How Hard Is It to Get Into Princeton?


Princeton University is one of the oldest and most competitive universities in the US. It was founded in 1746, is a member of the Ivy League and has high standards and demands for every one of the candidates.

Chances of getting into Princeton are really low. In July 2018 the admission rate was a bit above 5%, making Princeton one of the most difficult-to-enter universities in the world. Moreover, every year the number of applicants is growing, so it is becoming even more and more selective.

That is why if you want to enter Princeton University and its next freshman class, you need to do your best to show that you are worth candidacy and that you stand out from the rest. It is not enough to have excellent grades (most of the applicants also have them): you need to show your strengths, unique features and enough motivation for the future.

However, nothing is impossible and if you truly want to get into Princeton, you need to make a clear plan of action and to start preparing in advance. Everything is in your hands and we hope that our article will help you!

Princeton Early Action

How to get into Princeton university? This question disturbs students all over the world. Unfortunately, not many of them get accepted even though they devote all their time and energy to the process.

However, there are a few loopholes, which can simplify the process. One of them is a single-choice action program. This means that if you are admitted, you need to notify the university whether you will attend it or not until the first of May.

You need to apply to Princeton by November 1 and you are restricted to apply to other early programs of private universities and colleges. Although you have a chance to enter early programs of other schools in the following cases:

  • You can apply to public institutions or academies if it is a non-binding decision;
  • You can apply early to international educational institutions if the decision is also non-binding;
  • You have a chance to apply early to other universities and colleges, which have a non-binding admission process.

This means that the early program is mostly for those, who dream about Princeton and make it their first choice. However, there are no statistical advantages of such a program, so if you are considering different options, it is better to wait several months to apply to all the colleges or universities you want.

Princeton ACT requirements and other scores

Getting into Princeton requires excellent scores. That is why you need to know their requirements to understand what skills you need to improve and what gaps to fill. Let’s start with the ACT requirements.

The average ACT score for entering Princeton is around 33. If to translate it into percentiles:

  • 25th percentile for ACT scores is 32;
  • 75th percentile – 35.

What does it mean? It means that if your composite score is 32, your result will be below average (you will have fewer chances of being accepted), while with a score of 35 your chances are becoming higher and your results will be above average.

That is why it is important to pass the ACT test as many times as possible to get at least 35. This will significantly increase your chances of being accepted.

Now let us talk about the SAT exam. The majority of students, who are accepted to Princeton is above 1500. The average SAT score is 1520. Impressive, isn’t it?

Even though Princeton doesn’t seem to have a strict cutoff considering SAT results, the information speaks for itself: only 5% of students, who had their SAT score below 1400, managed to enter the university. Moreover, only 1% of students got an invitation with an SAT score of less than 1300.

This means that if you want to increase your chances of being accepted, your test scores should be great. Luckily, it is not as difficult as it seems! Even if your result is below 1500 you need to make a step-by-step plan of action, to buy proper preparation materials and just study. With enough time left, you will easily improve your skills and will find it quite easy to get the necessary score.

Now, when we have already discussed ACT and SAT scores, let us pay attention to the average GPA. As you probably understand, it should also be high if you want to get a place at Princeton University.

The average GPA of Princeton applicants is 3.9. This means that you need to have only As in every class. Moreover, you will need to have and wealth of Honors, AP or IB classes to show that you will be able to succeed in college courses. Remember, that every school weights GPA differently, so more challenging and difficult classes will improve your GPA and you will have better chances of being accepted.

Do you feel anxiety approaching? Don’t worry, if you are considering Princeton, more likely you have enough time left, so just stick to the plan and study hard. It will surely pay off!

Useful information and Princeton early decision

Princeton prepscholar process is quite challenging. You need to keep in mind a variety of features and to work on all fronts: to improve your test scores and transcripts, to follow standards of the application and so on. There is a checklist on the university’s website, where you can get familiar with all elements of the admission process.

However, today we would like to tell you about the key features of the application, which may greatly contribute to your success:

  • Your letters of recommendation should be really powerful. There should be three of them: one from the school counselor and two from teachers (in different academic fields). Choose these teachers wisely, because they can highlight your potential and drive, motivation and character, interests and other important features that are not quantitative. Considering that most of the applicants will also have excellent scores, letters of recommendation play an important part in the selection process;
  • Even though SAT subject tests are not compulsory, it is still highly advisable to complete them and to show the admission board that you are skilled in the chosen subject;
  • In case you are skilled in such areas as creative writing, architecture, music, dance, visual arts or theater, you can submit the optional arts form. This will help you to stand out from the rest and such skills will be taken into account when deciding whether to accept you.

Before submitting your application, make sure you follow all of the requirements and demands. Visit Princeton website, print out the requirements or write them down: there are many underwater stones and small details, which may greatly influence the result. Be attentive, take your time and always believe in yourself!

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Tips on getting to Princeton engineering programs or other schools

While сhances of getting into Princeton are quite low, it is still possible to get to the university of your dreams! If you want to become a Princeton student and to achieve the highest results, stick to the following tips:

  • Make your academic record flawless

If you want to enter Princeton, the first and the most important thing you should do is to polish your grades: they must be perfect! In case you were too busy with your personal life or other matters and didn’t pay proper attention to your grades and test scores, you will most likely fail.

It is impossible to make up for several years of neglecting studies simply by devoting more time to education during the senior year. To enter Princeton you will need to have a record of serious achievements and motivation during years and years of studies.

Promise yourself to get a 4.0 GPA. Avoid too common and general classes and stick to the more complex ones, because they will increase your GPA faster. Also, decide which test to take and create a preparation plan.

Make sure you work on every section of the application process and take additional tasks if they are required by the admission checklist. Try to use every opportunity to stand out from other candidates, because for the admission committee you are only a virtual student on paper and it is really difficult to choose the best of the best!

  • Work on your essays hard!

Essays at Princeton (and any other college or university) are really important. That is why you need to pay proper attention to it and devote much time to every stage: thinking about the topic, writing and revising the final draft.

The biggest mistake of most of the students is thinking what the committee would want to see. Be yourself and stick to your ideas and beliefs. The admission board will read thousands of essays, so they won’t pay attention to cliché works: make your voice heard!

Winning essays are those which are original, sincere and honest. Use this chance to show them who the person behind excellent scores is. Tell about your experience, background, ideas, and motivation. Explain how you can contribute to Princeton and what you are planning to achieve with its help.

Don’t be afraid of your dreams and make sure that the committee hears your voice and not the voice of common phrases and generic sentences.

  • Find your ‘thing’

It is sometimes called a ‘spike’ and means something that helps you to stand out from others. It is a thing that not many students have.

When working on your application, you may experience the temptation of seeming interesting and equally good in everything. However, it seems unnatural and sounds boring!

Your essay simply won’t stand out from thousands of others if you are ‘good enough’ at music, history, writing, and sports at the same time. It will only stand out if you have spent a year traveling across Asia to teach English or if you have participated in the world chess championship. Find that one thing that distinguishes you from the rest and stick to it, explaining how that spike helped you to be who you are and how it can influence your success in Princeton.

Even if you can’t think of something unique and outstanding, you can always find examples from your regular life, when you acted completely different from the rest and how these actions shaped you.

Remember, when you split time on everything at once, you will hardly succeed. Try to focus on a single thing instead and you will see that your essay becomes powerful and unique.


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