Princeton Class of 2025 -- Regular Decision

Mine had no help whatsoever. I was shown the apps the other day to read (because decisions were taking so long it was driving the kids mad) and I noticed a few small typos.

But I don’t know…it’s just that they told such a clear story when read one after another. They covered all the unique parts of her life succinctly. I rated the Yale, Duke, and Princeton tops. My daughter thought she had no chance with Duke or Princeton, but a possible with Yale and got the direct opposite. Likely from Duke, acceptance from Princeton, “sorry” from Yale.

These aren’t bad results considering she didn’t have any completed in enough time for any early action anywhere. With RD as tight as it shaped up to be she went from confident to worried big time.

I don’t care if you were a valedictorian with the strongest stats and the best essays ever-- this was a tough year. And submitting everything so late? She is thankful.

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What are your stats? Also did you apply for financial aid?

yes - i applied for financial aid and got 100% of need met.

ACT - 33
IB Diploma predicted grades:

  • Physics HL, 7
  • Maths HL, 7
  • English Lit HL, 7
  • Psychology HL, 7
  • Economics SL, 7
  • Spanish SL, 7
  • Core, 3

My extracurriculars were mostly just things that I’ve been involved in for several years, like being a bursary student at a private music academy, volunteering for an online mental health charity, working at a charity shop, being part of a youth board, forming a high school community board, etc.

My son read and followed the steps in this book. We did not hire an editor – he’s a very strong writer and had already taken a couple of writing courses through the local community college. I did proofread and offer feedback in terms of what I thought was superfluous or redundant, but the essays were totally his and in his own voice. In case the URL doesn’t work the name of the book is “Conquering the College Admissions Essay in 10 Steps”, the 3rd edition


hi can someone post screenshot of what Princeton waitlist offer looks like?

Yes! It is extremely affordable for my family. We couldn’t be more grateful


So was my son! Rejected from Yale and Brown. Only one kid in his school that we’ve heard of got into any ivy. Brutal year here. They all have other good options though.

I am sorry that Princeton chose to effectively, not intentionally but with knowledge of the result, punish the high school class of 2021 by reducing the number of slots for them, accommodating the class of 2020’s gap year requests (a significant portion from the recruited athletes at coaches requests). It seems to have been unique in doing this compared to other schools. Of course there are reasons such as interfering with freshman housing (a similar situation for Harvard too) but it just seems to punish a class that has already been punished by the remote learning their senior years, difficulty on extracurricular, testing, etc. I would have expected Princeton to be more compassionate, and work something out.


Princeton is just cold-blooded; they don’t really care much about the applicants.

I wouldn’t say that.

My belief is they did what they thought was best for their community, but only defined community as those already at or admitted to Princeton, and not this years applicants. I just believe that was very narrow sighted and could be perceived as basically breaking a social contract. ( This may have been planned in advance, and explain why there was no SCEA round this year. ) I also think the university made the problem worse by having their employees, the coaches, ask or encourage their recruits to take a gap year. I know of several such requests.

Nobody was “punished.” I presume that you applied, weren’t accepted, and are disappointed. That disappointment is understandable. And I get that students in the high school class of 2021 had a tough year (my niece is one of them). But that doesn’t mean that any university owed those students anything, or that not taking heroic steps to please those students constitutes a violation of some sort of social contract.

Keep in mind that literally 99% (I did the math) of the students who were rejected this year by Princeton would have had the same result even if the university had accepted the usual 1,800 students (instead of the 1,500 it accepted this year).

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Your presumption is incorrect.

I think it was unfortunate of Princeton to have taken the action they did, which other schools did not. I am not suggesting they “owed” anyone anything but rather they took an unfortunate set of actions for undoubtedly valid reasons. The effect is to have negatively impacted 200 or 300 applicants. If I was an applicant on the wait list I would, probably rightfully, feel that I had lost that opportunity.

Institutions like these need to think of a broader community. If Harvard, Yale and Stanford could do it, so could they. I similarly criticized USC last year for not allowing any gap years and rescinding admissions offers to those that took one. There has to be a middle ground that allowed both years of applicants and the school to share the unfortunate circumstances.

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Remember though, unlike HYS, those students from C24 who deferred were not guaranteed to join C25. Not saying that what Princeton did was right. Only that I am not surprised.

There are probably many factors that Princeton used to make their decision, they are smaller than other ivies so can’t compare. They guarantee housing for 4 years, students can’t live off-campus so they can’t easily increase enrollment. A few years ago more students accepted their admission than planned and Princeton had to relocate the entire human resources dept. off campus and convert offices into dorms to make room for addt’l students. Princeton keeps students interest into account, if they had a large class of 2025 it would negatively affect those students over the 4 years (increase class size, higher student/faculty ratio and student/advisor ratio, more competition for getting spots on travel/research opportunities/clubs…

Princeton did the right thing by approving all gap years requests last year and not forcing students to start college online/living at home. Other ivies had students on campus in the Fall, other ivies didn’t approve all gap year requests.

It was a more competitive year at all top schools this year. I suppose 2021 grads can take a gap year and reapply if they truly think they’ll have a better chance next year.

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I took risks with my essays. I didn’t have anyone read them before I submitted (which probably isn’t the best idea, but I was confident in my abilities and I wanted them to be genuine and not sound overdone). I was just myself, and wrote about things that were easy for me to write about.

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Did Princeton fill up all the gap year slots in 2024 by taking several hundred more off the waitlist? If not, class sizes going forward and housing wouldn’t have been affected except for freshman dorms.

They also contributed to the problem by having coaches suggest to their recruits to take gap years. I know many of those.

Again, it should have been a shared situation. Size shouldn’t matter as look at Amherst and Williams too.

Covid inconvenienced and negatively impacted many, but the burden should not have been placed solely on the class of 2025 imho.

They chose their course of action. I think Harvard originally thought to do the same given their REA admit numbers and their freshman housing design, but thought better of it clearly.

It’s a very wealthy school so they could do many things.

Enough from me on this. I’m just disappointed for those potential students.


regarding the athletes, i’m sure this was true at all schools that didn’t have a season, what coach wouldn’t recommend it? May be the case again this year which would then open up spots from the current waitlist. I already heard of a PU admit that may defer in their sport is not competing in 2021/22.

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Totally agree.

You’re forgetting how much uncertainty there was a year ago. No one knew last March and April (or May or June…) how the pandemic was going to play out – whether the virus was going to “disappear” (as our President kept insisting), whether there would be a second wave, whether schools would be able to have students on campus. In fact, Princeton didn’t decide to operate fully remotely until early August, and it didn’t know how many incoming first-years were going to take a gap year until August 12 – long after the waitlist ceased to exist.

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20…

For those class of 25 interested in a gap year, Princeton expects to expand class size by 125 for the class of 26 when new residential colleges open. It had no choice in its actions this year; there just was not room on campus for everyone, and unlike Harvard and Yale, off campus options are exceedingly limited.