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Five takeaways from the Frosh Survey

Tunnel with lights with bicycles scattered around in them.  There is light at the end of the title.
Ryland Graham / The Daily Princetonian

The Daily Princetonian broke down the data on the Class of 2027 across the categories of lifestyle, demographics, academics, and views. Here are five takeaways.

A plurality of legacy students have an unfavorable opinion of legacy admissions.


After the Supreme Court overturned affirmative action earlier this year, there have been conversations nationwide about legacy admissions and recruited athletes.

Only about 12 percent of the Class of 2027 has a favorable opinion of legacy admissions, with almost two-thirds of the class saying they have a somewhat unfavorable or strongly unfavorable view of legacy admissions. The trend is more pronounced among non-legacy students, but even legacy students aren’t overwhelmingly in favor: only a quarter of legacy students have a favorable opinion of legacy admissions.

On the other hand, the Class of 2027 was fairly neutral on recruited athletes, with nearly 70 percent of survey respondents saying that recruited athletes should neither increase nor decrease. 

Most of the Class of 2027 had a favorable or neutral opinion on affirmative action, with less than a quarter reporting an unfavorable one. 

This year’s first-year class expects to go into a career “in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” Last year’s graduating class did too — but at a significantly lower rate. 

Princeton’s official unofficial motto is “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” More than 70 percent of incoming frosh report that they aspire to go into a career that fits the motto. 


By contrast, only 60% of the Class of 2023 said that their immediate post-grad plans fit the motto. It is unclear whether this is a difference between the two classes, or whether students become turned away from the motto during their time at the university. 

The majority of the first-years also said their career aspirations included “to make money.” The average income immediately after graduation for the Class of 2023 was $89,000 — over $30,000 higher than the average post-grad salary nationally. 

More students than ever are on full-financial aid. 

Last fall, Princeton announced an overhaul of its financial aid program, stating that most families earning up to $100,000 in household income will not pay tuition, room or board at the university. 

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Perhaps as a direct result of this, this year more students than ever are on full financial aid — almost 30% of this years class, as opposed to 18% of the Class of 2026. An additional 30% of students are on no financial aid.

The median American household income is just over $70,000, meaning that the majority of American households would likely receive full financial aid if their kids were to attend Princeton.

A majority of students on partial financial aid said they were responsible for some of the personal costs of attending Princeton, such as meal plans, tuition, etc. 

Almost 90 percent of incoming first-years have traveled outside their home country, compared to 71 percent of American adults. 

Princeton provides opportunities for international travel through the International Internships Program, summer language programs, as well as some spring and fall break trips.

But the vast majority of first-years have already been out of their home country before. At 90 percent, this number is starkly higher than American adults. 

Of course, Princeton’s data includes the 15.3 percent of first-years who are international students.

Princeton students were given smartphones later in life than the average American child.

By the age of 10, 16.55 percent of incoming members of the Class of 2027 had been given their first smartphones. According to a Common Sense Media report from 2021, 42 percent of children have smartphones by the age of 10. 

Nearly a quarter of first year students spend four hours on their phone everyday. 48.8 percent spend five hours or more on their phone everyday.

Laura Robertson is the Explainers editor for the ‘Prince.’

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