Princeton University: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Princeton University

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Princeton University is an Ivy League research university with an acceptance rate of 5.5%. Successful applicants will need high grades and standardized test scores to be considered for admission. To apply, students can use the Common Application, Coalition Application, and Universal College Application. Princeton has a single-choice early action plan that can improve admissions chances for students who are sure the university is their top choice. The acceptance rate tends to be well over twice as high for early action applicants as it is for the regular applicant pool. Applying early is one way that you can demonstrate your interest in the university. Princeton also considers legacy status in the application review process.

Considering applying to this highly selective school? Here are the Princeton University Admissions statistics you should know, including average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Why Princeton University?

  • Location: Princeton, New Jersey
  • Campus Features: Princeton's 500-acre campus frequently ranks as one of the most beautiful campuses in the country with its stone towers and Gothic arches. Sitting on the edge of Lake Carnegie, Princeton is home to numerous flower gardens and tree-lined walks.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 5:1
  • Athletics: The Princeton Tigers compete at the NCAA Division I level.
  • Highlights: A member of the prestigious Ivy League, Princeton University has buildings dating to the eighteenth century, top-ranked academic programs, and a residential college system modeled after Oxford and Cambridge.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, Princeton University had an acceptance rate of 5.5%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 5 students were admitted, making Princeton's admissions process highly competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 35,370
Percent Admitted 5.5%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 69%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Princeton requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 68% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 710 770
Math 730 800
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of Princeton's admitted students fall within the top 7% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Princeton scored between 710 and 770, while 25% scored below 710 and 25% scored above 770. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 730 and 800, while 25% scored below 730 and 25% scored a perfect 800. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1570 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Princeton.

Requirements

Princeton does not require the SAT writing section but does require a graded written paper from each applicant. Note that Princeton participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates. While Princeton does not require SAT Subject tests, they are recommended, particularly for students interested in applying for a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Make sure to review the individual recommendations for your application.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Princeton requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 55% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 34 36
Math 30 35
Composite 32 35

This admissions data tells us that most of Princeton's admitted students fall within the top 3% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Princeton received a composite ACT score between 32 and 35, while 25% scored above 35 and 25% scored below 32.

Requirements

Note that Princeton does not superscore ACT results; your highest composite ACT score will be considered. Princeton does not require the ACT writing section but does require a graded written paper from each applicant.

GPA

In 2018, the average high school GPA for incoming Princeton University freshman was 3.90. All incoming first-year students at Princeton had GPAs ranging from 3.0 to 4.0, and the majority of admitted students had GPAs of 3.75 and above. These results suggest that most successful applicants to Princeton University have primarily A and B grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Princeton University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Princeton University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Princeton University. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Princeton University has a highly competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate and high average SAT/ACT scores. However, Princeton has a holistic admissions process involving other factors beyond your grades and test scores. A strong application essay and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule. Students with particularly compelling stories or achievements can still receive serious consideration even if their test scores are outside Princeton's average range.

In the graph above, the blue and green dots representing accepted students are concentrated in the upper right corner. Most students who got into Princeton had GPAs close to a 4.0, SAT scores (ERW+M) above 1300, and ACT composite scores above 28 (much higher scores are far more common). Also, realize that hidden beneath the blue and green in the upper right corner of the graph is a lot of red. Many students with a 4.0 GPA and extremely high standardized test scores get rejected from Princeton. For this reason, even strong students with high grades and test scores should consider Princeton a reach school.

All admissions data has been sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and Princeton University Undergraduate Admissions Office.