Princeton University offers admission to 1,807

A record 16,516 applied for the class of 2009.

By: David Campbell
   Princeton University has offered admission to 1,807 students — slightly more than 10 percent of the 16,516 applicants the university received for the class of 2009 — the largest in its history.
   Acceptance letters were mailed March 31 to 1,214 students who applied through the regular-decision process. Another 593 students who applied through early decision were admitted in December. The university expects 1,220 students to enroll in the class of 2009.
   There were a record number of applicants for the incoming class. They represent more than a 20 percent increase from the 13,695 students who applied for admission to the class of 2008, Princeton said.
   According to Dean of Admission Janet Lavin Rapelye, the size and quality of the applicant pool exceeded expectations.
   "We were able to choose a group of students who have exceptional personal accomplishments, intellectual excellence and leadership skills for the class of 2009," the dean said. "One of the most difficult parts of this job is recognizing that we do not have places for all the qualified candidates."
   Fifty-four percent of students offered admission through early and regular decision are men and 46 percent are women. Forty-one percent are from minority backgrounds, up from 35 percent a year ago. Sons and daughters of alumni comprise 9.9 percent of the admitted students, the university said.
   Dean Rapelye attributed the rise in applications to Princeton’s unique financial-aid offerings, stepped-up recruitment efforts and the introduction of new Web-based application forms.
   About half of those admitted will receive financial aid under Princeton’s no-loan program. Beginning in the fall of 2001, the university began offering to qualifying students grants that do not need to be repaid. The reforms have helped broaden the economic diversity of Princeton’s student body, the university said.
   The university will begin its long-planned expansion of the undergraduate student body with an increase in the size of the freshman class this fall, phasing in its enrollment growth two years sooner — but more gradually — than earlier projected, Princeton announced last month.
   The university aims to increase the size of its enrolled undergraduate student body by about 11 percent — to about 5,200 by 2012.
   Princeton’s undergraduate enrollment at the start of the 2004-2005 academic year was 4,678 students. The undergraduate population was about 4,554 students in 2000, when growth plans first were announced.
   The planned increase in the undergraduate student body is the first significant increase since the advent of coeducation in 1969.
   Under a revised plan approved by the university trustees’ executive committee in February, Princeton will seek to enroll 1,226 students in the incoming classes this fall and in 2006. This will be about 28 more students than originally planned for those years, the university said.