Scholarships: Opening Doors, Transforming Lives

February 10th, 2017 / Advancement

Freshman seminarPrinceton’s financial aid program is one of the most generous in the country. Approximately 3,100 undergraduates—roughly 60 percent of the student body—receive financial aid assistance, thanks in large part to scholarships created by alumni, parents, and friends. These scholarships are at the heart of the University’s need-blind admission and “no-loan” policies. Need-blind admission means that Princeton students learn with—and from—peers of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Princeton is one of only six schools in the country that does not limit financial aid for international students. Because loans are not a required element of financial aid packages, most students graduate without the burden of debt, leaving them free to pursue a career path or graduate study without concerns about potential income. 


Those students who do choose to borrow money, usually for additional expenses such as an unpaid internship or laptop computer, have an average of $8,500 in total debt over four years—lower than at any other national university, according to U.S. News & World Report. The average debt for college seniors in the United States is $37,172.

For the past 17 years in a row, Princeton has maintained the lowest undergraduate fee package in the Ivy League. Here, in their own words, are just a few of the students who have had their lives transformed by Princeton, thanks to scholarship support.

“Four years ago I was a teenage boy who escaped the perils of war in my bleeding town of Aleppo, Syria, with big dreams yet small means of achieving them. Today, I belong to the strong community of Tigers—people that bond together over their shared sense of dedication and love of learning.”
Naoum Fares Marayati ’19, who plans to major in psychology and hopes to become a neurosurgeon

“During my time at Princeton, I have been happier than I have ever been before, making life-long friends, discovering the issues I deeply care about and exploring and studying the world—the United States, though programs like Breakout and the Davis Projects for Peace through the Pace Center, and abroad with Princeton in Cuba, a global seminar in Germany, and an internship in Paris.

“In my first two years, my mind has been stretched and challenged and I feel immensely privileged to have had this opportunity.”
Erin Lynch ’18, who studies history and is interested in a career in development and conservation

“Princeton has come to occupy a truly special place in my heart—I call it home. It continues to challenge my mind to the fullest extent, and has yet to cease to amaze me with its immense beauty. I cannot begin to describe how much my life at Princeton means—it has been a transformative experience. I find myself unhappy to leave during the holidays, and excited to return as they end. 

“In the time I have left here, I have to bring the house down with Triangle, squeeze in random and interesting classes and seminars, lab research (which I enjoy immensely), arch sings, and of course, have copious amounts of midnight tea, snacks, and philosophical discussions at Murray-Dodge Café. This experience is something I could only dream of.”

Agastya Parikh ’17, who plans to graduate with a degree in aerospace and mechanical engineering

For information about scholarships at Princeton, contact Jim O'Boyleassociate director for leadership gifts, at 609-258-1782.