Princeton University is ranked #1 in National Universities by the U.S. News & World Report. Not only is it one of the best undergraduate schools in the country, but it is among the best higher learning institutions in the world!
Princeton admissions officers are looking for Early Action and Regular Decision candidates who demonstrate intellectual curiosity.
They want to see an academic background in English, mathematics, foreign language study, history, and laboratory sciences.
Admissions committees are impressed by students who not only sign up for multiple advanced-level courses, but also those who excel in these classes.
One of the most critical areas in the application for Early Action candidates is the Princeton Supplement.
This space affords applicants the most freedom to express their desire to attend Princeton, as well as the characteristics and achievements that may set them apart from their peers.
The Princeton Supplement asks several creative questions. One prompt asks students to choose a song that represents the soundtrack of their life at the moment and to elaborate on why.
The following sections will divulge more about the Princeton Supplement and other important application components.
Moreover, we’ll share important deadlines, decision windows, and acceptance rates for those applying to Princeton through the Early Action option.
If you’re determined to attend school at Princeton, applying Early Action is the way to go!
Princeton Early Action Acceptance Rate
Princeton University’s Early Action acceptance rate is 14.7%.
While obviously selective, the Early Action acceptance rate is significantly less competitive than the overall acceptance rate of 6%.
Only 1,647 students were admitted during the Princeton admission cycle for 2021-2022 out of nearly 40,000 applications.
The vast majority of these students enrolled.
Early Action and Regular Decision applicants boast impressive GPAs and standardized test scores.
The middle 50% of admitted Princeton students scored between 1450-1570 on the SAT and 32-35 on the ACT.
The Office of Admissions places significant weight on a student’s GPA and class rank, if available.
Princeton’s Early Action option has not always been in place.
For the 2021-2022 admission cycle, Princeton reinstated the Single Choice Early Action option.
Prior to that moment, Princeton had been the only Ivy League institution to cancel its Early Action or Early Decision option in the previous year (due to the pandemic).
For that cycle, Princeton’s peer Ivy League universities witnessed substantial increases in the number of applications they received.
Interested students should know that Princeton’s Single Choice Early Action program is nonbinding.
This means they are not obligated to enroll at Princeton should they be accepted. There are, however, stipulations.
Applicants may not apply to an early program at any other private institution, though they may apply early to nonbinding public institutions.
They are also permitted to apply to any institutions with a non-binding rolling admissions policy.
Princeton Early Action Decision Date
Princeton University’s Single Choice Early Action program applicants will receive an admission decision in mid-December.
Recall that the offer is non-binding.
Accepted students have more than four months to decide on the university they choose to attend. If admitted, Early Action applicants have until May 1 to confirm their enrollment.
Applying as an Early Action candidate means you will receive one of three decisions in your letter from the Office of Admissions: admit, deny, or defer.
We’ll talk more about deferral in one of the following sections, as that’s an area where many students have questions.
Deciding to enroll in Princeton is a big deal. Some of the world’s most influential leaders, innovators, and creative thinkers earned degrees from Princeton.
United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, author Toni Morrison, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos are just a few of Princeton’s elite alumni. Princeton also has, among its graduates, several Nobel Prize laureates in physics, chemistry, and economics, among other categories.
If you have been admitted or deferred as an Early Action candidate, now is the time to give strong consideration to the financial realities of attending Princeton.
Unsurprisingly, such a highly-ranked university has exorbitant tuition costs.
That being said, Princeton is committed to covering 100% of student costs of attendance for those who demonstrate a financial need. The school was the first university in the United States to eliminate loans from its financial aid package.
Princeton Early Action Deadline
Princeton’s Single-Choice Early Action application deadline is November 1.
Early Action candidates should have submitted the online application, supplement, graded written paper, school reports, transcripts, and letters of recommendation by this time.
The Princeton financial aid application is due November 9.
Once you have turned in your application materials, it is essential to continue striving for your best academic performance throughout the remainder of your senior year.
Know that you’ll be competing in a pool of nearly 5,000 Early Action candidates.
Because they’re Early Action candidates, that generally means they are clear on their intent to attend Princeton and eager to convince the admissions committee of the value they might add to Princeton’s campus.
Incoming applications have only slightly diminished within the past few years: Compared to the 4,998 Early Action candidates for Princeton’s class of 2024, 5,335 applied Early Action for the class of 2023.
The year before that, a whopping 5,402 Early Action candidates applied for admission to the class of 2022. The test-optional policy is likely a factor that continues to influence how many applications it receives.
As previously mentioned, financial aid is often an important factor in choosing whether to attend college.
Meeting financial aid deadlines means submitting forms like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile.
Princeton Early Action Deferral Rate
According to Princeton’s 2021-2022 Common Data Set, the school offered 1,265 students a place on the waiting list. 1,000 of those students accepted a spot, and only 150 were admitted.
The university intentionally refrains from sharing application statistics regarding Early Action deferrals, accepted student demographics, average SAT and GPAs, etc.
Princeton is not going to release the same set of statistics for Regular Decision applicants, either.
The university hopes that this will reduce applicants’ anxiety. Other Ivy League universities have adopted this policy, such as Stanford and Cornell.
These schools have shared that they simply aren’t interested in building their narrative as super competitive schools to get into and that they ultimately wish to empower students.
Princeton accepted a historic low of 1,498 students from a pool of 37,601 total candidates. That highly selective acceptance rate of 3.98% was a noticeable drop from the 5.6% acceptance rate of the previous year.
If a student’s application is deferred, that means it is strong enough to remain in the applicant pool, but perhaps the admissions committee needs additional evidence that a candidate can thrive at Princeton.
This may be where a Final School Report comes into play, and justifies why it is crucial to stay on top of one’s grades throughout the entire senior year.
Deferred Early Action applications get reviewed in the Regular Decision cycle, and candidates should hear back from admissions by mid-December.
How to Apply to Princeton University for Early Action
Applying to Princeton as an Early Action or Regular Decision candidate involves multiple steps. First, applicants should submit the Common Application along with the Princeton Supplement and fee or fee waiver).
Princeton is unique because they also request a Graded Written Paper, preferably within an advanced-level junior or senior history or English class.
Early Action candidates must submit several items on their behalf: official transcript(s), a School Report, a counselor recommendation, two teacher recommendations, and a Midyear School Report.
The two teachers should also have instructed the applicant in a core subject like science, math, social studies, or English. Ideally, the courses they taught you were advanced-level, like AP or IB courses.
Early Action applicants must invite their guidance counselor to complete the School Report and counselor recommendation.
These items are typically used to interpret the rigor of a high school’s curriculum and academic environment. Midyear School Reports may be shared once first semester grades are finalized.
Princeton University remains testing-optional. Early Action candidates are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores, though many choose to share them. Applicants whose native language is not English will need to take the TOEFL.
There are several optional components that an Early Action candidate can complete based on the program they’re interested in applying to.
Students pursuing a degree in architecture, music, dance, theater, creative writing, or the visual arts may submit an Arts Supplement.
From time to time, Princeton will offer alumni interviews. If extended this invitation, we highly suggest accepting it! Such an opportunity can help make you stand out from the crowd of thousands of applicants.