Almost four in 10 of the applicants to Princeton’s Class of 2014 had perfect GPAs. More than half of all the hopefuls scored at least 2100 — out of 2400 — on the combined SAT. Most of them were turned away.

This year’s admission process was the most selective ever: Only 8.18 percent of the record 26,247 applicants (the pool was 19.5 percent larger than last year’s) were admitted. Children of alumni make up 10.1 percent of those admitted.

“We are putting a class together and we can admit only a fraction of the qualified candidates,” said Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye.  

Last year, about 9.8 percent of applicants to Princeton were offered admission.  

Rapelye said she believed Princeton’s financial-aid plan was partly responsible for the increase in applications. It’s expected that more than 60 percent of the class enrolling in the fall will receive financial aid, with the average grant exceeding $36,000. The scholarship budget for 2010–11 is projected to rise from this year’s $103 million to $112 million.

Princeton hopes to enroll a freshman class of 1,300 students. International students make up 10.3 percent of those admitted. Of the U.S. students, 9.4 percent are African-American, 21.5 percent Asian-American, 10 percent Hispanic, less than 1 percent Native American, and 4.4 percent bi- or multiracial. The group is evenly divided between men and women.  

Another 1,451 students were offered positions on the wait list. Twenty students will be selected for the second year of the bridge-year program.

Sure, your kid is brilliant, hardworking, and extraordinarily talented. And if that child was accepted to a top college this year, chances are he or she is also lucky. College officials acknowledged that many qualified ­students were not admitted to their schools. Here are some admission rates:

Harvard 6.9%

Stanford 7.2%

Yale 7.5%


Columbia 8.3%

Brown 9.3%

MIT 9.7%

Dartmouth 11.5%

U. of Pennsylvania 14.2%

Pomona 14.7%

Duke 14.8%

Vanderbilt 16.3%

Cornell 18.0%