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#1 Princeton University

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Princeton University-- #1 National University (US News & World Report)

Princeton University is one of the oldest universities in the US, specifically the fourth college to be established in the US in 1746 before America got its independence from England. Stemming from tradition, Princeton, with its beautiful buildings, carries the ambiance of tradition and heritage, and aristocracy. The eating clubs (which is unique to Princeton) was originally created for the elite for a place to socialize and dine. You may think of these eating clubs as modern-day fraternities and sororities. Today, Princeton has 10 eating clubs still a prominent place for students to get together and eat. Some of these eating clubs are invitation-only, others have waitlists, and while others you may walk into at any time.

Princeton is a liberal arts college, that places a great emphasis on undergraduate research. Princeton’s academic departments are created in a more traditional format, undergrads have an option of choosing from 37 academic departments. To adapt to modern times and overlapping of careers, students are encouraged to take advantage of the 55 interdisciplinary certificate programs. Disciplines are taught by renowned industry leaders, some team-taught, others across disciplines. The sciences take an interdisciplinary approach of understanding traditional sciences with the advent of new technologies and fields of study.

Unlike many colleges, who emphasize research on the graduate level, Princeton’s commitment to undergraduate research is profound. All seniors are required to complete a senior thesis or independent project as a graduation requirement. The University’s informal motto is “In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity,” emphasizes the university’s commitment to community and public service.

Admissions Requirements

Application Fee$70
Standardized TestsSAT or ACT with Essay
SAT Subject TestsTwo Recommended. If applying for Engineering, recommended to take Math Level I or II, & Physics or Chemistry.
AP and IB examsYou may self-report.
Supplement Questions/Essays (found in the Writing Supplement section in My Colleges tab on the Common Application)3 Essays (varying word count), 10 Short Questions
(Updated August of every year.)
Additional RequirementA Graded Writing Sample, preferably in the subjects of English or History
Recommendations2 Teacher Recommendations and Counselor of Record Report
From Your High SchoolSchool Report, Transcript, Mid-Year Report, Final Report
OptionalArt Portfolio
International StudentsTOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic scores
Single-choice Early ActionNovember 1, decision by mid-December
Regular DecisionJanuary 1, decision by mid-to-late March

Academic Parameters

When applying to an institution, it is important to look at the academic information of previous applicants. This includes the SAT/ACT test scores, SAT Subject test scores (if available), GPA ranges, or class ranking. By looking at these data points, you may assess where you fall and how likely is your admission into this college. Please note, there are students who do fall below the middle range and are still admitted, but then their application has one or more factors that boosts their application, such as a special talent, a recruitable athlete, legacy, racial or socioeconomic minority. Use the chart below to see where you fall and if you may raise your test scores and grades to keep your application in the running.

Testing/GPA Guidelines

Middle 50 SAT (means the 50% of incoming students scored at or higher)Math: 730-790

Evidenced-based Reading and Writing: 700-770
Middle 50 ACTComposite Score: 32-35
Middle GPA Range (unweighted)Score: 3.75-4.0

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Day 1 • Princeton University

According to US News & World Report, Princeton University is ranked #1 in National Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Please check their website to read up on these indicators. We are using US News for its popularity, but by no means should they be the only source in determining your “best fit” college. Your best fit colleges should be determined by your academic goals, your personality fit, and financial considerations.

Princeton University:
Private, a mid-sized Institution with a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,394.

Chartered in 1746, as the College of New Jersey (known as this name for 150 years). Princeton was British North America’s 4th college (one of the oldest colleges in the US).

Suburban: located in the town of Princeton, New Jersey. Moved to Princeton in 1756 and was housed in Nassau Hall and contained the entire college for almost half a century.

Tuition & Fees:
$47,140 (2018-19), offers need-blind financial aid.

$23.4 billion (2017)

At campus. Residential Environment for all four years.

Admit Rate:
Most competitive, admit rate in single digits

51% male/49% female. Ethnicity/Race: 22% Asian, 8% African American, 10% Hispanic, 5% Multiracial (non-Hispanic), < 1% American Indian, 13% International.

Religious Affiliation:

Other Awards by US News:
#1 in National Universities, #1 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, #1 in Best Value Schools

Day 2 • School Mission, Mascot, Sports

University mottos:
The University’s official motto “Dei Sub Numine Viget” translates as “Under God’s Power She Flourishes.” The University’s informal motto is “In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity, speaks to the university’s commitment to community service.”

