The University has admitted a record-low 8.18 percent of the 26,247 applicants to the Class of 2014, making this year’s admission process the most selective in University history.
Only 2,148 students were offered admission, as the University experienced a 19.5 percent increase in applicants from the 21,963 students who applied for the Class of 2013.
The Class of 2012 held the previous record-low acceptance rate of 9.25 percent, and 9.79 percent of applicants were admitted to the Class of 2013.
The University placed 1,451 students on its wait list, though Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said in an interview that she expects only about half to choose to stay on the list.
Rapelye attributed this year’s record-low admission rate to the University’s more aggressive marketing strategies.
“We did more outreach through [the] College Board’s search program,” she said. “We also decreased the number of [required] SAT subject tests from three to two and allowed students to use College Board’s score choice.”
For the second consecutive year, the target size for this year’s class will be 1,300 students, the “steady state” the University has instituted after a five-year plan to increase class size.
“The expansion of the freshman class has allowed us to offer this splendid education to more students,” Rapelye said in a statement.
Students admitted to the Class of 2014, half of whom are male and half of whom are female, hail from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 64 countries. More than 9,280 applicants had GPAs of 4.0, while roughly 13,650 had a combined score of 2,100 or higher on the three sections of the SAT.
Of the accepted students, 9.4 percent self-identify as African-American, 21.5 percent as Asian American, 10 percent as Hispanic or Latino and 4.4 percent as multi-ethnic.
The University expects that roughly 60 percent of the class will receive need-based financial aid. The average grant is expected to be more than $36,000. To accommodate these needs, the scholarship budget will increase by 9 percent next year, from $103 million to $112 million.
“We’re mindful that many families are still struggling, even with the recent signs of economic recovery,” Rapelye said in a statement. “The fact that we can help support families and students in their aspirations for higher education with our financial aid program is something we value at the highest levels.”
Rapelye said that this year’s pool of B.S.E. students was “particularly strong.” Students planning to pursue B.S.E. degrees rose to 19 percent, up from 17 percent last year.
Also for the second year in a row, 20 students will be able to defer admission for a year to participate in the Bridge Year Program, a nine-month study abroad and community service program.
Acceptance letters were mailed on Thursday and were available online beginning at 5 p.m.
“We were pleasantly surprised with what an amazing pool we had this year,” Rapelye said. “We didn’t expect the pool to grow so much, but we had a really staggering volume of applications. This year’s class was large, deep, broad and strong.”
High school seniors admitted to the University said they were pleased to hear of their acceptances.
Bozhena Lisko, a senior at The Pingry School in Martinsville, N.J., said she was “very excited” about her acceptance to Princeton and “can’t wait to meet other admitted students.”
Lisko, who is currently deciding between Princeton, MIT and Dartmouth, said she was going to revisit all three before making her decision.
“I want to take a look at the student bodies and see which one fits with my personality,” she explained. But Lisko noted that she is drawn to Princeton by its “strong engineering program, the faculty and the chance to get published as an undergraduate.”
Like Lisko, Seth Zweifler, a senior at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pa., was “ecstatic” to hear of his acceptance.
“This was the end of a long, arduous process, and it was nice to see my accomplishments honored,” said Zweifler, who is interested in studying journalism and government.
After being waitlisted at his top choice, Columbia, Zweifler is currently considering Princeton, Penn and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
“In the end, it’ll come down to the quality of the academic program,” he said. “I need to be happy where I’m studying. And, to a lesser extent, social comfort is also important.”
The University’s admission results follow this year’s trend in decreasing admission rates at the nation’s most selective schools, which have admitted applicants at either a lower or constant rate. Harvard reported a 6.91 percent admit rate, down from 7 percent last year, while Stanford’s admission rate dropped from 7.5 to 7.2 percent. Yale retained a 7.5 percent admit rate.
Correction: Due to inaccurate information provided by the University, an earlier version of this article misstated the admission rate for the Class of 2013.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2010/04/02/25690/