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?

You need to have perfect or near-perfect grades in all of your classes if you want to get into Princeton. Simply getting all As is not enough, however. Princeton also wants you to take courses of increasing difficulty throughout your high school years. The school recommends that students take advanced placement or international baccalaureate courses if they are available at your school. By taking these rigorous types of courses and scoring As in them, you can demonstrate to the school that you are prepared to handle the rigors of attending Princeton.

What SAT or ACT Scores Should I Have for Princeton?

Like your grades, Princeton also places great weight on your SAT or ACT scores. Princeton has no preference for the ACT or the SAT, but it requires that applicants take either the SAT with essay or the ACT with writing. You may feel free to take the tests as many times as you need to achieve your desired score, because Princeton allows you to use Score Choice—where you may choose to only submit your highest score if you take the tests multiple times.

It is important for you to choose the test with which you are more comfortable and to begin studying and preparing early so that you can receive the best scores possible. Princeton reports that the class of 2021 had SAT Math scores ranging from 700 at the 25th percentile to 780 at the 75th percentile. For the SAT evidence-based Reading and Writing test, the range of scores at the 25th and 75th percentiles was 680 to 760. The range of scores for the class on the ACT was 31 at the 25th percentile to 35 at the 75th percentile. In order for you to have a better chance of gaining admission, you should aim for a score closer to the 75th percentile.

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

Princeton does not require that you take SAT subject tests, but it does recommend them. Since the school recommends that you take SAT subject tests, you should treat it as a requirement. The school does not require that you take any specific tests unless you are intending to get your Bachelor of Science in engineering. If you are, then you should take either the chemistry or physics subject tests along with either SAT Math level one or two.

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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