Princeton’s mascot, the Tiger, was adopted at the end of the 19th century. Throughout the 1880s, football players sported wide orange and black stripes on their jerseys, stockings and stocking caps. Sportswriters of the day referred to some of the players as tigers. A popular cheer used “Tiger!” as a rallying cry. College songs began to refer to tigers. In 1882, the senior class issued a humor magazine called the Princeton Tiger. In 1893, one of the eating clubs, the Inn, changed its name to Tiger Inn.

Orange is the new black, Lol. Princeton’s colors are orange and black, typically what tigers are. The trustees adopted orange and black as Princeton’s official colors in 1896.

NCAA Division I: Princeton has one of the largest and most successful athletic programs in the NCAA Division I and the Ivy League. About 18 percent of undergraduates participate in varsity sports, spanning 37 varsity men’s and women’s teams. The Princeton Tigers are well known for their consistently strong men’s and women’s lacrosse, football, crew and field hockey teams. 113 Princetonians who have competed in the Olympics. 28 Undefeated seasons in football. 24 Ivy League championships in field hockey. 37 Varsity intercollegiate teams. 38 Sport club teams.

Day 3 • Academic at Princeton/Top Undergraduate Majors/Student Life

Princeton University is a major research university with a profound and distinctive commitment to undergraduate education. A unique aspect of Princeton’s academic program is that undergraduate students are required to write a senior thesis, or for students in some engineering departments, take on an independent project, setting Princeton apart from many institutions. It is common for students to learn from Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and MacArthur fellows. Students benefit from small class sizes and one-on-one advising with faculty, particularly while doing independent work such as the senior thesis. Semester-based. The student-faculty ratio at Princeton University is 5:1.

Academic Calendar:
Semester system

Top Undergraduate Majors:
Engineering; Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Public Administration and Social Service Professions; and History. In addition, students are encouraged to enroll in the University’s 53 interdisciplinary certificate programs.

Highly-ranked Graduate programs:
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Student Life:
Princeton is a very campus-centric college. Even though New York City is about an hour away, most students socialize on campus. Students can participate in over 300 student-run organizations, the arts, civic engagement, student government, religious groups, & athletics. Majority of the students live in one of six residential colleges for all four years.

Eating Clubs:
Very unique to Princeton, students have the option to join one of the 10 eating clubs for their junior & senior years. Initially, the eating clubs were created for the most elite, now the eating clubs serve as a major place to socialize and dine. One may consider these eating clubs like fraternities and sororities.

FitzRandolph Gate:
According to legend, if a student exits campus through this gate prior to graduation, they may be cursed never to graduate.

Day 4 • Notable Alumni

Notable alumni include former first lady Michelle Obama (Class of 1985), model/actress Brooke Shields (Class of 1987), and two previous US presidents, James Madison, (Class of 1771), and Woodrow Wilson (Class of 1879). Three Alumni serve as the US Supreme Court justices: Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. 17 Alumni are winners of the Nobel Prize. Princeton Alumni serve to be successful in their future endeavors, whether it is the private or public sectors. Starting salary for undergraduates are mid $60,000’s.

Day 5 • Applying to Princeton? Be Collegebound with IvyBound

Looking at first-time, Freshman Applicants:
Admission Rate:
5.5%, including early applicants, (as of July 2018)

Total Applicants:



Yield Rate:
69%- Number of students who actually attended or matriculated once admitted.

***Admissions Trick: Colleges want their number of applicants to be high, admit rates to be low and yield rate to be high.

Early Option:
Single-Choice Early Action (November 1 is deadline)

Regular Deadline:
January 1

Admission Requirements:
See Table above

Admissions into this prestigious University, Princeton, is extremely competitive as the acceptance rate is decreasing each year. With the increase of sheer number of applicants, how do you stand out and get admitted? If Princeton is one of the colleges on your list, use this invaluable worksheet to plan and prepare when applying to Princeton.
IvyBound Consulting offers personalized college admissions services to help you create winning college applications that surely gets you admitted. Choose from one-on-one counseling services, college admissions online course- Applications That Get You Admitted!, private Facebook group membership, and essay review and editing services.
Next week, I will cover, US News Week’s #2 Nationally Ranked University, Harvard. Stay Tuned.

Be Collegebound with IvyBound!

* Sources used: the Harvard website, common data set, college factual, US World News, other websites.

Hey guys, welcome to the episodes Be Collegebound with IvyBound! I’m your host, Ruchi S. Kothari. I’m super excited that you’ve joined me.

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