How to apply to Princeton University?
1) Start very early. If you are leaving the preparation to a mere one year in advance, you are doing it wrong. Most admitted candidates will spend a minimum of two years working on their overall profile and the application. It is not uncommon for successful admitted candidates to start 3 or even 4 years in advance which means starting when you are just 14.
2) Register and complete the SAT Reasoning (or the ACT) and SAT Subject Tests. If you are applying from a country where English is not an official language, you may also have to sit TOEFL – the English language exam. Both SAT exams are not straightforward and take time to master. A perfect score helps but won’t get you in on its own. Remember that if you are doing the SAT, you should always include the optional written component. Similarly, while Princeton only asks for 2 SAT Subject Tests, many admitted candidates will have completed 3 or even more.
3) Register and complete the CommonApp. This is a centralised portal through which you can apply to all of your US university choices, including Princeton. CommonApp requires you to complete a number of essays and it is best to start early. Essay questions are released each year on the 1st of August. The deadline for Early Action is 1st November.
4) Once you have applied, be sure to continue communicating with the Admissions’ Office and to provide them with regular updates.
Robby, a former student at Princeton says: “Princeton is a lot of work. You never have a spare minute to rest and that’s what I love about it. The experience has transformed my life and I can highly recommend applying here”
Quick Princeton Admissions Statistics
|Princeton SAT scores (average composite score of admitted students)||1500 out of 1600|
|Princeton ACT scores (average composite score of admitted students)||33 out of 36|
|Princeton GPA (average of admitted students)||3.9 out of 4.0|
|Princeton acceptance Rate||5.7% (Class of 2023)|
So as you can see, getting into Princeton is far from a cake-walk! But if academics are your jam, you just might stand a chance. This is a great overview of everything you need to know about getting into Princeton (which includes information about the class of 2021), but let’s take a look at each of the critical pieces of your Princeton application.
More About Princeton SAT Scores
As noted above, the average composite SAT score of students admitted to Princeton is 1520 out of 1600, which is a remarkably high average.
As far as the percentiles go:
- The 25the percentile for Princeton SAT scores is 1430
- The 75th percentile for Princeton SAT scores is 1570
Okay, but what does this actually mean? Well, it means that if you score at or below a 1430, you’ll be below average compared to students admitted to Princeton. On the other hand, if you score a 1570 (a nearly perfect score!) or higher, you’ll be above average compared to other applicants.
In terms of the individual subjects on the SAT, here’s how the percentiles shake out:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
Or, if you prefer to think of it this way, here are the percentages of students who were admitted (to the class of 2021) with various composite SAT scores:
|SAT Scores||Percent Accepted|
So the gist is that you’re going to need a very high SAT score alongside other impressive aspects of your application–because only 8% of students are admitted!
As far as submitting your SAT scores to Princeton, you may be happy to know that Princeton has a “highest scores” policy, sometimes also referred to as “superscoring.” With this system, you can choose which tests you send to Princeton, and the admissions readers will consider only the highest scores across all testing dates.
More About Princeton ACT Scores
As mentioned above, the average composite ACT score at Princeton is a whopping 33.
As far as percentiles:
- The 25th percentile for Princeton ACT scores is 31
- The 75th percentile for Princeton ACT scores is 35
This means that a composite score of 31 will put you below average, while a composite score of 35 will put you above average compared to other students admitted to Princeton.
So for the best chance at getting in, we recommend taking the ACT as many times as possible to crack at least a 35.
And to give you a sense of how many students are actually admitted within specific score ranges:
|ACT Scores||Percent Accepted|
So again, even high scores on the ACT alone won’t guarantee you entrance to Princeton; they’re only part of the equation.