Princeton University FAQ

Questions about the College Match Process

What do QuestBridge Finalists need to submit in order to apply through the College Match or through Regular Decision?

Even though your QuestBridge application will be forwarded, Princeton still requires you to fill out the online Coalition Application with the Princeton Supplement, the Common Application and Princeton Writing Supplement, or the Universal College Application with the Princeton Supplement. The following materials should be submitted online, or as appropriate may be sent directly to the Admission Office in hard copy. Princeton requires these materials from College Match applicants as well as non-participating QuestBridge Finalists and Non-Finalists who choose to apply.

  • Coalition Application with the Princeton Supplement, the Common Application and Princeton Writing Supplement, or the Universal College Application with the Princeton Supplement (you may use your QuestBridge essays as your Coalition/Common/Universal College Application essays by copying and pasting the essays into the respective application)
  • School Report from high school counselor
  • Two Teacher Evaluation letters (from teachers in academic subjects)
  • Official high school transcript
  • Official scores for the old SAT, the new SAT with Essay or the ACT with Writing
  • Princeton recommends, but does not require, official scores for two SAT Subject Tests. There is no preference for the specific SAT Subject Tests applicants might choose to take. However, if you apply for the B.S.E. (engineering) degree, it is recommend that you take mathematics (Level I or II) and either physics or chemistry.
  • Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA) along with a signed copy your family’s 2016 federal income tax forms (with all schedules, attachments, W-2s, and other earnings statements). Please see our tips for submitting the online PFAA page.
  • Mid-Year Report from high school counselor with Mid-Year Transcript (The Mid-Year Report and Mid-Year Transcript are due by mid-February)

Apply to Princeton online using the Coalition Application, the Common Application, or the Universal College Application. Find the Princeton Financial Aid Application.

What are your deadlines?

To be considered in the College Match process, QuestBridge Finalists need to submit the online Coalition Application with the Princeton Supplement, the Common Application and Princeton Writing Supplement, or the Universal College Application with the Princeton Supplement, along with supporting documents, directly to Princeton's admission office by Nov. 1. Princeton Financial Aid Application is also due Nov. 1.

Princeton strongly recommends that those interested in applying Regular Decision submit their portion of the application to Princeton by Dec. 15, with the final deadline being Jan. 1. Princeton recommends that you submit your Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA) by Feb. 1. If you are applying for financial aid, you will also need to send a signed copy your family's 2016 federal income tax forms (with all schedules, attachments, W-2s, and other earnings statements). Please see our tips for submitting the online PFAA page.

How do I get a fee waiver?

All QuestBridge Finalists automatically qualify for a fee waiver.

If completing the Coalition Application or the Common Application, on the Princeton Writing Supplement please select “QuestBridge” in response to “Do you intend to use one of these school-specific fee waivers?” You do not need to submit additional paperwork.

If using the Universal College Application, within the Princeton Supplement, please select “QuestBridge fee waiver” in response to the statement “If payment of the application fee would present a financial hardship for your family, you may submit a fee waiver in place of payment. If you plan to submit a fee waiver, please select the type below.” You do not need to submit additional paperwork.

If you were not named a QuestBridge Finalist and are applying to Princeton through the general process, you may request a fee waiver one of two ways:

  • 1) Select the fee waiver option on the Coalition Application, Common Application or the Universal College Application. Your college or guidance counselor must approve your fee waiver request online or submit your fee waiver form by mail or fax.
  • OR
  • 2) Select one of the following fee waiver options on the Princeton Supplement: Princeton-specific, ACT, College Board, NACAC or Realize Your College Potential. All low-income students are eligible for the Princeton-specific fee waiver. If you use the Princeton-specific fee waiver, you do not need to get approval from your college counselor.

How will I know if you received all my materials?

For students who submit their online Coalition Application with the Princeton Supplement, the Common Application and Princeton Writing Supplement, or the Universal College Application with the Princeton Supplement by Nov. 1, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your Coalition/Common/Universal Application. Within the email there will be a link that allows you to check whether Princeton has received all of your required application materials.

When are QuestBridge Finalists notified if they were admitted to Princeton through the College Match?

College Match applicants will learn if they matched with an institution on Dec. 1. You will receive an email from QuestBridge.

Students who match with Princeton will receive a follow-up email from Princeton. Non-matched students will not receive notification from Princeton. Princeton will not be able to release decisions by phone. Please communicate directly with QuestBridge to find out if you matched with a school. All students who submitted the required materials and are not matched with Princeton or a binding institution will automatically be considered in Princeton's Regular Decision process. These students will be notified of decisions along with all other Regular Decision applicants. Princeton will send decision at the end of March.

What standardized tests do I need to take?

