Financial aid enhancements improve accessibility

Princeton NJ -- The University's improvements in financial aid over recent years are opening the door to a Princeton education for many students who might not otherwise consider it.

A record 50 percent of the new freshman class is receiving need-based financial aid from the University, according to Dean of Admission Fred Hargadon. That figure is up from 40 percent of freshmen in the fall of 2000 and 46 percent of freshmen in the fall of 2001.

Since 2000, the University has implemented a variety of measures to make a Princeton education more affordable, including replacing loans with grants that need not be repaid. (Princeton evaluates prospective students without knowledge of a family's financial circumstances.)

The 1,166 members of the class of 2006 continue to represent a diverse group, Hargadon said. A total of 31.7 percent are U.S. citizens from minority backgrounds and 9.7 percent are international students both similar to last year's figures.

Princeton received 14,521 applications from students at 5,610 secondary schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and 123 other countries. The University offered admission to 1,585 or 10.9 percent an all-time low admit rate. A total of 73.6 percent decided to enroll as members of the class of 2006 an all-time high yield rate. An additional 27 students accepted offers of admission, but are deferring their enrollment to the class of 2007.

In addition to the 50 percent who are receiving financial aid from Princeton, 30 percent are receiving non-Princeton aid, such as National Merit Scholarships, National Achievement Scholarships and ROTC Scholarships.

First-generation college students comprise 6.5 percent of the class, while alumni sons and daughters account for 11.1 percent.

The 608 men and 558 women of the freshman class come from 846 high schools in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 40 other countries. Four members of the class were home-educated. The largest reported senior class size was 1,028 and the smallest, at a public school, was eight. About 55 percent of the U.S. students come from public high schools.

The freshmen hail from places like: Etiwanda, Calif.; Zebulon, Ga.; Hana, Hawaii; Mishawaka, Ind.; Nachitoches, La.; Ijamsville, Md.; Hannibal, Mo.; Pascagoula, Miss.; Reedpoint, Mont.; Minot, N.D.; Secaucus, N.J.; Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.; Titusville, Pa.; Helotes, Texas; and Mukilteo, Wash.

They also come from places like: Victoria, Australia; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Sofia, Bulgaria; Quito, Ecuador; Cairo, Egypt; Achimota, Ghana; Pune, India; Netanya, Israel; Varese, Italy; Tokyo, Japan; Taegu, Korea; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Auckland, New Zealand; Guanzhou, China; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Caracas, Venezuela.

"They're a remarkable group of young men and women who have acquitted themselves exceptionally well both in school and in a variety of extracurricular pursuits," Hargadon said. "I'd give a lot to be a classmate of theirs."

Total undergraduate enrollment at the University this fall is expected to be just over 4,600.

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