9.4 percent for architecture, and 8.8 percent for departments in the humanities.

Of the overall applicant pool, male applicants made up 63 percent and women made up 37 percent.

The average standardized Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores for admitted graduate students were 626 out of 800 on the verbal section, 742 out of 800 on the quantitative section and 4.9 out of 6 on the analytical writing section.

The Graduate School expects total fall enrollment to be about 2,180 students in their first five years of study, which represents an increase over last year’s enrollment of about 2,030 students. An additional estimated 265 students are expected to be in the Dissertation Completion Enrollment status held by students completing the dissertation portion of their degree requirement, compared to 275 students this year.

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