Princeton requires all applicants to take either the SAT with Essay or the ACT with Writing. Princeton will also accept the old SAT for students who sat for it. Princeton recommends, but does not require, that students take two SAT Subject Tests. For those interested in the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree, Princeton recommends a Subject Test in mathematics (level I or II) and a Subject Test in chemistry or physics.

The SAT October testing date and the ACT September date are the latest dates for consideration in the College Match process. Regular Decision applicants should take the SAT with Essay by the January test date or take the ACT with Writing by the December date. Learn more about standardized testing for admission. Scores should be sent from the testing agencies directly to the Admission Office. Princeton's College Board number for the SAT is 2672, and their ACT college code is 2588.

If you attend a secondary school where English is not the primary language of instruction, and if English is not the primary language spoken in your home, you are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic) or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), in addition to the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing. Students who have attended an English-medium secondary school for at least three years are not required to submit TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic results.

Do you require interviews?

Interviews at Princeton are recommended but not required and are conducted by alumni volunteers. It is unlikely that College Match applicants will be interviewed in November. If you are not matched, and if there are enough volunteers in your area, you will be contacted for an interview in the Regular Decision process.

You do not need to contact Princeton to arrange an interview. Once you submit your official application, one of our alumni volunteers will contact you in the winter months to arrange an interview. Princeton's dedicated alumni work hard to interview most applicants in their regions between January and March. The interview is meant to be mutually beneficial, as it can be a way for you to learn more about Princeton and it's a way for Princeton to learn more about you. Princeton does not have alumni in every region of the country. Students who are unable to interview are at no disadvantage in the admission process. Those students who are not matched will automatically be considered in Regular Decision, and then be interviewed, if possible. Princeton does not offer on-campus interviews, and visiting campus is not required for admission.

Can I send in additional materials, such as an arts supplement?

Yes. If you've excelled in architecture, creative writing, dance, music, theater or visual arts, and would like Princeton to consider your talent, refer to their website under “Optional Application Components.” Applicants can also find the specific department instructions for the arts supplement on the paper form of the Optional Arts Supplement on that page. Please note that you can only submit your online arts supplement after Princeton has received the Coalition Application, Common Application, or the Universal College Application. For Regular Decision candidates the arts supplement must be submitted by Jan. 6. Princeton will not be able to review the arts supplements in time for College Match decisions.

Can I send in more than two letters of recommendation?

Yes. While two letters of recommendation are required, students may choose to send in an optional reference. The optional reference may come from anyone who knows you well and can give additional information about you. The two required teacher recommendations must come from teachers in core academic subjects. It is not necessary to send an optional reference.

If I am admitted to Princeton University, what can I expect for financial assistance? I know that other schools offer a four-year, full-ride scholarship.

Princeton's financial aid is need based, and they meet 100 percent of a student's demonstrated need. Financial aid packages are made up of grants and a small work-study component. Students are not required to take out loans. Princeton's Early Estimator will give you a better sense of what your financial aid package would look like at Princeton.

Students must submit the Princeton Financial Aid Application. For students applying for the College Match, it is due Nov. 1. For those applying Regular Decision, it is due Feb. 1. In line with federal policy, students must reapply for financial aid each year, and family resources will be reviewed to determine financial need. The University will continue to meet your demonstrated need in your subsequent years. Individual awards may vary from year to year because of changes to the parents' and student contributions.

Please note: Princeton offers students admitted in the Match process and students admitted Regular Decision the same financial aid packages. All awards are need-based and do not require students to take out loans.

May I apply Early Decision to Princeton as well as try for the College Match?

No, Early Decision is not offered at Princeton. All College Match applicants are considered Regular Decision candidates to the University. While Princeton offers Single-Choice Early Action, all College Match candidates must apply to Princeton selecting Regular Decision. In addition, College Match applicants are not eligible for the Single-Choice Early Action process. All students not matched with Princeton or a binding institution, and who completed Princeton's application requirements, will be fully considered during the Regular Decision process. Final decisions will be available at the end of March.

Do I have a better chance of being admitted if I apply through the College Match?

No. Princeton applies the same rigorous selection criteria in the College Match process as they do in Regular Decision.

May international students apply to Princeton through QuestBridge's College Match?

Yes.

If I am not selected as a QuestBridge Finalist, may I still apply for the College Match?

No. The College Match is only for QuestBridge Finalists. QuestBridge announces its Finalists on Oct. 19. Princeton does not participate in QuestBridge's selection of Finalists. Please contact QuestBridge directly if you have questions with regard to their selection process.

How many students will be matched at Princeton?

Princeton does not have a set number they plan to admit and much depends on the applicant pool itself. In the past Princeton has admitted a small number of students through College Match with the majority of QuestBridge admits coming in Regular Decision. Students admitted in the Match process and students admitted Regular Decision receive the same financial aid packages. Princeton has a remarkable financial aid program. They are committed to need-based financial aid and fulfilling 100 percent of a student's demonstrated need.

