All About Princeton By: Coach Kristine  

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As one of the coaches, I wanted to share my experience visiting Princeton University, located in the beautiful town of Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton is a friendly, safe campus with a train that can take you to either New York City or Philadelphia in an hour. It has the best of both worlds – the charm and security of a small town and easy access to the city.   Unlike most other Ivy League schools, Princeton focuses on undergraduates. In fact, independent research is a requirement for undergrads. Students must complete two research projects by the time they graduate. Princeton also offers small classes, giving students the opportunity to build personal relationships with their professors.   Princeton is a residential community fostering student interaction through residential colleges, preceptorial (study) groups, student-led organizations, and eating clubs. Students must live on campus the first two years, and many students are involved in so many activities on campus that they rarely want to leave.   The university doesn’t mandate a core curriculum, giving students more flexibility to pursue what interests them. It keeps a broad liberal arts focus and allows students to study areas unrelated to their major to fulfill their distribution requirements.   Princeton’s motto is "Princeton in the Nation's Service and in the Service of All Nations," and there are many opportunities to serve around campus. The PACE Center for Student Engagement seeks to engage students in serving throughout the community. Study Abroad and summer internships are also strongly encouraged.  

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Not only is Princeton dedicated to improving the lives of her students, but she is also in the process of improving her facilities in a move toward sustainability. Princeton’s campus includes five types of architecture, which adds interest to the serene landscape. The new Lewis Center for the Arts, a home for all creative arts, is scheduled to open in 2017.   With only a 7% admit rate, you might wonder what it takes to get accepted to this Ivy League school. According to the admissions officer I spoke to, Princeton is looking for a diverse community, not one particular type of student. Challenging yourself is key. They want to know that you are taking the most rigorous classes available and that you are stepping into leadership roles outside the classroom with either a well-rounded, broad focus or an in-depth focus in the area of your passion. High grades and test scores are essential. In the essay, they want you to be authentic and share what’s going on in your heart and mind, what makes you tick. Although subject tests are no longer required, they still highly recommend that each student takes 2 SAT subject tests. They also require at least 3 years of foreign language in high school.   I was pleasantly surprised by how approachable and friendly the students were. In my opinion, the ideal Princeton student is highly intelligent and authentic, loves research, wants a small liberal arts feel, enjoys exploring new subject areas, likes residential community, and appreciates diversity.   Another great thing about Princeton is that if you can get accepted to the school, then you don’t need to worry about finances. Although scholarships are not available, they are twice as generous as the FAFSA in calculating your family’s need, and they have a policy to meet that need without loans. About 86% of the students graduate debt free.   I highly recommend visiting the campus to ensure that you like the area and feel comfortable on campus. If you can’t visit the campus, you can research the website and contact one of their admissions officers. Contact your coaches to learn more about Princeton!     Photo links: