right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We have identified a log in issue that is preventing some members from accessing the site. The support team is diligently working on resolving it. We hope to have an update soon. Read more here. Thanks for your understanding!

Does Princeton feel "elitist"?

luckymama64luckymama64 197 replies36 threads Junior Member
I mentioned recently to two separate people that my son is interested in applying to Princeton. He is my second child, first already is in college at a highly selective LAC. We pretty much know the drill and are extremely realistic and pragmatic. The response I got, separately, is that Princeton is extremely elitist--lots of really wealthy people. They made it sound like he would be ostracized b/c we don't have a jet. Is that an accurate depiction?
24 replies
· Reply · Share
«1

Replies to: Does Princeton feel "elitist"?

  • skieuropeskieurope 39806 replies7254 threads Super Moderator
    edited October 16
    I mentioned recently to two separate people
    Did either of these 2 actually attend Princeton, or were their comments based upon stereotypes?
    edited October 16
    · Reply · Share
  • luckymama64luckymama64 197 replies36 threads Junior Member
    One was a friend who lived in the area of the school and husband is from NE, and the other was from my brother's co-worker who has children at Brown and Dartmouth (would Princeton be much different than those?). My son plans on applying to the Creative Arts and Humanities Symposium next year--my daughter went and loved it. In retrospect, I can't remember why she didn't apply.
    · Reply · Share
  • fencingmomfencingmom 165 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @luckymama64 Princeton's suburban location, its architecture, and eating clubs all feed into the elitist stereotype. A resident of Princeton NJ and your brother's coworker, neither of whom have children at the school, can just keep their opinions to themselves. There are people across the wealth spectrum at all Ivys. If you look at the Princeton common data set you can see how many people apply for various aid. Surely, those families don't own jets.

    Good luck to your son!
    · Reply · Share
  • skieuropeskieurope 39806 replies7254 threads Super Moderator
    my brother's co-worker who has children at Brown and Dartmouth (would Princeton be much different than those?)
    OMG, yes. ANd Brown and Dartmouth are very different from each other And I won't tell you how. :)

    At the end of the day, your son does not need validation from your brother's coworker whose best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl .... He's old enough to add or subtract colleges from his list via his own research and (hopefully) visiting. Best of luck to him.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34837 replies394 threads Senior Member
    Lol, I knowit hardly needs to be said, but wealthy kids can be nice, too. And the jet would be parked at the airport.
    · Reply · Share
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1991 replies72 threads Senior Member
    That's an old stereotype. There are rich people, poor people and many other people falling somewhere in the middle at Princeton. My Asian-American son's now a sophomore at Princeton and a recipient of its generous FA (i.e., I'm not rich), and he's never once felt ostracized, disenfranchised, alienated or lonely. In fact, quite the opposite; he socialized a bit too much to my liking.

    Princeton has come a long way even from when Michelle Obama was a student not too long ago. Students, staff and faculty from all ethnic backgrounds are thriving on campus today. The days of "This Side of Paradise" and "The Great Gatsby" are over.
    · Reply · Share
  • luckymama64luckymama64 197 replies36 threads Junior Member
    I know he does not need "validation" but anecdotal information is useful, and, early in the process, I want him to steer towards places with a good fit. I should know from my older child's process that people are always eager to interject their two cents--and it might not be valid. However, being human, we are all prone to give it a "Hmmm."
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34837 replies394 threads Senior Member
    Yup, we give it a "Hmmm" and then go check for ourselves, one way or another. Just don't believe it because someone said it.
    · Reply · Share
  • luckymama64luckymama64 197 replies36 threads Junior Member
    @CU123, now that you point that out, I have seen that list before. My daughter goes to #3 and is happy as a clam--even as a middle income kid. That answers that.
    · Reply · Share
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1991 replies72 threads Senior Member
    What popped up in my newsfeed this morning: "Princeton receives national award for outstanding commitments to diversity and inclusion"

    "The 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award is given annually to U.S. colleges and universities by the magazine “INSIGHT Into Diversity.”

    The HEED Award recognizes a school’s comprehensive approach to recruiting, retaining and supporting a diverse range of students, faculty and staff. The award honors colleges and universities that support diversity in many forms, including gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.

    https://www.princeton.edu/news/2019/10/15/princeton-receives-national-award-outstanding-commitments-diversity-and-inclusion?fbclid=IwAR3fSzy3fi92ur-mnrlUIKa_w3rBS3YBe7gfkVkpxw6ZmbKvKQKv0Dglit4
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 8852 replies106 threads Senior Member
    edited October 17
    61% of undergrads at Princeton receive financial aid.

