Robin Moscato, who came to Princeton in 1983, has presided over the University’s extraordinary financial aid program as its director since 2006.
1. What do you think is the most important thing prospective students should know about financial aid at Princeton?
The most important thing to know is that applying for financial aid does not in any way disadvantage an applicant in the admission process. In fact we actively encourage applicants from all economic backgrounds, knowing that we are able to meet the full need of all admitted students.
2. What part of the program makes you particularly proud?
I think all of us are extremely proud of Princeton’s groundbreaking decision in 2001 to replace student loans with additional grant aid in our award packages. Our “no loan” package had a ripple effect with other colleges who could also replace or reduce loans, benefiting students even beyond Princeton. Our graduates leave Princeton with little or no debt, and the absence of this burden gives them great flexibility in their choices after college.
3. How would you describe Princeton students?
Busy. It’s impressive to see these young people manage the academic rigors of a Princeton education while contributing in so many other ways to the campus community -- sports, dance, debate, theater, journalism, music -- the opportunities are amazing, and our students make the most of their time here.
4. What impact has financial aid had on the diversity of the student body?
It’s had an enormous impact. Prior to 2001, 40% of a typical entering class qualified for aid. This has jumped to 60% and, with our generous no loan packages, we have seen increasing numbers of students from lower and middle income families matriculate.
5. What is the most satisfying element of your job?
Interacting with students and their families, and having the resources and commitment from the University to meet their full need each year, is by far the best part of my job. I also enjoy working with the great staff here in the aid office, and wonderful colleagues across campus.