Princeton University Visit Report by Keilexandra
Visit to Princeton University in November 2009 by Keilexandra(Student, HS Class of 2010)
(Member since May 08 2008 with 5172 posts)
4 of 6 people found this visit report helpful
Campus Tour: Yes - See visit description.
Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
Appearance of Campus:
Overall Campus Impression:
Area Immediately Around Campus:
Campus Visit Notes for Princeton University
Spontaneously, my dad and I decided to visit Princeton one morning and within an hour, we were off. Too late for the weekend info session, we took a tour with a very nice Jewish girl from Florida.
Princeton's campus is beautiful and safe, the most hazardous aspect being New Jersey drivers. It was Fall Break, so not many students around; a surprising number were wearing Princeton spiritwear (the characteristic orange). Unfortunately, the tour didn't actually go into any buildings; our guide attempted to enter an administrative building but it was locked, and she merely pointed out her dorm room from the outside. Certainly the dormitories are far from ugly on the outside, but that speaks nothing for its interior condition and size--a disappointment. The campus is surprisingly compact--I've seen LACs with more spread-out buildings.
The rivalry with Yale and Harvard was emphasized--definitely lots of school spirit, moreso than residential college spirit like at Yale--and potential "worry spots" addressed like 15% of students studying abroad. According to the guide, this was inaccurate because most Princetonians study abroad in the summer or during a gap year; to my mind, it's perfectly accurate in reflecting a culture that, for better or worse, does not encourage studying abroad during the regular semester. One possible negative side effect of such a culture is the lack of financial aid. Princeton does fund a "Bridge Year Program," a free and application-only gap year for admitted students, currently enrolling 40 with plans to expand to 100 (but probably not in the near future, given endowment losses).
I was also disappointed at the tour guide's overview of the eating clubs. She called half of them "rush-like" but proceeded to assure us that Greek life was practically nonexistent--maybe because 75% of students join eating clubs. She also has some friends, as a senior, who have never eaten a meal with faculty in the exclusive faculty dining hall.
A final disappointment: the main library, Firestone, is OFF-LIMITS to the public. You can only go into the children's library or the special collections display without an ID. I have visited 25+ colleges and made a specific effort to see the libraries at every single one of them; this is the first time I've encountered such a policy.
Ultimately, I think Princeton is not for me, though I would happily recommend it to others.
Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:
Cafe food in the Frist Campus Center was adequate--decent quality but not much selection.
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
We used metered parking along Prospect, but on weekdays, Princeton recommends that you park in the lot literally furthest away from campus, then take a shuttle or a 15-minute walk.