Beginning in Fall 2023, most families making up to $100,000 annually will be eligible to receive financial aid covering the entirety of the expenses to attend Princeton. The University announced the expansion of their financial aid program on Sept. 8, adding that the student contribution requirement of financial aid packages will be eliminated.
Previously, families making up to $65,000 were eligible to receive this amount of aid, but the new expansion is expected to allow over 25% of undergraduates to attend Princeton free of cost.
The expansion also acknowledged that many families making more than $100,000 will receive additional aid, “including those at higher income levels with multiple children in college.”
“A majority of the additional scholarship funding will benefit families earning less than $150,000,” the University’s announcement reads.
According to a graphic posted with the announcement, families making between $150,000 and $300,000 will receive between $11,000 and $15,500 more in aid.
The student contribution will also be eliminated for all students, which was previously set at $3,500. The allocation for the contribution is also being expanded to $4,050 “to provide more flexibility for students to cover course books and other miscellaneous expenses.”
In an interview with The Daily Princetonian, Dean of Admission Karen Richardson ’93 emphasized that the contribution “should not be a barrier for students to participate in other activities,” including study abroad, extra- and co-curriculars.
“Hopefully by eliminating the need to have that student contribution will allow students to think more broadly about how they might engage in their time at Princeton,” she said.
The expansion “will make it possible for the students with the highest financial need to bring two guests (typically family members) to campus for first year move-in and for senior year Commencement,” as part of “other enhancements” to the financial aid program, the announcement reads.
In a video address accompanying the announcement, University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 emphasized that this expansion will help to “ensure that talented students from all backgrounds” have access to a Princeton education.
Eisgruber thanked the generosity of “alumni and friends” of the University for making the expansion possible.
According to Princeton Alumni Weekly (PAW), the 2021–22 giving cycle was the most generous in Princeton’s history, with $81.8 million received from alumni.
Richardson told the ‘Prince’ that “tremendous returns from the endowment” are also responsible for this expansion. She pointed out that the University has made other changes in policies in recent history to “make a Princeton education accessible to more students,” including “the graduate stipend major increase” and “increasing the size of the [undergraduate] student body.”
Richardson said that she expects the process of applying for aid to become “more transparent” due to the Financial Aid Estimator, which provides “readily available information” about aid packages.
Dean of the College Jill Dolan emphasized the importance of this expansion for the future of the University in the announcement.
“Princeton’s generous financial aid program has transformed the socioeconomic diversity of our undergraduate student population, allowing more students from across backgrounds to learn from one another’s life experiences,” Dolan said.
Drew Somerville is a Head News Editor who has covered USG, University and COVID-related affairs. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @andr3wsom