The University received a record number of undergraduate applications for the fourth year in a row, with 20,118 students applying for admission to the Class of 2012.
"In a transition year when we changed to a single application deadline, we have increased the number of applications and the quality of our pool, which exceeded our expectations," Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said in a statement.
This year's figure marks a 6 percent increase over last year's 18,942 applicants for the Class of 2011 and a 22 percent increase from the number of applicants for the Class of 2009.
This year is the first round of applications since the University ended its early admissions program in September 2006. In the past, those admitted in the early admissions process, who would commit to enrolling at the University, would make up about half the incoming classes.
Similarly, Harvard received a record 27,000 applicants in its first year without early action, according to The Harvard Crimson. This is an 18 percent increase from its applicant pool for the class of 2011.
Rapelye said that the increase in applicants was evenly distributed across all geographic areas. The proportion of female applicants increased, however, bucking the trend of previous years in which slightly fewer women applied than men.
The target size of Princeton's Class of 2012 is 1,240 to 1,250 students, but it is unclear how many students the University will admit in late March. Last year, 68 percent of admitted students decided to enroll, down from the 69.2 percent enrollment yield for the Class of 2010.
Rapelye acknowledged last November that her office plans to be conservative in the number of students it admits in the first round of acceptances in late March. The office plans to draw heavily from the wait list, which should lead to a decrease in the overall admit rate and an increase in yield.
According to the press release, Rapelye attributes this year's high admissions numbers to "increased recruitment efforts." This fall, Rapelye embarked on a national tour with Harvard Dean of Admissions William Fitzsimmons and University of Virginia Dean of Admission John Blackburn. Both Harvard and the University of Virginia ended their early admissions programs last year in an effort to recruit students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
In addition, the number of students who applied online increased from 87 percent last year to 95 percent in the latest round of applications.
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