Princeton has offered admission to 2,150 students as it prepares to enroll its largest freshman class ever — 1,300 students. A record 21,694 students applied for admission, and 9.8 percent were accepted — up from 9.25 percent a year ago (that figure rose to 9.9 percent after 148 students were accepted from the waitlist).
News of the higher acceptance rate set off an angry discussion on the Website of The Daily Princetonian, with more than 200 comments posted within two days. What started as an expression of fear that Princeton’s high position in colleges rankings would plummet became a rant-fest, with students complaining about everything from grade deflation to the senior thesis to “overbearing social regulations.”
But other students took their classmates to task. A poster who identified himself as a senior wrote that the complaints were “not indicative” of his experience and added: “If the grade-deflation policy keeps these grade-grubbing whiners out, then all the better.”
As was the case last year, the admitted students are split about evenly between men and women, and 44.8 percent are U.S. minority students. Legacies account for 10.7 percent of the group. Ten percent are international students. The University also offered 1,331 students positions on the waitlist.
The acceptance rate at most other Ivy schools dropped this year, with Harvard’s rate at 7 percent and Yale’s at 7.5 percent. Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said the increase in Princeton’s acceptance rate in part reflects the larger class size — up 55 students from this year’s freshman class — as well as the first 20 bridge-year particpants.
The University expects that 59 percent of the students who enroll in the fall will receive financial aid, with an average grant of more than $36,000.