    Racial / Ethnic diversity at Princeton: 42% white, 21% Asian, 10% hispanic, 8% black, 5% multiracial, & 12% international.

    Compare to your other child's school Wash & Lee: 41% receive financial aid.

    W&L: 81% white, 4% Asian, 3% black, 5% hispanic, 4% multiracial & 4% international.

    So, in response to OP's question: "Does Princeton feel elitist ?" = Should not be with respect racial/ethnic/economic diversity, but might be with respect to intellectual abilities.
    edited October 17
    · Reply · Share
  • CU123CU123 3628 replies70 threads Senior Member
    The latest from your Princeton Dad..... :wink:
    · Reply · Share
  • 12345hopeful12345hopeful 1 replies0 threads New Member
    My older DS and DD attended Princeton and made wonderful friends and even met their future spouses there (They are both in their late 20/30's now). . I am sure there are some elitist people at most colleges but I can confirm the Princeton has some wonderful students.
    · Reply · Share
  • njfishermannjfisherman 43 replies14 threads Junior Member
    edited October 22
    We live nearby, also have a family member who works there and our daughter applied several years ago and was accepted. She decided to attend somewhere else, but has many friends at PU. My impression from the students I have come to know there are that it is not as WASPY and elitist as it was years ago. It has great diversity, especially economic diversity.

    As you would expect, it obviously is geared towards high achievers, so while not elitist in maybe the old sense, its students are highly focused.
    edited October 22
    · Reply · Share
  • politepersonpoliteperson 364 replies4 threads Member
    edited October 22
    I’d echo what’s been said so far. Sure, there are some extremely wealthy kids. But with the generous financial aid you’ll find a wide range of income groups and the culture isn’t really that elitist. I’d call it more serious and driven with fewer wealth-driven divides than some of the expensive privates with less generous financial aid. Plus, Princeton uses the wealth of the endowment not only for financial aid but also to fund a ton of opportunities for students. It’s really worth a visit. Culturally it’s closer to Stanford than to the stodgy reputation that might have been true several decades ago.
    edited October 22
    · Reply · Share
  • merc81merc81 10617 replies166 threads Senior Member
    It might be of interest that Princeton was the only Ivy to appear as a Top Ten school under The College of Your Choice in the bestseller The Official Preppy Handbook (1980). If you'd like to make a relative determination, then Princeton may endure as one of the more old-school destinations within the Ivy League. However, the key attributes that have made Princeton attractive for generations of students, such as a rigorous curriculum with an emphasis on undergraduate instruction, are not limited in their appeal to any particular group or class. Moreover, since the current Princeton, as a matter of institutional philosophy, supports inclusion, it may be progressing well beyond its traditional strengths.
    · Reply · Share
  • NCKrisNCKris 262 replies1 threads Junior Member
    There will be extremely wealthy kids at all the Ivies and LACs.
    But Princeton has the most generous FA among all schools, and there is a wide variety of income spectrum.
    Princeton has greater socio-economic diversity than Washington and Lee.
    Of course, with a school with less than 5% admit rate, this may be moot point.
    · Reply · Share
  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 293 replies9 threads Member
    CU123 wrote: »
    I'd look at the facts and try to make a decision from that. An elite LAC is more likely to have a higher percentage of wealthy students then Princeton. Here is a list of institutions with the highest percentage the of top 1% vs bottom 60% in income. (the first number under the institution is the percentage of the top 1% at that institution, the second number is the percentage of the bottom 60% at that institution. Princeton comes in at 21.

    1.
    Washington University in St. Louis
    21.7
    6.1
    2.
    Colorado College
    24.2
    10.5
    3.
    Washington and Lee University
    19.1
    8.4
    4.
    Colby College
    20.4
    11.1
    5.
    Trinity College (Conn.)
    26.2
    14.3
    6.
    Bucknell University
    20.4
    12.2
    7.
    Colgate University
    22.6
    13.6
    8.
    Kenyon College
    19.8
    12.2
    9.
    Middlebury College
    22.8
    14.2
    10.
    Tufts University
    18.6
    11.8
    21.
    Princeton University
    17.0
    13.6

    How could this list even be compiled? The top 1% doesn’t apply for fa so the schools don’t have financial info on those families.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheBigChefTheBigChef 603 replies5 threads Member
    I had the same question as one1ofeach. DS goes to #10 on that list. We didn't apply for FA thanks to some very generous grandparents. As far as I can tell, neither the school nor the people who compiled this lists would have any way of knowing if we were in the top 1% or bottom 60% (we're in neither).
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity