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U. offers admission to 5.5 percent of students in most selective year yet

At 7 p.m. tonight, the University will admit 1,142 new students to the Class of 2022, who along with the 799 students admitted during Single Choice Early Action will comprise the new accepted class. Overall, the University admitted 1,941 students out of an applicant pool of 35,370, representing a 5.5 percent acceptance rate.

“The Admissions Committee was extremely impressed with the academic quality of all the candidates [for admission], especially those who were admitted,” Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said. 


The applicant pool included 14,273 students who had high school GPAs of 4.0, and 17,692 — 50 percent of the total applicant pool — had combined SAT scores of 1400 or higher out of a possible 1600.

This year was the first year where an overwhelming majority of students who submitted SAT test scores took the new SAT. Princeton considers all sections of the SAT and ACT tests, including the writing component, in the admissions process.

“We’ve continued to ask for the writing section of the SAT and the ACT, because writing is so important to the success of students on campus,” Rapelye said. “We do use that section of the test results. We will go in to look at the actual essay on a student’s test.”

Forty-eight states, plus D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were represented in this year’s cohort of accepted applicants. New Jersey, California, and New York were the top three states by raw number of applicants accepted, a figure which has been stable over recent years. Seventy-seven countries were also represented in the admitted class, including Rwanda, Estonia, Bahrain, Mauritius, and Serbia.

“The committee is keenly aware of students who have endured hardship, whether due to weather or family circumstances. Some students in the path of the devastating [Puerto Rican] hurricane wrote about it, and we were able to learn of their experiences through their applications,” Rapelye said.

Of the admitted class, 24.8 percent of students expressed intent to enter the B.S.E. program. Of those, 48.3 percent were women.


“Certainly, [the number of women interested in the B.S.E. program] is a significant increase from several years ago,” Rapelye said.

Seventeen percent of students admitted will be the first in their families to attend college, and 11.2 percent of admitted students are of legacy status. At Princeton, “legacy” is defined to be students who are the children or stepchildren of alumni. Recruited athletes make up 11.6 percent of the admitted class. 

A slightly larger percentage than normal — 64.5 percent of total admits — attended public schools.

The target size for the Class of 2022 is 1,296 students, and 1,125 students were placed on the wait list. Last year, 101 students were accepted from the wait list, and over the past five years anywhere from 18 to 101 students have been taken from the wait list.

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The number of wait-listed students accepted will depend on the number of students admitted through SCEA and regular decision who accept Princeton’s offer of admission by May 1. This figure, called yield, has averaged about 66 percent over the past five years. For the Class of 2021, the yield after drawing from the wait list was 65.5 percent.

“Predicting the yield is like predicting the stock market,” Rapelye said.

In addition to the regular decision applicants who will hear back from the University for the first time, students deferred in the SCEA round will receive decisions. Normally, slightly more than 100 students are accepted from the deferred student cohort, a trend which held this year.

The applicant pool this year, the largest in U. history, was 14 percent larger than last year.

“[That growth] exceeded our expectations,” Rapelye said. “Our outreach to low income backgrounds, students who may be working with community-based organizations, and to schools we haven’t had applicants from before may have contributed. Our financial aid process is generous, and, we believe, second to none.” However, Rapelye underscored the impossibility of pinpointing a reason for growth in the pool.

“It was a privilege to read these applications,” Rapelye said. “Because we’re a residential campus, we are limited only by bed space. We wish we could have taken more students, but even students we were not able to include will be successful at other colleges and universities.”

Students admitted have the option to attend one of two Princeton Preview sessions, either on April 9–10 or April 16–17.

“We very much look forward to seeing [admitted students] on campus in April,” Rapelye said. “We also hope our current students will be willing to be hosts for these students.”