For those who match with Princeton, is the decision binding?

While we hope that Princeton will be your school of choice, students who are matched to Princeton are still allowed to apply to other schools Regular Decision.

Do you offer a fly-in program or a special visit program for QuestBridge students?

Yes, Princeton offers a fly-in program for admitted QuestBridge College Match students in April. However, Princeton does not offer a fall visitation program nor do they host overnight visits for prospective students. If students are able, they are welcome to visit the campus for a free information session and tour. Students are not penalized in the admission process if they are unable to visit campus. Click here for tour and information session schedules. You may also find the online virtual tour of interest. 

How do I contact QuestBridge?

QuestBridge can be reached at 1-888-275-2054 or 1-650-331-3280, or via email at questions@questbridge.org.
Questions about the status of your QuestBridge application and the College Match process should be directed to QuestBridge.

 

Regular Decision Process for Non-Matched Finalists

I am a QuestBridge Finalist, but I wasn't matched to Princeton. I am still interested in the University. May I apply Regular Decision?

If you ranked Princeton on your rankings form and submitted the Coalition Application with the Princeton Supplement, the Common Application and Princeton Writing Supplement, or the Universal College Application with the Princeton Supplement, Princeton will automatically roll you into our Regular Decision pool and consider you for admission. You must submit the Coalition/Common/Universal application with the Princeton Supplement to activate your Regular Decision candidacy. Princeton will not review students who only submit QuestBridge applications.

If you no longer wish to be considered by Princeton, you must send a signed letter or email stating that you wish to withdraw your application. Note: Princeton cannot consider students who are matched with a binding institution.

I didn't get matched with Princeton, is there an appeal process?

No. If you were not selected in the College Match process, your application will be given full consideration in the Regular Decision pool. All QuestBridge Finalists who complete Princeton’s application requirements still remain viable candidates for admission to the University.

What materials do Regular Decision applicants need to send to Princeton?

Princeton requires all students submit the Coalition Application with the Princeton Supplement, the Common Application and Princeton Writing Supplement, or the Universal College Application with the Princeton Supplement in addition to the QuestBridge application. This is due Jan. 1, and Princeton highly recommends that students submit their portion by Dec. 15. If you already submitted the Coalition Application with the Princeton Supplement, the Common Application and Princeton Writing Supplement, or the Universal College Application with the Princeton Supplement during the College Match process you do not need to resubmit it.

To receive financial aid, you must submit the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA). The PFAA will be available online on Oct. 1. Princeton recommends you submit the PFAA by Jan. 15. Feb. 1 is the final deadline. General information about Princeton's financial aid can be downloaded here. Also you do not need to have the College Scholarship Service PROFILE (CSS PROFILE) sent to Princeton. However, if you file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), please make sure to release the information to Princeton. The Princeton Financial Aid Application can be filled out online.

All applicants should have their SAT with Essay or their ACT with Writing scores sent directly to Princeton from the testing agency. If you took the old SAT, Princeton will also accept those scores and they should be sent directly from the College Board. In addition, Princeton recommends, but does not require, that students take two SAT Subject Tests. For Regular Decision consideration, students should take SAT tests by the January test date or take the ACT with Writing by the December date. Princeton's SAT college code is 2672, and their ACT college code is 2588. Learn more about standardized testing for admission.

Please have your School Report, two letters of recommendation from teachers in core academic subjects, and your official high school transcript submitted directly to the Office of Admission. They should be submitted to Princeton online. If necessary, paper copies may be sent to:
Office of Admission 
Princeton University
P.O. Box 430
Princeton, NJ 08542-0430

I really needed the scholarship that the College Match program provided. How good is Princeton's Regular Decision financial aid?

Princeton offers remarkable financial aid, as they meet 100% of demonstrated need regardless of whether a student applies through the College Match process or Regular Decision. Princeton awards aid only on the basis of financial need, and offers no merit, athletic or special talent scholarships. In addition to their generous aid packages that meet demonstrated need, Princeton does not require students to take out loans. As a result, you can graduate from Princeton without debt. Check out their Early Estimator website to see what a financial aid package might look like for you. Once enrolled at Princeton, all financial aid recipients reapply for aid every year. The University will continue to meet your demonstrated need in your subsequent years. For additional information, please review Princeton's general financial aid information on QuestBridge's website.

When are QuestBridge students notified if they were admitted to Princeton in the Regular Decision process?

You will be notified along with all other Regular Decision applicants. Students receive notification in late March.

In addition, once you have submitted either your Coalition Application with Princeton Supplement, Common Application with the Princeton Writing Supplement, or the Universal College Application with the Princeton Supplement, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your Coalition/Common/Universal Application. Within the email there will be a link to verify whether Princeton has received all of your required application materials.