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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.08
Liaison Kristi Wiedemann
Submission Date March 13, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Princeton University
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.40 / 4.00 Robin Moscato
Director, Undergraduate Financial Aid
Undergraduate Financial Aid
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

Princeton's need-based aid program is one of the best in the nation. In 2001, Princeton became the first university to offer every aid recipient a financial aid package that replaces loans with grant aid (scholarships) that students do not pay back. Since then, Princeton has been able to enroll growing numbers of students from low- and middle-income backgrounds with the grant aid they need to make our costs affordable.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

A brief description of any programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

Princeton sponsors multiple programs designed specifically for lower-income students including Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA), a program that brings talented, low-income high school seniors to Princeton for summer courses and college counseling and supports them throughout their college experience, Princeton's Freshman Scholars Institute, and the Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP), which successfully prepares disadvantaged New Jersey students for admission to selective colleges. Princeton enrolls a higher number of LEDA alumni than any other institution and is hoping to grow the number of students who benefit from the summer program by at least 50 percent.

Princeton also provides many Academic Resources for students, including a center on campus with free tutors for a variety of subjects. There is also the Princeton University Mentoring Program (PUMP) whose mission is to enrich and support the lives of students from historically underrepresented backgrounds through leadership, mentoring, and community building activities. Their goal is to assist first year students in their transition into campus life and provide a network to encourage academic and social exploration. PUMP matches each first year participant with a mentor from the sophomore, junior or senior class based on similar academic and social interests. The combination of one-on-one and cluster mentoring is designed to support students and encourage them to contribute to the Princeton University community.

PUPP website: http://www.princeton.edu/pupp/

PUMP website: http://www.princeton.edu/fieldscenter/pump/

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Applicants receive aid based on their families’ financial need. For example, those with a family income of under $65,000 qualify for a scholarship in the form of “need based grants”, which cover full tuition and room and board. Princeton does not use income cutoffs when determining whether to award aid. Any student whose family feels unable to afford the full cost of attendance is encouraged to apply for aid.

A brief description of any programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

Princeton offers several online resources for parents that provide information on several topics: from the application process to the ins and outs of the Princeton college experience. The admissions website has a helpful Princeton Financial Aid Estimator which determines a family's ability to pay using Princeton's own need formula, with fair and generous individual results. The admissions office also offers live chats on Google Hangout with current students that are archived for access at any time. Additionally, Princeton offers an English and Spanish financial aid brochure that explains Princeton’s financial aid program, which is also available on the web.

Princeton has been active in reaching out to community-based organizations, and often presents at parent and family evening programs. For example, Princeton hosted a few fall trips which paired an admission officer and a financial aid officer on the road. A trip to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas included shared presentations with Stanford and Dartmouth. Among other events, Princeton hosted evening programs for students and their families, and also hosted a special breakfast for parents, which had 200 in attendance. Princeton Admissions also presents at several QuestBridge summer conferences on their parent panels as well as a parent panel for the IIT Boeing Scholars and UChicago Collegiate Scholars college night.

A brief description of any targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Princeton University hosted a first-generation and low-income Admission Live “Hangout” via Google Hangouts. Interested students were emailed and informed about the live chat and also about the archived chat. The chat was archived and is available on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd-8tIy1IBU#t=43m32s).

One example of a trip targeting low-income students was to the Central Valley of California, with stops in some of the poorest counties in the state. During the trip, three evening events with families were held. In the small, farming town of Parlier, where 31% of its residents live below the poverty level and only 5% of the population over age 25 have a bachelor’s degree, Princeton presented to over 70 people about selective colleges and its remarkable financial aid. In addition, Princeton hosts events in Washington, D.C., and Chicago every year that reach out to under-represented populations, which includes students from low-income homes.

A brief description of other admissions policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Princeton has a need-blind admission policy, ensuring equality of opportunity for students who cannot afford the full cost of attendance. Princeton accepts students regardless of their ability to pay the cost of attendance and meets their full demonstrated need with a "no loan" aid package. There is no disadvantage of any kind in the admission process for financial aid applicants.

A brief description of other financial aid policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Most students will be offered a term-time job as part of their financial aid award. Princeton has developed an extensive campus employment program to encourage students to work and help pay for some of their college expenses. Part of the funding comes from the Federal Work-Study Program. Students are expected to use their earnings, paid directly to them every two weeks, to meet their book and personal expenses. During their freshman year, students can meet their job earnings expectation if they work an average of 9 hours a week for 30 weeks. Campus jobs are available in the library, dining halls, computing center, sustainability office, and various other departments. Freshmen are usually assigned jobs in the library or dining halls. Princeton encourages students to work in community service areas such as social services, transportation, public safety, crime prevention, recreation, youth service and other activities specified in the Community Service Act under the Federal Work-Study Program. More information about these job opportunities is available from the Princeton Student Employment Program.

The University assigns grant funds from a variety of sources: endowment, general revenues, yearly gifts from alumni and friends, and federal programs. Princeton grants are awarded on the basis of financial need. Some have additional conditions placed on the selection of recipients. Since the Financial Aid Office is responsible for matching students with specific Princeton funds, it is not necessary to file a separate application for University grants.

Students from New Jersey, or those who graduate from New Jersey high schools, who are eligible for need-based grant aid from Princeton receive their awards from the William H. Cane Fund. Cane recipients are not required to work (including both term-time and summer employment) and therefore receive a larger portion of grant aid in their award. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOGs) are
government funds administered by Princeton and are assigned to students along with University grant funds. Preference in awarding SEOGs is given to students with the lowest expected family contributions.

A brief description of other policies and programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students not covered above:

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of any scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

There are not part-time undergraduate students at Princeton.

A brief description of any onsite child care facilities, partnerships with local facilities, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

There are two University-affiliated childcare centers. Both are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which is generally acknowledged to be the most rigorous of the national accrediting agencies for childcare centers. The University-NOW Day Nursery is a not-for-profit childcare facility located at 171 Broadmead on the Princeton campus. U-NOW provides a full-day program for children ages 12 weeks until kindergarten. The children of University faculty, staff, and students have priority for admission.

The University League Nursery School is a not-for-profit childcare facility located at 171 Broadmead on the Princeton campus. ULNS provides half-day and full-day programs for children ages 2.5 years until kindergarten. The children of University faculty, staff, and students have priority for admission.

There are also a number of local childcare centers that offer discounts for University faculty, staff and students.

A brief description of other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (accessibility and affordability indicators)?:

Indicators that the institution is accessible and affordable to low-income students::
Percentage (0-100)
The percentage of entering students that are low-income 22
The graduation/success rate for low-income students 93
The percentage of student financial need met, on average 100
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt 75

The percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:

The website URL where information about the institution's affordability and access programs is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.