College Spotlight: Princeton University
College Expert at the Coast to Coast College Tour
Minneapolis Marriott West
May 20, 2015
Equidistant to both New York City and Philadelphia, Princeton University – the 4th oldest U.S. college and a member of the Ivy League — has an unofficial motto that permeates campus life: “In the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations.” For those wishing to serve abroad, the Bridge Year Program is open to a select group of incoming freshmen. They spend nine months, tuition free, in another country while performing community service.
The freshman seminars program is one hallmark of the Princeton academic experience. Each year, approximately 75 seminars are offered to freshmen, with class sizes of no more than fifteen students. A couple of popular recent topics were “Life on Mars – Or Maybe Not” and “Ethics in Everyday Life.” During the junior and senior years, every Princeton student conducts independent research, culminating in a senior thesis, or in the case of some engineering students, an independent project, under the instruction of a faculty mentor. With only a 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the students receive personal attention as they pursue either an A.B. (Bachelor of Arts) or B.S.E. (Bachelor of Science in Engineering) degree. Undergrads have a full two years to explore 35 different majors and 47 certificate programs before declaring their majors.
Sixty percent of the 5,244 Princeton undergraduates have received financial aid, and seventy-five percent will graduate debt free. The institution is committed to a no-loan financial aid program, along with the residential college experience. Incoming freshmen are assigned to live in one of six residential colleges, where they reside for two years. After that, they may continue to live on campus or make other arrangements. Princeton guarantees on-campus housing for four years. The fact that 98% of students choose to stay on campus in the junior and senior years is a testament to the close-knit Princeton community.