Princeton offers admission to 13 transfer students in third year of reinstated program

Princeton University has offered admission to 13 transfer students for entry in fall 2020. Since being reinstated in 2018, the undergraduate transfer admission program has been aimed at encouraging applicants from low-income, military or community college backgrounds.

The 13 admitted transfer students come from community colleges across the country, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and several from New Jersey. Two of the admitted transfer students are enrolled at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, New Jersey, just a few miles from Princeton.

Seven of the admitted students have served on active duty in the U.S. military or are currently serving. Five of the students offered admission are women; eight are men. Eight are first-generation college students. Admitted candidates have until May 20 to accept Princeton’s offer of admission.

The University’s undergraduate admission office has mailed letters to admitted students in the transfer pool, and applicants are able to see their decisions via secure online access beginning at 5 p.m. EDT May 6. The University received 905 applications for the transfer program this year.

“I’m continuously humbled to learn about the range of talents and life experiences across our transfer students,” said Alex Bustin, director of transfer and military/veteran admission in the Office of Admission and a Princeton Class of 2008 graduate. “This year, we’re thrilled to again see students represented from across the country, as well as several from very nearby in our home state of New Jersey. It’s a privilege to work with Princeton’s growing population of transfer students and veterans — first through their application process, and then in person once they arrive to campus. They make an indelible impression on our campus community, and I feel fortunate to know them.”

The reinstated transfer program seeks to enroll a small group of exceptionally well-prepared transfer students from a range of backgrounds. Approximately nine transfer students have enrolled each fall under the reinstated admission program.

“Becoming part of Princeton’s transfer student community has been one of the best experiences of my life,” said Alejandro Garcia, Class of 2022 and president of the Princeton Transfer Association. “As transfer students, we have access to one-on-one advising and guidance while assimilating to Princeton’s academic community. Our small but growing transfer community has become like a family, with a strong bond between each year’s transfer cohort. I would like to offer my congratulations to the newest cohort on their acceptance and look forward to welcoming them on campus. It will be exciting to see how we all continue to have an impact on Princeton’s undergraduate student body.”

The University’s generous financial aid program provides the assistance necessary to make sure that a Princeton education is genuinely affordable for every admitted student, including transfer and international students. More than 60% of Princeton undergraduates receive financial aid. The average grant is greater than the cost of tuition, while lower-income students receive aid that covers full tuition, room and board. Students who applied for aid with family incomes up to $160,000 typically pay no tuition.

Princeton is further distinguished from many peer institutions because its financial aid can replace veterans benefits toward the total cost of attendance, meaning that many undergraduate veterans do not have to use their benefits to attend Princeton.

Keith Shaw, director of Princeton’s Transfer, Veteran and Non-Traditional Student Programs, said he’s honored to welcome a third cohort of transfer students to Princeton.

“We’re proud to introduce them to our thriving community,” Shaw said. “As an adviser, there’s nothing better than working with talented, engaged, and creative people who are actively invested in each other’s success. I think our new transfer students will love the academic home awaiting them here.”

Transfer students, like first-year undergraduates, must begin their enrollment in the fall semester. Most students will begin as sophomores (in their second year of study). However, in some cases, students may begin as juniors, or be required to enter as first-year students. In all cases, Princeton faculty and college deans determine this standing after an evaluation of transfer credit.

As President Christopher L. Eisgruber outlined in his May 4 update to the University community, Princeton will decide in early July whether the undergraduate teaching program will be residential or will remain online for the fall 2020 term. As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues, the University is exploring ways to safely and responsibly reopen Princeton’s laboratories, libraries and other facilities when state law permits.

In January 2016, Princeton’s Board of Trustees adopted a strategic planning framework identifying key goals and priorities for Princeton and authorized reinstating a transfer program. This ended a moratorium on the transfer process that had gone into effect in 1990.