Ranked as the fourth-oldest higher education institution in the United States, Princeton University, a member of the prestigious Ivy League, is one of the world’s most elite universities. Its history dates back to 1746, when it was initially known as the College of New Jersey. It later acquired its current name in 1896 and has grown to become one of the most successful U.S. universities. At present, Princeton is home to over 5,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students and has five colleges and schools.

Every year, thousands of students are vying for a seat at one of the Ivy League institutions in the U.S. Prospective students prepare for their academic portfolios, school records, certifications, and other accomplishments they have achieved over their years of schooling. The primary goal is to stand out among other candidates to impress the admission committee and be chosen as one of the worthy students to get a place at the university because Princeton, as we know, is notorious for being highly selective.

In this article, we will give a comprehensive step-by-step guide and tips to get your chances to be admitted to Princeton University.

Admissions Process at Princeton University

Although it’s known how challenging it can be to get into Princeton University, there will always be a chance for every aspiring applicant, especially those who believe in their talents and future success. Each year, Princeton awaits new, bright, and talented students to shed light on new academic ideas and discoveries with their contribution to its campus.

Below is a list of the steps to get into Princeton for those considering their application and for students who aspire to experience the highest quality of education.

Step 1. Follow the Application Checklist

Whether applying for an undergraduate or graduate program, all applicants are strongly advised to read the application checklist carefully to make sure they are on the right track with their application.

The undergraduate application checklist can be found on the university’s official website, whereas interested graduate applicants must create an account here for the graduate application checklist.

Step 2. Pay the Application Fee

Like most universities, Princeton charges a non-refundable application fee of $75 for both undergraduate and graduate students. However, students from low-income brackets can benefit from the fee waiver option. For more details about the fee waiver, please visit Princeton’s official page.

Step 3. Prepare your Documents

Documentations may vary depending on the program they have applied for. Undergraduate applicants must submit the Princeton Supplement to complete their application. As for graduate applicants, there is a field-based admission requirements page on the university’s official website for reference.

You can complete the application process for undergraduate and graduate admissions entirely online, so there is no need to worry about obtaining the documents printed and submitting them via postal mail. Online application portals open around mid-August, and all applicants must submit their documents, portfolios, recommendation letters, and other requirements by January 1st.

However, it is essential to remember that deadlines and required documents may vary depending on the program applied for. For graduate program deadlines, check Princeton’s graduate admission web page.

Step 4. Submit Additional Reports / Examinations

To be accepted into one of the best U.S. universities, students need to take several examinations to be eligible. In undergraduate studies, university entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT are not part of the entry requirements, but applicants can submit their exam scores if they want to. For graduate admissions, the GRE may or may not be required to be submitted. It will depend on the chosen program, so make sure you read the program requirements carefully.

Applicants whose native language is not English are obliged to submit their TOEFL, IELTS Academic, or PTE Academic score to Princeton during the application period unless they received a minimum of three years of education in a school whose medium is English.

Step 5. Apply for the Financial Aid Opportunity and Respond to the Admission Offer

Once everything is submitted, applicants can apply for the financial aid program with their Princeton University portal accounts. The application for the period of financial assistance starts around February 1st for all applicants, yet for earlier or later applications, please refer to the program applied.

They usually announce the admission results in April, and successful applicants are required to submit their final decision by May 1st in response to the university’s offer.

Tips to Get Into Princeton University

Getting admitted to Princeton is definitely not easy; even the most talented applicants with the highest GPAs or test scores will need some tips to navigate a smooth admission process and become one of Princeton’s privileged students. To build your confidence, here are some tricks to help you stand out among thousands of applicants aspiring to enter Princeton University.

Tip 1. Portray Your Leadership Skills

During the application process, applicants can give verbal and/or written opportunities to state their academic intentions for pursuing a degree at Princeton. Therefore, aspiring applicants must use this chance to prove they are socially responsible, passionate, and creative students.

Leadership skills are one of the best social skills to tell about a personality, so it is crucial to portray any leadership activities the applicant has experienced, whether related to the program applied for or not.

Tip 2. Support Your Application with Additional Tests or Portfolios

As previously stated in the article, standardized test scores are usually optional. However, if the applicant has an admirably good score in any academic examination, it would be wise to submit them, as this will be considered solid proof of the applicant’s skills and passion for pursuing education.

Once again, any achievement that has the potential to make one application stand out above others should be considered for a university with such a low acceptance rate.

Tip 3. Be Engaged in Extracurricular Activities

Princeton University directly advises applicants to prove various academic or non-academic activities they have participated in until their application. It is because they are looking for students who can use the university’s different resources and contribute to the Princeton community at their best. It encourages students to focus not merely on academic achievements but also on their commitments to society and how they can make a difference as students.

FAQs: Studying at Princeton University

What is the Acceptance Rate Of Princeton University?

As one of the most elite universities in the world, Princeton is complicated to get into, with an acceptance rate of only 4%. This is equal to merely 1 out of 20 applicants who can succeed in getting a place at the university.

In exchange, Princeton offers high-quality education, research, and facility services to every student and alum. Moreover, Princeton is also known for being one of the top universities, with graduates earning the highest incomes.


Admissions to Princeton can be challenging and laborious, but once enrolled, students receive much more. What makes the university prestigious is its students’ success and the high standards of teaching and research it offers. Despite the hardships and difficulties students may encounter, with dedication, successful applicants can benefit from all the merits of Princeton during and after their education at the university.


For aspiring students who want to get into Princeton or any Ivy League institution, you can visit our USA Scholarships Page and Available Programs in the USA for International Students for more information about the different scholarship and program opportunities in the country!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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