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Looking for some tangible feedback on Princeton Financial Experience

DavidPuddyDavidPuddy Registered User Posts: 628 Member
This topic is relative to my S18. I am seeking some clarity based on experience that anyone may have with typical Financial Packages provided by Princeton.

This is not an admittance chance question, If he applies, we assume there to be a 0-7% chance he is accepted. He has decent stats but mediocre ECs, so we can assume closer to 0 than 7 I suppose. But this question is not about acceptance…

The literature they have sent seems to indicate they are aggressive with endowment grants, exceeding what would typically be generated from an Expected Family Contribution calculator. In other words, Most EFCs I have checked assume we can pay ~30K per year. (We can’t)

If I am reading the Princeton literature (They actually sent a pamphlet dated 2016 quoting Class of 2020 figures…) correctly, they meet Full Tuition up to a family income of $140,000 100% of the time. Between 140K-160K is actually a generous 96% tuition met, scaling similarly upward from there. Room & Board is estimated at $14,770. We can likely meet those figures.

So, would anyone like to comment on their personal experience relative to this scenario, either here or via direct message? Does your financial experience match what I have quoted? Thanks.

Edit: For what it is worth, Yale sent a similar communication but provided less granular detail. Is it also as aggressive as Princeton’s through the complete income scale range, not just “sub 65K”?

Replies to: Looking for some tangible feedback on Princeton Financial Experience

  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,751 Senior Member
    I can only tell you about MY family's situation. My S was admitted to 3 Ivy, 3 LAC and Duke to the Class of 2021. Of them all, Princeton not only offered the most generous FA package but there was a clear evidence that they really paid a close attention to our atypical financial situation and, to my surprise, even addressed it. No other schools have done that.

    Basically, without getting into any details, we had a very atypical financial situation in 2015 that placed our income way above our typical year. I noted that in the financial documents. Based on the FA documents I provided, Amherst gave us about $4,000 in grant; Pomona a bit better; Williams was more generous with 5 digit figure. The offers from other schools were laughable except Dartmouth and Princeton. Princeton even sent us a snail mailed letter stating that they'd recalculate the FA offer if we submit the 2016 income tax return. I was floored when I received the letter. Because my S is going to take a gap year, this became a moot point since we'll have to reapply for FA next year based on the 2016 financial data. My calculation for the following year's FA package, based on 2016 financial data we're going to submit, is most likely somewhere conservatively around $25,000 - $30,000. However, if what you say is true, namely, that "they meet Full Tuition up to a family income of $140,000 100% of the time," then we'd be only paying for the room and board. I sure hope you're right on this!!
  • DavidPuddyDavidPuddy Registered User Posts: 628 Member
    edited April 2017
    Thanks @TiggerDad

    Regarding this:
    However, if what you say is true, namely, that "they meet Full Tuition up to a family income of $140,000 100% of the time,"

    Let me clarify, that is what THEY say! I am trying to confirm if it is what they MEAN. :))

    In the material I received, there is a chart titled "Financial Aid for Students admitted to the class of 2020 (sic)". For example, according to this chart, 100% of students with an AGI between 120-140 qualified with an average grant of "$47,260" covering "Full tuition, 13% room+ board".

    I wish there were a convenient way to include the above mentioned chart in this thread....

  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,751 Senior Member
    Wow, it gets even better, "13% room + board"? Well, then, I'm with you in looking for some solid confirmations. :)
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 2,038 Senior Member
    I would recommend you do Princeton's NPC on the website. It's pretty accurate. I'm not sure if there is fine print in the literature you read but if there were it might say 'based on a family of so and so size with no appreciable financial assets".

    Of all the schools I checked NPCs and for all the 13 schools my D was accepted and received an FA package Princeton's was by far the best. UPenn surprisingly came in 2nd followed by Columbia/UChicago. Princeton was close to 15K better than our FAFSA EFC. I talked to a FA rep during admitted day last week just to verify some questions I had. I did pick up one small tidbit. The package for Freshman year the expected contribution of the student and his/her work study will be less than the next 3 years. They expect Sophomores and later to work more during the summer and on campus to the tune of approx $2K.
  • DavidPuddyDavidPuddy Registered User Posts: 628 Member
    I did a quick estimate a week ago on the Princeton NPC, and it matched fairly close to what I described above. In other words it shows we would pay roughly 15k, where as the typical EFC shows 30. It also matches what YOU describe, 15K better than FAFSA EFC would seem to predict.

    So, thank you @Dolemite you seem to be one confirming example. Any others?
  • college61728college61728 Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    Princeton (and Harvard) have without a doubt the most generous financial aid in the country. I'm going next year, and the total cost is around half of my FAFSA EFC.
  • CantigerCantiger Registered User Posts: 938 Member
    You can use the financial aid estimator Princeton provides:


    For us the estimate and the actual grant were nearly identical. This would not be the case in an extenuating circumstance as noted above, but for most families you will find it to be quite accurate provided that the information you put in is as well.
  • psywarpsywar Registered User Posts: 716 Member
    @DavidPuddy the Princeton FA estimator (linked above) was off by less than $1,000 for us. I think most people I have talked to have found it accurate. Rice's estimator was off by 10K! We went with Princeton because of the excelllent aid and undergraduate focus. Good luck, those ECs are critical at this level.
  • DavidPuddyDavidPuddy Registered User Posts: 628 Member
    Thanks for the feedback, folks. The "chart" and the NPC seem to match up fairly well. Add to that fact that your anecdotal responses indicate that they seem to hold up, is a decent confirmation.
  • CCMom16CCMom16 Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Princeton's online calculator was very accurate for us too. When I asked the Duke FA counselor if they would match the $22,000 gap between what they would cost us and what Princeton would cost, she told me that maybe in 100 years they would have the endowment that would enable them to be as generous as Princeton!
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 2,038 Senior Member
    @CCMom16 They did you a favor ;)
  • GoodGrief16GoodGrief16 Registered User Posts: 505 Member
    Princeton was very generous, taking into account large medical bills that we had for one of our daughters and some other factors.
  • sheflourishessheflourishes Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    Many confuse the "100% of demonstrated need". What you view as 100% and what they view as 100% are two completely different figures. If you are accurate in filling out the estimator it will be fairly close to what you can expect to receive.
  • 18Dylan1818Dylan18 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    I'm currently a student at Princeton. Based on Fafsa, the University of Florida thought my family could pay the full price essentially (or decided we should), Princeton is paying for almost everything (full tuition, room/board, there's like $5k per year we have to pay, but it's nothing compared the what the education is worth). My family makes about 100k per year, I have 3 siblings younger than I am, none of which are in college yet.
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