January 4, 2017

After Surge in Number of Early Applicants, PU Admits 15.4 Percent to Class of 2021

Seven hundred and seventy students from a pool of 5003 candidates who applied through single-choice early action have been offered admission to next year’s freshman class at Princeton University. The number of early applicants is the largest in the past six years, up 18.3 percent from last year.

The admitted students, 15.4 percent of applicants, represent 45 countries and 42 states, in addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The University reported that 43 percent of the admitted students are U.S. students from diverse backgrounds, up one percent from last year, and 11 percent international students, with 50 percent men and 50 percent women. Fifty-seven percent of the admitted students come from public schools, and 14 percent are the first in their families to attend college, both figures also up one percent from last year. Sixteen percent of the admitted students are children of Princeton alumni.

University early action and early decision programs have recently come under fire  in articles like “The Plague of Early Decision” by Frank Bruni, in the December 21, 2016 New York Times as being inherently biased against low-income and other under-represented students, who are much less likely to apply early than their more advantaged peers.

Princeton University reported last November that 21 percent of the freshman class are eligible for Pell grants, which are awarded only to low income students, one of the highest percentages of Pell-eligible students among the nation’s most selective colleges and universities and triple the percentage of Pell-eligible freshmen at Princeton just 12 years ago. U.S. minority students increased from 27 percent to 42.6 percent from the class of 2008 to this year’s freshman class, while first generation college students increased from 6 percent to 15 percent and students on financial aid increased from 52 to 60 percent.

“The academic and personal strengths of these admitted students are extraordinary,” Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye stated. “The early-action process this year was especially challenging given the depth of the applicant pool.”

The University has repeatedly stated its commitment to increase the socio-economic and racial diversity of undergraduates. No Admissions Department spokesperson was available at press time to comment further on recent admissions statistics or the controversial issues of early action admissions.

This is the sixth year that the Admissions Department has offered an early application round for prospective students whose first choice is Princeton, with applicants applying early only to Princeton. If admitted, they can wait to decide whether to accept Princeton’s offer until the end of the regular admissions process in the spring. Candidates deferred during early action are reconsidered during the regular decision application process.

Princeton’s financial aid program provides the assistance necessary to ensure that any student who is admitted can attend. No student is required to take out a loan.