Admission and Costs

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many changes at Princeton for the 2020-21 academic year. The Princeton Profile does not attempt to capture all the alterations to programs and other offerings which continue to evolve given public health guidance and requirements. Please check directly with relevant offices for the latest information.

Undergraduate Admission

Princeton admits a class of students each year that stands out not just for outstanding academic ability but also for the wide range of backgrounds, interests, accomplishments and aspirations it represents.

The University seeks students who will benefit from a Princeton education and will use that educational experience to impact their communities and the world.

Princeton generally offers two admission programs for first-year applicants: Single-Choice Early Action—requiring applicants to apply early only to Princeton, though they can defer acceptance of Princeton’s offer until the end of the regular admission process—and Regular Decision. Princeton will have one application deadline for first-year applicants for the Class of 2025, on January 1, 2021.

The University also offers a transfer admission process that enrolls a small group of exceptionally well-prepared transfer students. Students from low-income backgrounds, community college students and U.S. military veterans are particularly encouraged to apply.

Application deadlines

Regular Decision Jan. 1
Transfer March 1

Admission Rates

Academic year Applications Admitted %
2020–21 32,835 1,848 5.6
2019–20 32,804 1,896 5.8
2018–19 35,370 1,941 5.5
2017–18 31,056 1,991 6.4

Admission 2020: Class of 2024

As of 8/19/2020
All percentages rounded

Applicants Number % of total
Total 32,835
    Men 16,783 51.0
    Women 16,052 49.0
Alumni children 658 2.0
Students of color 16,186 49.3
International students 5,940 18.1
Admitted Number % of total
Total 1,848
    Men 907 49.1
    Women 941 50.9
Alumni children 192 10.4
Students of color 990 53.6
International students 218 11.8
Enrolled Number % of total
Total 1,155
    Men 585 50.7
    Women 570 49.4
Alumni children 131 11.3
Students of color 599 51.9
International students 135 11.7

In 2019–20, the largest numbers of students came from New Jersey (852), New York (592), California (563), Pennsylvania (252) and Texas (197). Students also came from 105 nations, including the United States.

In recent years, approximately 90% of each entering class has graduated from Princeton within four years, and 97% of all undergraduates have received a degree from Princeton within six years.

Undergraduate Costs and Financial Aid

Here is what it costs for an undergraduate to study in fall 2020–21:

Expense At home Off campus
Tuition $24,251 24,251
Living expenses $2,969 5,941
Books and personal expenses $2,200 2,200

The University’s pioneering financial aid program provides the assistance necessary to make sure that all students, including international students, who are admitted and need financial aid can attend. The aid comes in the form of grants, which do not need to be repaid. Approximately 61% of all undergraduate students receive aid. Because no student is required to take out loans, Princeton’s aid program allows its students to graduate debt free.

Princeton’s financial aid program is recognized as one of the most generous in the country, and the University has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that a Princeton education is affordable for every student even at this time of economic uncertainty.

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has instituted a number of measures that will reduce the cost of attendance for undergraduate students for 2020-21:

  • Tuition. Tuition has been reduced 10% for all students during 2020-21. Tuition for 2020-21 is $48,501, reduced from the previously announced $53,890.
  • Activities fee. Activities and athletics fees will not be charged for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Financial aid student contributions: The University has waived the $3,500 student contribution for the 2020-21 academic year and replaced it with additional grant funding for students receiving University financial aid.

The amount parents are asked to contribute varies from family to family based on a review of their financial circumstances. Princeton uses its own need formula to determine parental contributions.

Graduate Admission and Enrollment

Of the 12,533 applicants to the Graduate School for 2020–21, 1,322 were admitted and 672 accepted the offer of admission.

While graduate candidates submit applications to the Graduate School, faculty members in the individual departments that will award the degrees review the applications and make admission recommendations to the dean.

In 2019–20, Princeton awarded 318 Ph.D.s and 174 final master’s degrees.

Graduate Admission 2020–21:

All Master’s and Doctoral Candidates
All percentages rounded

Applicants Number % of Total
Total 12,533
    Men 7,874 63
    Women 4,679 37
International students 6,868 55
U.S. minority students 2,245 39*
U.S. first-generation or low-income students 1,772 31*
Women in STEM 2,055 30†
Admitted Number % Admitted % of Admits
Total 1,322 11
    Men 709 9 54
    Women 613 13 46
International students 506 7 38
U.S. minority students 387 17 47*
U.S. first-generation or low-income students 187 11 23*
Women in STEM 314 15 41†
Yielded Number % yielded % of acceptances
Total 672 51
    Men 355 50 53
    Women 317 52 47
International students 273 54 41
U.S. minority students 177 46 44*
U.S. first-generation or low-income students 107 57 27*
Women in STEM 136 43 41†

* Percentage is of all U.S. students
† Percentage is of all STEM students

Graduate Enrollment 2019–20

The Graduate School enrolled 2,971 degree candidates in 42 departments and programs in academic year 2019–20. Forty percent of the Graduate School’s students are female, and 42% are citizens of other countries. Thirty-five percent of domestic graduate students at Princeton are members of U.S. minority groups. The median time from matriculation to receiving a Ph.D. at Princeton, including all departments, is 5.7 years (for 2018–19).

Enrollment of Graduate Degree Candidates by Academic Division, 2019–20

Division Number %
Humanities 515 17
Natural sciences 855 29
School of Architecture 111 4
School of Engineering and Applied Science 680 23
Social sciences 604 20
Princeton School of Public and International Affairs 206 7
Total 2,971 100

Graduate Costs and Financial Support

All Ph.D. and many master’s degree candidates in the Graduate School receive financial support for the duration of their degree program through some combination of University fellowships, assistantships in research or teaching, and non-University awards. Princeton guarantees funding for its regularly enrolled, degree-seeking Ph.D. candidates for all years of regular program enrollment, contingent upon satisfactory academic performance. This funding covers the full cost of tuition and fees and a stipend intended to support the estimated living expenses of a single graduate student.