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Princeton University Offers Admission to 7.86 Percent of Applicants for Class of 2016

Princeton University announced today that the school has offered admission to 2,095 students, or 7.86 percent of the near-record 26,664 applications for the Class of 2016, in what is expected to be the most selective admission process in the University’s history. This compares with Princeton’s final admission rate of a record-low 8.5 percent for last year’s class.

Of the 2,095 students admitted, 726 are students who applied through single-choice early action and were offered admission in December. The class size is expected to be 1,300 students for the Class of 2016.

“We have selected students who are extraordinary in every way,” Dean of Admission Janet Lavin Rapelye said. “They are enormously gifted intellectually and also very well rounded in their interests. Many have made their mark in the arts, in athletics and in their communities as engaged citizens. Their early accomplishments suggest that these students will help fulfill Princeton’s mission to educate the next generation of leaders in the service of all nations.”

This year’s applicant pool is the second-largest in the University’s history. During the past eight years, the University has seen a 95 percent increase in applications.

Applications to Princeton have increased steadily with enhanced recruiting efforts and growing awareness of the University’s pioneering no-loan financial aid program. Through Princeton’s generous aid program, all students on financial aid are offered grants that do not have to be repaid, giving students an opportunity to graduate debt-free. The University’s admission process is need-blind for both domestic and international students.

Sixty percent of the current student body receives financial aid, compared with 38 percent in the Class of 2001, the last class to enroll before enhancements to Princeton’s aid program. Currently, the average grant is $35,352, and for the coming year it is expected to be in excess of $37,000.

This was the first year since 2006 that the University offered an early application round for prospective students whose first college choice was Princeton. The University’s early action program requires applicants to apply early, only to Princeton, and allows them until May 1 to decide whether to accept Princeton’s offer.

Applicants for the Class of 2016 were from 8,738 high schools and 151 countries. Of the applicants, 10,225 had a 4.0 grade point average, and 13,945 candidates had scores of 700 or higher on each of the three sections of the SAT. Among the students from high schools that rank their students, 97 percent of the admitted applicants are in the top 10 percent of their class.

Students admitted to the Class of 2016 come from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands and Puerto Rico, with the largest representation from New Jersey, followed in order by California, New York and Texas. International students represent 12.2 percent of the admitted students and come from 73 countries, including Australia, China, Greece, Madagascar, Jamaica, Singapore, Israel, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Of the students offered admission, 50.6 percent are men and 49.4 percent are women; 47 percent have self-identified as people of color, including biracial or multiracial students. Fifty-eight percent of the admitted students come from public schools, and 12.5 percent will be the first in their families to attend college. Sons or daughters of Princeton alumni account for 9.5 percent of the admitted students. Of those offered admission, 22.6 percent indicated they want to study engineering.

Beyond the 2,095 students offered admission to the Class of 2016, an additional 1,472 candidates were offered positions on the wait list. As in past years, approximately half of those students are expected to choose to stay on the wait list. Princeton’s previous record-low 8.5 percent admission rate for the Class of 2015 includes those students who were admitted from the wait list.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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