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University admits SCEA applicants, again refrains from releasing admissions statistics

<h6>Angel Kuo / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
Angel Kuo / The Daily Princetonian

On Thursday, Dec. 15, Princeton admitted single-choice early action (SCEA) round applicants to the Class of 2027. Consistent with the University’s decision last spring to refrain from releasing applicant statistics for the Class of 2026 and beyond, the University did not release its acceptance rate.  

In a guest op-ed in The Daily Princetonian in April, the University Dean of Admission Karen Richardson ’93 explained why the University chose to take this step.

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“Neither prospective students nor the University benefit from the admission process being boiled down in headlines to a single statistic like the admission rate,” Richardson wrote.

Peer institutions within the Ivy League, such as Yale and Harvard, have continued to announce the statistics and demographic data, including for their Class of 2027 early-accepted applicants. The SCEA acceptance rate at Yale was 10 percent and seven percent at Harvard

The University offers an SCEA program, giving applicants who have decided that Princeton is their first choice to apply earlier than Regular Decision applicants. If a student applies SCEA, they are not allowed to apply to any private college or university in the United States via early action or early decision — but unlike Early Decision (ED), they are not bound to attend Princeton if they are accepted.

The University also admits students via the QuestBridge National College Match, a program that provides “high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to top colleges.”

Consistent with its policy, the University did not announce how many students were accepted through the program. In the 2021 admissions cycle, the University accepted 110 students through QuestBridge. 

In an interview with the ‘Prince,’ Yan Zhen Zhu ’27, a first-generation, low-income student from New York who was accepted through SCEA last Thursday, described her motions the moment she found out about her acceptance. 

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“There was a lot of buildup and it was really intensive. I was checking my Apple Watch, and I think my heartbeat went to 139 at the peak,” she said. “I just clicked on it, and there’s a tiger. I was like, oh my God, I got in, and I started crying.”

Zhu said she felt that “believing that you’re good enough for a school you’re applying to” was one of the important things to remember during the application process. She went on to describe how her background impacted her application process to highly competitive schools like Princeton. 

“Speaking from a first-generation, low-income perspective, I don’t really have role models to look up to when it comes to Ivies,” she emphasized.

Anthony Pleitez-Rivas ’27, a high school senior from Georgia who has been admitted to the Class of 2027, said he looks forward to meeting his future classmates.

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“I’m more excited to meet people there; I heard people like to help each other and uplift each other,” he said. “For me, that was really important.”

Zhu also expressed excitement about the possibilities that Princeton courses and faculty can offer.

“In terms of things I’m really looking forward to, just meeting certain professors, like the English Department’s Anne Anlin Cheng,” she mentioned.

Both Zhu and Pleitez-Rivas said they were attracted to the University’s campus environment. Pleitez-Rivas described it as “such a beautiful campus.”

In addition to the QuestBridge and EA round accepted applicants, the Regular Decision round decisions will come out this coming spring. Historically, Regular Decision admits have comprised the majority of each class.

Jackie Zhou is a news staff contributor for the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]thedailyprincetonian.com.

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