How to Get into Princeton

To get into Princeton, you must have a terrific GPA, high scores on the ACT or SAT and a record of your participation in extracurricular activities in which you have demonstrated your leadership abilities. You will also need to write a great personal statement and several additional short essays that are thoughtful and show your exceptional writing ability. Princeton is an Ivy League school that is located in Princeton, New Jersey. It is well known for the quality of its faculty, great research and terrific students. Princeton graduates are among the world’s leading scholars and industry leaders. The school also has a great alumni network, which is one of the best in the world.

Princeton Facts

Motto: Dei Sub Numine Viget (Under God’s Power She Flourishes)
Established: 1746
School Type: Private
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Athletics: Ivy League
Nickname: Tigers

What Grades Do I Need to Get into Princeton?

If you want to get into Princeton, you should work to earn the highest grades possible while taking the most rigorous courses available at your high school. According to the College Board, 91% of admitted students had unweighted GPAs of 3.75 and above, and just 6% had unweighted GPAs of 3.50 to 3.75. Princeton does not include GPA data on its website for the enrolled Class of 2026 and won’t release statistics on the enrolled Class of 2027 until later this summer.

What SAT or ACT Scores Should I Have for Princeton?

For the second consecutive year, Princeton opted not to release admissions statistics for admitted applicants for the Class of 2027 but instead will publish data for enrolled freshmen later in the summer.

For the Class of 2026, Princeton reports the enrolled freshmen earned the following SAT and ACT scores at the 25th and 75th percentiles:

  • SAT-Math – 760 at the 25th percentile
  • SAT-Math – 800 at the 75th percentile
  • SAT-EBRW – 730 at the 25th percentile
  • SAT-EBRW – 780 at the 75th percentile
  • ACT Composite – 33 at the 25th percentile
  • ACT Composite – 35 at the 75th percentile

This indicates that you should aim to achieve the highest possible score on the ACT or SAT. Princeton does not have a preference for one test versus the other.

Test-Optional Information

Like other Ivy League schools, Princeton adopted a temporary test-optional policy because of the pandemic. The school states that as it continues to assess the impact of the pandemic, it has decided to extend the test-optional policy for applicants for admission through the Class of 2030.

This means that you do not have to submit SAT or ACT scores, and Princeton states that applicants who choose not to do so will not be placed at a disadvantage. If you do submit scores, they will be considered as one part of your application. While test scores are optional, achieving and submitting high SAT or ACT scores could provide additional, positive information about your qualifications.

Which SAT Subject Tests Should I Take to Get into Princeton?

The College Board discontinued subject tests in 2021, and Princeton does not require them. If you sat for subject tests before January or June of 2021, you can choose to submit them but will not be required to do so.

What Type of Extracurricular Activities Does Princeton Like?

Princeton is not looking for applicants who have signed up for a flurry of extracurricular activities. Instead, it prefers to see that you have remained involved in a single activity or genre of activities with demonstrated leadership during all four years of high school. According to Janet Rapelye, the dean of admissions at Princeton, the school looks for students who have demonstrated their commitment to one activity or to several. When you are choosing your extracurricular activities, it is important that you focus on those that you love and try to secure leadership positions in them.

What Should I Write About in My Personal Statement to Get into Princeton?

Your essays are some of the most important parts of your Princeton application and can make the difference between your application receiving further consideration or being tossed in the decline pile. There is no formula for how to write your essays. In general, Princeton is not wanting to see a resume in your personal statement. Instead, the essays are used to evaluate your writing abilities and your depth of thought. Try to write about an event that shaped who you are or a topic about which you are passionate. Write multiple drafts and ask for feedback from your teachers, counselors or parents. You should make certain that your essays contain absolutely no errors and that they are written in your authentic voice. Your essays offer you the opportunity to show your personality so that the admissions officers can picture you on the campus of Princeton.

Getting into Princeton is extremely difficult. For the class of 2021, the school admitted 1,991 students out of a pool of 31,056 applicants. This was an admission rate of just 6.4 percent. While it is hard to get into Princeton, Going Ivy students have been accepted. It will take hard work and dedication. If you also have the right help, you may improve your chances of getting into Princeton.

A leading college preparation and admissions consulting firm, Going Ivy has assisted countless students with getting accepted to Princeton as well as other highly selective schools. To find out more about whether Going Ivy might help you, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.




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