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Class of 2020: Who they are and where they come from

1,312 students have joined the Class of 2020 out of arecord-breaking29,303 applicants, comprising 4.5 percent of the past year’s applicant pool.


The Class of 2020 includes 40 students who had deferred admission from previous years and 227 recruited athletes.

There are fewer international students in the Class of 2020 than in the Class of 2019; 12 percent of the Class of 2020 hails from foreign countries, compared to 13.4 percent in the Class of 2019. In all, 153 international students from 49 different countries enrolled in the Class of 2020, compared to 177 students from 51 countries in the Class of 2019.

Diana Sandoval Siman '20, who hails from El Salvador, said that she feels extremely fortunate to be attending the University.

"It’s an extraordinary opportunity to be part of a world-famous institution such as Princeton, especially coming from a country that wouldn’t offer me such an opportunity,” she said.

Students from the United States predominantly come from California, New Jersey, and New York. 200 members of the Class of 2020 are from New Jersey, while 156 are from New York and 129 are from California. No students hail from Wyoming or South Dakota, and only 1 student comes from North Dakota.

785 or 59.8 percent students were admitted from public schools, while 219 or 16.7 percent attended an independent day school. One student was home-schooled, and two were accepted from the military. Of the high schools that survey respondents attended, an average of eight students matriculated into the Ivy League.


The Class of 2020 also includes a broad racial makeup, with 20 percent of the class identifying as Asian, nine percent as Hispanic, eight percent as African-American, and less than one percent as American Indian.

94.5 percent of the students in the Class of 2020 ranked in the top 10 percent of their graduating high school class. 51 percent of the Class of 2020 are male while 49 percent are female. Legacy students, or students that are the children of alumni, account for 14.5 percent of the class, which is an increase from last year's 10 percent.

According to the 278 responses —21.1 percent of all students in the Class of 2020—to The Daily Princetonian's "Class of 2020: By the Numbers, but Beyond the Numbers" survey,first-year students applied to an average of eight colleges and universities during their senior year and were accepted to an average of 5 percent. 75 percent of students indicated that the University was their first choice. 90 percent of those surveyed indicated that they would not be taking a gap year. 19.8 percent indicated that they are interested in attending medical school after Princeton, nine percent wanted to go to law school, and 13 percent wanted to go to business school.

Those surveyed also ranked themselves on a scale of 1 to 5, from most liberal to most conservative, and they averaged 2.5.

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16.5 percent of students reported their family household income bracket for the 2015 tax year to be below $41,000, 19 percent of students reported it to be $41,000 to $61,000, 18.4 percent reported it to be $200,000 to $400,000,, and 7.6 percent reported it to be above $500,000.

The survey also asked students to indicate their interest in various extracurricular activities. 20.5 percent of students indicated they are interested in athletics, 17 percent expressed interest in science research, 14 percent selected music, 9.3 percent indicated speech, and 5.8 percent community service.

Satchel Joseph '20 said the University will help her fulfill her aspirations of studying mechanical and aerospace engineering and learning to build cars that are more sustainable for the environment.

"It’s a very prestigious school and I think that will help me in the long run, when I’m trying to find a job,” she added.

9.7 percent responded that they intend to major in the Wilson School, 8.3 percent in computer science, 7.9 percent in chemical and biological engineering, 6.8 percent in molecular biology, 6.8 percent in economics, 6.5 percent in operations research and financial engineering, and 4 percent in physics. 4.7 percent indicated that they are undecided. 93.6 percent of those surveyed indicated an interest in pursuing one or more certificates.

81.7 percent said English was their first language. On average, those surveyed spoke between one and two languages, and 21 percent identified as first-generation college students. Students reported an average of five AP scores and 2.5 SAT II Subject Tests on their college applications.

12 percent of students indicated that they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer, and 0.7 percent indicated that they do not identify with their sex assigned at birth.

Siman said that she is most excited to be surrounded by people of all different cultures and backgrounds.

"I’m excited to learn from a diverse group of people here at Princeton. Everyone has a different story to tell and I think I couldn’t find that anywhere else,” she added.

Joseph noted that she looks forward to venturing outside her comfort zone and starting to see the world in a whole different way.